chapter  12
12 Pages

Queer Bonds: Male Friendships in Contemporary Malayalam Cinema

Queerness as an attitude, a way of responding that is not concerned with or limited by a binary opposition of gender (man versus woman) or sexuality (homo versus hetero), is, in my opinion, very valuable for an appraisal of the libidinal subjectivities that circulate in regions like South Asia. where history provides little evidence of religious or social repression of nonheteroscxual aptirudes until the onset of colonial domination. As a reading strategy, queerness is concerned with any expression that can ~ marked as contra-, non-, or antistraight. Alexander Doty reminds us that the queerness of most mass culture texts is the result of acts of production or reception. He maintains that the queerness some readers or viewers may attribute to mass culture textS is not in any way less real than the straightness others would claim for these same texts. There is queerness of and ;, straight cultures.l The so-called hegemonic straight culture in India can be seen to have many queer traits, and examination of this "queerness within the straight" can provide us with a better understanding of sexual subjectivities in this region.