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Journal of Homosexuality
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Gay Shame by David M. Halperin and Valerie Traub
University of Provence, France Version of record first published: 23 Jan 2012.
To cite this article: Victor Stepien (2012): Gay Shame by David M. Halperin and Valerie Traub, Journal of Homosexuality, 59:1, 144-147 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2011.614914
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IL: University of Chicago Press. the U.2011. while being openly gay. Adam’s strange celebration of the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba. It taps into a family trait. who made a strong statement by working alongside faith-based initiatives across Africa. shames openly gay Bush appointees in his introductory speech (Goldberg. The book also comes with a CD. Dennis Allen. is not your typical Queer Theory book. so commonplace. Gay shame should be unleashed upon a series of bad queers. and Judith Roof’s anti-Bush rhetoric vindicates Halperin’s point. some might even say anti“freedom. but rather queer. bosses who.” Perhaps unsurprisingly for a book of queer theory. precisely because they have become acceptable gays.Journal of Homosexuality. and reminds us that our values cannot be complacent.1080/00918369. there is an irrationally liberal.614914
Gay Shame. and so politically correct that it has practically been de-gayed. AIDS Global Coordinator under President Bush. perhaps even queer university administrators who turned a blind eye to the harassment of gay students. reminding us of the anger of the early AIDS crisis. of course. “Liberal fascism” rears its ugly head right from the start when Halperin. Chicago. follows suit.). once and for all. David M. Halperin and Valerie Traub. Gay Shame. It brings back a certain brashness of youth. It is not so much a collection of essays as a textual documentary of the conference.S. Michigan. It is a call to get back at landlords who evicted PWAs to cash in on the gentriﬁcation of the Castro. Without that caveat. Halperin and Valerie Traub (eds. It is the result of an international colloquium held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Jaime Hovey. Gay Shame is anti-capitalist. couched in dubious cultural relativism. and he fails to condemn the dictatorship for its repression of gay life. is a sardonic take on the historical construct of gay pride. if not far-left bias. 2008). It has some additional interviews and an excerpt from a play. which provides the short ﬁlms and pictures that illustrated the conference. Gay shame.194. in March 2003. Similarly. but no more. Don Kulick and Charles Klein feel no
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. in spite of being family. This is not very gay. coedited by David M. showing that the theme is ongoing. 408 pp. or ignored. even when we were too young to experience it. It aims at shaming a type of homosexuality that has become so normalized.52. silenced. 2012 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group. Barry D. LLC ISSN: 0091-8369 print/1540-3602 online DOI: 10. 59:144–147. 2009. anti-corporatist. one might have thought highly of Mark Dybul. promoted straight married men to downplay their own suspicious celibacy.
like Taro Nettleton in his piece on Warhol ﬁlms. Bartlett’s wise parallel between going to the gay bar and going to church is at once blasphemous and absolutely correct. if not callousness. As Robert McRuer explains. marvelously correct to bring us back to Andrew
Downloaded by [187. Still. Indeed. in the context of postcolonial queer. an alleged homosexual. Reagan may have done a few good things beyond this. for example in the Bible Belt. is right to expose Norbert Elias. or jack-ofall-trades Francès Negron-Muntaner in her interview with Rita Gonzalez. However. Nadine Hubbs is. endeavor to shame the conference organizers for not focusing on the axis of race more. when shame occurs. Nevertheless. Ellis Hanson admits race is shame-inducing for American liberals. This nostalgia-infused liberal bias seems to reach its nadir in the obsession with race.52. can easily be likened to the queer body—a body that’s never quite good enough.” Perhaps one leaves the church for the gay bar. emphasizes an anti-war rhetoric. and to a certain extent even Tobin Siebers’s. toward gay-related immune deﬁciency (GRID). or vice versa. “when a revealed wish for communion is met with nonrecognition. Again. going back to the supposedly idyllic era of the 1960s. Caron’s tale of troping as a site of queer identiﬁcation. Perhaps a misinterpretation of the notion of liberal fascism would be to apply it to the disabled. Puff’s point is still relevant to us now. Gould is perfectly right to shame former President Reagan for his disregard. as well as Neil Bartlett’s repositioning of gayness as camp inside and outside of theatre. Deborah B. David Caron spells it out when he positions gay shame “against the emergence of a conservative gay agenda. a constant trope of homosexual subjectivity. with a not-so-subtle comment on the ongoing wars in the Middle East. as Gould puts it. not only for the rituals. weapons of freedom for lesbian feminists. thus. found on the CD.100] at 18:01 13 February 2013
. but also for the “discipleship. are irrelevant. Helmut Puff. or. They forget to mention that we may be opening up avenues to spread gay rights there. and his dangerous civilizing theory of shame applied to Africans. and thus worth the sometimes disturbing. as intimated by Terry Galloway. when we may be shamed into becoming normal. Gayle Rubin goes on to remind us that dildos. The problem is. AIDS and the decaying body. Nevertheless. as some gay men laughed away the American state-sponsored homophobia of the 1950s.194. not so much in terms of race as in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation. were ﬁrst invented for the disabled. this collection is full of gems. George Chauncey is quick to warn us that shame does not have to be embraced. However. a series of contributors. Just as Jennifer Moon naïvely suggests it would be racist not to mention it (even though it has nothing to do with homosexuality per se). Allen et al. now known as AIDS.” in the hope of discouraging the conservative gay reader from going further. yet often eye-opening read.’s movie.” in either milieu.Book Review
compunction about the sad lives of transvestite prostitutes in Brazil. are apt reminders of the daily need for aesthetic praxis. Finally. Abby Wilkerson’s essay on this topic.
Michael Warner exempliﬁes it with Walt Whitman.194. She shows how the responsibility that came with taking care of PWAs led to a yearning on the part of the queer establishment to be accepted and. this book at times fails to be realistic. although the recent “It Gets Better” campaign. are also apt reminders that queer culture has always managed to survive. This. Dylan Scholinski tells us of the ordeal of psychiatric treatment she was forced to endure as a result of not being quite normal enough when she was growing up. Heather Young reminds us that our past. As Halperin says. it should still be an empowering and self-fulﬁlling avenue— although. as the offspring of the AIDS crisis. I think. perhaps with the use of condoms and without drugs this time.52. explains how the queer movement. Additionally. may have exposed a tragic pattern queer theorists have seemingly chosen to ignore for decades. This is an apt reminder that the American counseling industry. or what Allen et al. relinquished shamelessness for respectability. Gould. juggling with what Elisabeth Ladenson describes as limitations on freedom of speech. There is no mention of abstinence as a nexus of shame among gay youth (be they scene queens or non-scene). as exempliﬁed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). To a certain extent.a.. ﬁnally. to camp praxis. the prevalence of which Eric Rofes warned us about several decades ago (Journal of Homosexuality. still retains repellently homophobic tenets such as “gender nonconformity” in childhood. and gay shame activist and queer writer Matt Berstein Sycamore (a.146
Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance as the epitome of gay pride before it had to be shamed. as shown on the CD.100] at 18:01 13 February 2013
. after all. those tragedies seem to suggest there is still gay shame before there should
Downloaded by [187.” Yet. normalized by (heteronormative) mainstream society. Scholinski’s ability to overcome repression and use it as aesthetic fodder points. is aesthetic. denounce as the “star system” (despite the inclusion of an essay by Eve Sedgwick). There is also nothing about gay suicides as a result of shame. as Amalia Ziv explains. may explain the clash that occurred in Ann Arbor between allegedly careerist professors working for corporate American universities. is perhaps at odds with the queer movement. Mattilda). a counterproductive by-product of the corporate American university tethered by the Left. homophobic workplace harassment as a vector of shame is nowhere to be found. Douglas Crimp suggests this past was queer rather than gay. The documents from the Labadie Collection in Ann Arbor. the same level of responsible shamelessness may be found in sadomasochistic eroticism.” Yet. there was gay shame. On the other side of the spectrum. “Before there was Gay Shame. Yet.k. Beyond the liberal bias and a yearning for camp praxis. with its glow of sadness. 53. Holleran’s time-tested celebration of shamelessness. Perhaps this book is simply couched in political correctness. the key to embracing the gay lifestyle with dignity. ironically enough. Leo Bersani chips in to consider the historical role of AIDS instead of “self-righteous ranting. 3). two years after this book was published.
be gay shame. Journal of Homosexuality.194.52. New York. NY: Doubleday.100] at 18:01 13 February 2013
Goldberg. In other words.stepien@gmail.
Downloaded by [187. 1–224. (2007). from Mussolini to the politics of meaning. (2008). Victor Stepien University of Provence. there may still be a place for gay pride as a cultural defense mechanism that goes hand in hand with promoting our family values. Liberal fascism: The secret history of the American Left. 53 (3). J. France victor.