chapter  6
11 Pages

Modern and Postmodern Themes in American Sexual Politics

WithSteven Seidman

The exclusion of the homosexual from public life is reinforced by civic disenfranchisement – the denial of civil rights and political representation. Socially segregating the homosexual from the heterosexual is so basic to the repressive logic that everyday anti-gay violence is tolerated in order to protect the purity of the heterosexual. Heterosexuals who engage in such practices will experience something of the polluted status of homosexuals. The film’s message is that only the homosexual who is a mirror image of the ideal heterosexual citizen is acceptable. A second response to normalization has been the rise of a queer politics. Whereas gay identity politics aims to change the status of homosexuality from a deviant to a normal identity, queer politics struggles against normalizing any identity. Similarly, if a notion of sexual autonomy would presuppose that individuals have sexual knowledge to make informed choices, state enforced sex education in public schools should be part of a queer sexual politics.