Cripping the Visual: Visual Politics in Crip Queer Activism
In this chapter I will address the question of whether it is justified to speak of disability as a form of queer culture or politics. Usually, disability is not a particularly prevalent issue in queer theory. The same applies to LGBTs with disabilities. Nevertheless, a certain opening of queer theory towards the set of problems posed by disability can be observed in the course of an increasing establishment of disability studies. However, this research mainly relates to visual dramatizations, media representations, and embodied practices of disability and homosexuality in the majority society. By contrast, my analysis aims at strategies of visibility and embodied visual technologies of the self as exercised by individuals with disabilities, in particular of LGBTs with disabilities, in subcultural spaces and contexts. More specifically, I will take up current debates on visual politics (Engel 2009, Lorenz 2012), freaky bodies (Thomson 1996, 1997a) and the confiscation of gender (Raab 2010b) in the context of queer, gender, and disability studies in order to examine the role of subcultures within the confines of mass events, such as the Christopher Street Day parade (CSD), and practices of visualization of disabled bodies. I will discuss the epistemological gain of so-called queer disability studies from the perspective of a theory of the body (Raab 2007, 2010a) in order to examine the potential and the limitations of queer theory and disability studies from a new perspective. The aim is to specify the range of queer disability studies (McRuer 2003, 2006) and to relate it to the current debate on intersectionality.