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Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform

Overview

Gay culture has become a nightmare of consumerism, whether it's an endless quest for Absolut vodka, Diesel jeans, rainbow Hummers, pec implants, or Pottery Barn. Whatever happened to sexual flamboyance and gender liberation, an end to marriage, the military, and the nuclear family? As backrooms are shut down to make way for wedding vows, and gay sexual culture morphs into “straight-acting dudes hangin’ out,” what are the possibilities for a defiant faggotry that challenges the ...

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Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform

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Overview

Gay culture has become a nightmare of consumerism, whether it's an endless quest for Absolut vodka, Diesel jeans, rainbow Hummers, pec implants, or Pottery Barn. Whatever happened to sexual flamboyance and gender liberation, an end to marriage, the military, and the nuclear family? As backrooms are shut down to make way for wedding vows, and gay sexual culture morphs into “straight-acting dudes hangin’ out,” what are the possibilities for a defiant faggotry that challenges the assimilationist norms of a corporate-cozy lifestyle?

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? challenges not just the violence of straight homophobia but the hypocrisy of mainstream gay norms that say the only way to stay safe is to act straight: get married, join the military, adopt kids! Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore reinvokes the anger, flamboyance, and subversion once thriving in gay subcultures in order to create something dangerous and lovely: an exploration of the perils of assimilation; a call for accountability; a vision for change. A sassy and splintering emergency intervention!

Called "startlingly bold and provocative" by Howard Zinn, and described as "a cross between Tinkerbell and a honky Malcolm X with a queer agenda" by The Austin Chronicle, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is undoubtedly one of America's most outspoken queer critics. She is the author of two novels, including, most recently, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly, and is the editor of four nonfiction anthologies, including Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity and That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A distinctive collection of essays by gay and transgender activists, performance artists, and scholars embraces the subversive aspects of queer identity and rails against its “sanitized, straight-friendly version.” Some essays are personal observations of lives on the margins, such as Ezra RedEagle Whitman’s attempts to reconcile his homosexuality with Native American conceptions of manliness, or Booh Edouardo’s experiences as an autistic transgender man interacting with mainstream gay peers. Others focus more on general trends in gay culture, such as Michael J. Faris and ML Sugie’s discussion of racial preferences and prejudices on hookup sites, or George Ayala and Patrick Hebert’s examination of the role of the arts in building community among HIV positive men. Some stories are disheartening, like Matthew Blanchard’s reflections on his hospitalization and disfigurement after many years of drug-fueled indiscriminate, unsafe sex. Others are much more hopeful, like Kristen Stoeckeler’s observations on drag queen and king performers and their playful yet serious blurring of the lines between male and female. Just as the battle for LGBTQ civil rights continues, these essays—alternately moving and sprightly, contemplative and outraged—display the power of presenting an alternative to the mainstream: a world of greater tolerance, acceptance, support, and creativity. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849350884
  • Publisher: AK Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 957,261
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore: Called "startlingly bold and provocative" by Howard Zinn, described as "a cross between Tinkerbell and a honky Malcolm X with a queer agenda" by the Austin Chronicle, and named one of Utne Reader's "Visionaries" in 2008, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is undoubtedly one of America's most outrageous queer critics. She is the author of two novels, including, most recently, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008), and the editor of four nonfiction anthologies, including Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007) and That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2004; expanded second edition 2008). Her writing appears regularly in a variety of publications, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, AlterNet, Bitch, Utne Reader, Bookslut, Lambda Book Report, The Gay and Lesbian Review, and The Stranger. She is the reviews editor at the feminist magazine Make/shift, and has penned a monthly column in Maximumrocknroll for five years. She's gone on five extensive cross-country book tours, and guest-lectured at numerous universities, from Yale to Evergreen, UCLA to McGill.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 12, 2012

    If you like to be yourself, read!

    This book is a collection of essays on the question implied in the book's title. None of the essays explicitly answer that question, however, which leaves the reader to answer that question for him/her/hir/er self. The range of voices is very broad, but also limited. None of the voices represent or desire conformity to the status quo of assimilationist thought. Which is not a bad thing, of itself, but it limits dialog. But then, the voices of conformity are all around us constantly, and the voices of the rebel all but silent. A weakness for many will be the lack of a unifying essay that ties all of the voices together into a chorus, a consensus. Personally, I didn't mind, but for many that's a deal breaker, as I like to think for myself. I would recommend this book for everyone who is involved in or wants to be involved in the Rights movement, since the small voices are the ones we are protecting, the powerful are what we need protection from. Oh, yes, my answer to the question of the title involves these words: Hate, Belonging, and Desire.

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