Section III: Ethical Challenges and the Lures of Normativity
This chapter examines the queer theory, with its history of questioning of categories and normativity, and particularly draws on Rubin's work. It explores the concept of the gift both etymologically Gift is the German word for poison and in terms of cultural history. In parallel, the act of barebacking can only be named as such in the context of the AIDS crisis that preceded its emergence, and the seroconversion that it risks. Dean is right to advocate the opening of an ethical margin for thinking about barebacking, but, our own, empirical observations of the practice, it is becoming normalized, and norms tend to squeeze out space for ethical reflection. Indeed, it is because many if not most of us could not, that we have politics, even if that politics falls short of what Lacan believed truth to be. It would also demand attention to the truth of the death drive by embracing death from AIDS.