[PDF / Epub] ★ The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life ✈ Michael Warner – Dcrjservices.co.uk

[PDF / Epub] ★ The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life ✈ Michael Warner – Dcrjservices.co.uk chapter 1 The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, meaning The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, genre The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, book cover The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, flies The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life 7eee23914ba50 Michael Warner, One Of Our Most Brilliant Social Critics, Argues That Gay Marriage And Other Moves Toward Normalcy Are Bad Not Just For The Gays But For Everyone In Place Of Sexual Status Quo, Warner Offers A Vision Of True Sexual Autonomy That Will Forever Change The Way We Think About Sex, Shame, And Identity


10 thoughts on “The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life

  1. says:

    A comprehensive and incisive excoriation of same sex marriage as a movement for gay liberation Warner s investigations of the interactions between gay shame and a push for same sex marriage see also Mattilda Bernstein Syca and Benjamin Shepard is a useful lens to explore the millions of dollars and volunteer hours going almost exclusively to same sex marriage advocacy at the expense of issues that arguably have a larger impact on the day to day lives of most queer and trans folks, fr A comprehensive and incisive excoriation of same sex marriage as a movement for gay liberation Warner s investigations of the interactions between gay shame and a push for same sex marriage see also Mattilda Bernstein Syca and Benjamin Shepard is a useful lens to explore the millions of dollars and volunteer hours going almost exclusively to same sex marriage advocacy at the expense of issues that arguably have a larger impact on the day to day lives of most queer and trans folks, from health care to housing to gentrification This latter trend, which pits rich white gays and lesbians toward whom the advocacy organizations like the Human Rights Campaign are oriented against their less wealthy queer and trans sisters and brothers, assumes all thecurrency when reading gay assimilationist author activists like Michael Signorile, Dan Savage and Larry Kramer who, regardless of their counter cultural shock approaches are nonetheless reinforcing ideas of middle class normalcy as the long awaited future for queers Warner differs, and offers a radical notion of sexual autonomy and sexual ethics in their stead Though Warner seems somewhat unaware of the liberation theories advanced before him by radical feminists like Judith Butler and John Stoltenberg, trans theorists like Riki Wilchins and race theorists historians like Robin D.G Kelley, his critique of and within the queer community is well deserved


  2. says:

    Even though its almost 15 years old, and even though some of the specific issues he raises are mute DOMA, don t ask don t tell, anti sodomy laws, all thankfully consigned to the rubbish heap of history now , the underlying assumption he works with is still incredibly valid mainstream culture is uncomfortable with queer people because mainstream culture as a whole is simply uncomfortable with sex being discussed or addressed or engaged with in anything approximating general openness I think th Even though its almost 15 years old, and even though some of the specific issues he raises are mute DOMA, don t ask don t tell, anti sodomy laws, all thankfully consigned to the rubbish heap of history now , the underlying assumption he works with is still incredibly valid mainstream culture is uncomfortable with queer people because mainstream culture as a whole is simply uncomfortable with sex being discussed or addressed or engaged with in anything approximating general openness I think that s essentially correct even if its a very hard generalization to make as a young adult in 2014 at a time when gay queer culture is becoming muchprevalent in general, and not simply because of the sea change in attitudes on gay marriage, and while Warner makes a compelling case against not simply gay marriage, but against the institution of marriage as a whole as a ludicrous ritual which allows the state to say that some types of relationships are proper and others are not I don t buy into his alarmist and, in retrospect, incorrect conclusion that full acceptance of gay marriage will be the death of organic, fully sexualized queer culture in America You can get married to your gay lesbian partner in a Presbyterian church in a wide array of states these days, you can also spend your nights in a bathhouse or BDSM dungeon or a glory hole As long as people are biologically wired for sex, all of those things will exist in an uneasy and at times almost incoherent sort of equilibrium But where he is still frighteningly right is how larger economic forces can destroy queer and really any other culture that gets in the way of economic development, urban renewal, really of gentrification in general A neo con senator blasting degenerate gays is ultimately infinitely less damaging to gay life than a real estate mogul with a blueprint for development and the backing of city hall.Warner touches on a dizzying array of issues in this book, everything from healthcare, to city planning, to cultural assumptions about sex, to the nature of marriage, to byzantine zoning laws, to the fall out of the Lewinsky scandal The book really would be better if he could just pick 2 3 filters through which to examine this issue, instead of trying to come at an issue this large from every angle possible at once This is the odd polemic that would benefit from beingacademic i.e a bitextensively structured, in its general approach That being said, it is also the rare book on a central LGBT issue whose basic premises are still valid and worth considering 15 years after it was written


  3. says:

    1.5 stars The main arguments of this book in my own words because I do not enjoy Warner s Humanization should be achievable without assimilation In an effort to gain the approval of people with power, some people in the LGBTQ population distance themselves from those who are less normal, such as the overly flamboyant gay man or the transgender person who has no desire to pass as cisgender Warner would never use this example because I m not sure he knows what a trans person is or a 1.5 stars The main arguments of this book in my own words because I do not enjoy Warner s Humanization should be achievable without assimilation In an effort to gain the approval of people with power, some people in the LGBTQ population distance themselves from those who are less normal, such as the overly flamboyant gay man or the transgender person who has no desire to pass as cisgender Warner would never use this example because I m not sure he knows what a trans person is or anyone who might confirm stereotypes Normal is a strategy used to shame and marginalize I guess Is it the same as saying, We re all normal because this huge spread of diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression and biological sex is normal The benefits of marriage should be extended to all kinds of households, yet the current battle in the gay movement is to simply give same sex couples access to the institution of marriage Definitely agree that the focus is misplaced and our society would benefit from reducing the financial power of marriage Warner criticizes the desire of some LGBTQ people to completely desexualize the community so they will be deemed worthy of marriage and the vanilla straight life I agree that this desire is problematic and elitist However, I also think we can still acknowledge and discuss the harm that the common OVERsexualization of LGBTQ people does.ANYWAY UGH HERE I GO TO MY MAIN GRIPE The Trouble With Normal is extremely outdated and, as another reviewer mentioned, not useful for today s queer politics Everything is framed as exclusively gay and lesbian, no other identities Gay culture, gay life, gay activism, straight or gay, gay movement, gay marriage, a conclusion evenexclusive focusing on gay men only, yet the author can still say the book is about the queer community I m gonna keep screaming 46% of the LGBTQ population is bi from the mountaintops.Here s a real winner strike throughs added by meAlready, the gay and lesbian movement has been forced to add bisexual and, occasionally, transgendered to its self description These gestures are often rightly perceived, especially by bisexuals and transgendered people, as afterthoughts, half hearted gestures at being politically correct Apparently this is the author s excuse for not including anything about bisexual people and transgender people except for several uncriticized t slurs Were things this different in 1999 If so, yeah, this book has historical value But if you want to actually learn something, just go read a few anti assimilation and critiques of blog posts or something


  4. says:

    Much like when I first read Edward Said or Simone de Beauvoir, when I read The Trouble With Normal, I began to see some of the underlying assumptions I d made as a straight white male, which made it a rather exhilarating read And some of his policy arguments about the death of queer space in post Giuliani New York are quite interesting His argument against marriage as a cultural norm, gay or straight, isn t quite as powerful, but it still makes for an interesting read.There is a question of ho Much like when I first read Edward Said or Simone de Beauvoir, when I read The Trouble With Normal, I began to see some of the underlying assumptions I d made as a straight white male, which made it a rather exhilarating read And some of his policy arguments about the death of queer space in post Giuliani New York are quite interesting His argument against marriage as a cultural norm, gay or straight, isn t quite as powerful, but it still makes for an interesting read.There is a question of how academically valid it is I would say that as an academic text, it leaves something to be desired Its arguments could be a bitprecise, a bittechnical But as ageneral text, it s a stunner, one of those rare theory books that makes no attempts to jargonize, that concerns itselfwith everyday situations than the valences of a word choice And Warner says all this with a wry, bitchy wit that reminds meof Fran Lebowitz than any of those giants of high theory that Americans always attempt to imitate


  5. says:

    Released two decades ago, this is a strange and wonderful book to return to This is at least in part because stances and approaches it attacks are now so taken for granted that their contingency has been scrubbed clean.This argued against the push for same sex marriage in America, which it is now the law of the land there At least one plank of his argument was that it seemed like a losing fight, and what s happened since shows that his reading was wrong But there s a tendency to treat that co Released two decades ago, this is a strange and wonderful book to return to This is at least in part because stances and approaches it attacks are now so taken for granted that their contingency has been scrubbed clean.This argued against the push for same sex marriage in America, which it is now the law of the land there At least one plank of his argument was that it seemed like a losing fight, and what s happened since shows that his reading was wrong But there s a tendency to treat that court victory as part of a linear development, as though the only questions were and are if and how quickly that political telos would come to fruition.But even deeper than difference in strategy, there s a different political sensibility itself When Warner off handedly remarks it is worth noting that the subject of same sex marriage is so thoroughly mediated by public sphere discourse that few can think about the topic apart from some kind of narrative about long term social change, usually on the national scale Mere mention of gay marriage triggers a consciousness of national policy dispute It is as though a pollster and a reporter were in your bedroom, asking you if you wanted a judge or a cop to join the party 134 It s striking that this mediation by public sphere discourse is now ubiquitious in social justice movements, both in their public facing communications and in private It s not just that there s comfort with using state and institutional mechanisms to impose monolithic meanings on people, it s that this is assumed to be normal and not needing defense This isn t some unoriginal cultural hellscape any community finds ways of channeling creativity There s certainly been a boom in aesthetics and inward looking commentary The need to be on all the time means that playfulness in big groups is rare, and replaced instead either with satire of the Right well deserved or jokes about the awkwardness of dealing with new norms There s certainly playfulness possible, but only in small, trusted groups The public has invaded too much It s against this background that Warner s defense of a counterpublic seems outdated and therefore perhaps valuable.In the face of symbolic and material assault on the sexual spaces and practices of queer life in the 90s, in the form of outrage and zoning laws, Warner defends the autonomous and independent existence and value of alternative ways and networks of living that queer people had because had to make for themselves.At one level, this means not submitting to same sex marriage since it involves the valuation of a single mode of living over all others that exist Buying commodities sustains the culture of commodities whether the buyers like it or not That is the power of a system Just so, marrying consolidates and sustains the normativity of marriage And it does so despite what may be the best intentions of those who marry 109 While the desire to fit in is understandable, embracing this standard merely throws shame on those who stand farther down the ladder of respectability 60 Instead, queer life consists consisted in quite different lives People who think that queer life consists of sex without intimacy are usually seeing only a tiny part of the picture, and seeing it through homophobic stereotype The most fleeting sexual encounter is, in its way, intimate And in the way many gay men and lesbians live, quite casual sexual relations can develop into powerful and enduring friendships Friendships, in turn, can cross into sexual relations and back Because gay social life is not as ritualized and institutionalized as straight life, each relation is an adventure in nearly uncharted territory whether it is between two gay men, or two lesbians, or a gay man and a lesbian, or among three orqueers, or between gay men and the straight women whose commitment to queer culture brings them the punishment of the fag hag label There are almost as many kinds of relationship as there are people in combination Where there are patterns, we learn them from other queers, not from our parents or schools or the state Between tricks and lovers and exes and friends and fuckbuddies and bar friends and bar friends tricks and tricks bar friends and gal pals and companions in the life, queers have an astonishing range of intimacies Most have no labels Most receive no public recognition Many of these relations are difficult because the rules have to be invented as we go along Often desire and unease add to their intensity, and their unpredictability They can be complex and bewildering, in a way that arouses fear among many gay people, and tremendous resistance and resentment from many straight people Who among us would give them up If there is such a thing as a gay way of life, it consists in these relations, a welter of intimacies outside the framework of professions and institutions and ordinary social obligations Straight culture has much to learn from it, and in many ways has already begun to learn from it Queers should be insisting on teaching these lessons Instead, the marriage issue, as currently framed, seems to be a way of denying recognition to these relations, of streamlining queer relations into the much less troubling division of couples from friends 115 6 He thinks many of most of marriage s benefits could be extended to other kinds of households and intimate relations healthcare and tax equality for single people Rights associated with property sharing can be extended to all cohabiting arrangements ex lovers, relatives, long term intimate friends, etcetera Rights relating to immigration, parenting rights, rights to bring wrongful death actions, and the prohibition against spousal testimony can be extended to powerful intimate commitments including domestic partners, legal concubinage, common law relations Child custody can be linked to care relations Even in the place of just divorce, different dissolution options might be provided for different relationships 118 120 These are important enough, but only occupy three pages The emphasis is on the variety of forms of living that already exist, and denied by the focus on marriage alone The central thrust is that there s an actual culture of gay sexuality not just an unthinking, instinctive innate sexuality but a culture where information denied by heterosexual life is provided, experimented with, and achieved Instead of couching defenses in privacy and non judgement, these life forms have to be regarded as building a fully populated world of on intertwined people, a public culture.The sexual cultures of gay men and lesbians are, after all, cultures in ways that are often forgotten, especially when they are treated simply as a mass of deviants looking for hormonally driven release They recognize themselves as cultures, with their own knowledges, places, practices, languages, and learned modes of feeling The naive belief that sex is simply an inborn instinct still exerts its power, but most gay men and lesbians know that the sex they have was not innate nor entirely of their own making, but learned learned by participating, in scenes of talk as well as of fucking One learns both the elaborated codes of a subculture, with its rituals and typologies top bottom, butch femme, and so on , but also simply the improvisational nature of unpredicted situations As queers we do not always share the same tastes or practices, though often enough we learn new pleasures from others What we do share is an ability to swap stories and learn from them, to enter new scenes not entirely of our own making, to know that in these contexts it is taken for granted that people are different, that one can surprise oneself, that one s task in the face of unpredicted variations is to recognize the dignity in each person s way of surviving and playing and creating, to recognize that dignity in this context need not be purchased at the high cost of conformity or self amputation Within this queer world we recognize, usually tacitly, that the norms of the dominant culture would quash the scene we re participating in It is therefore best understood as a counterpublic Its openness, accessibility, and unpredictability are all marks of its publicness 177 8 It isn t just discrete pairs of people interacting that creates this world, but objects too Pornography, particularly in the age before the internet was a valuable source of information, particuarly for the marginalized, and was therefore of value after all, Autonomy requiresthan civil liberty it requires the circulation and accessibility of sexual knowledge, along with the public elaboration of a social world that can make less alienated relations possible 171 2 But these objects and spaces werethan just sources of information Pornography and adult businesses jeopardize the amnesias separating sex and public culture in large part because of their physical orientation toward an indefinite public they are media of acknowledgment Having been reared in the bosom of Jesus, I never, it happens, saw gay porn until I began graduate school I had had sex with men for years on the side, but I didn t think I was gay I thought I was just wicked The first porn images I saw, in a magazine belonging to a friend, set me suddenly to think, I could be gay Why did those pictures trigger my recognition when years of sleeping with men somehow didn t It s because the men in the pictures were not only doing what I wanted to do, they were doing it with a witness the camera Or rather, a world of witnesses, including the infrastructure for producing, distributing, selling, and consuming these texts This whole world could be concretized in places like Christopher Street or Times Square, but also in the formal language of pornography In order for the porn to exist, not only did some of its producers have to have gay sex, they and many others had to acknowledge that they were having it What is traded in pornographic commerce is not just speech, privately consumed it is publicly certifiable recognition This is part of the meaning of every piece of porn, and what is difficult to communicate in the dominant culture is that the publicity of porn has profoundly different meanings for nonnormative sex practices When it comes to resources of recognition, queers do not begin on a level playing field 184 5 Warner does not preclude criticism of these worlds Of course, risky behaviour is often irrational and poorly throught through But those committed to addressing this should begin by taking seriously the reality of this world and its different values and definitions of health Doing this might even reveal that what might have seemed like problems can sometimes be so muchThe queerness that is repressed in this view may be finding expression in risk Sex has long been associated with death, in part because of its sublimity There is no sublimity without danger, without the scary ability to imagine ourselves and everything we hold dear, at least for a moment, as relatively valueless In this context, the pursuit of dangerous sex is not as simple as mere thrill seeking or self destructiveness In many cases it may represent deep and mostly unconscious thinking, about desire and the conditions that make life a value 213 Most poetic is the description of queer life in these spaces, which at their best emphasis mine used the awareness of commonly shared sexual shame to build a space that opposed hierarchies and stood in perpetual openness to learning from those traditionally cast down outside In those circles where queerness has been most cultivated, the ground rule is that one doesn t pretend to be above the indignity of sex And although this usually isn t announced as an ethical vision, that s what it perversely is In queer circles, you are likely to be teased and abused until you grasp the idea Sex is understood to be as various as the people who have it It is not required to be tidy, normal, uniform, or authorized by the government This kind of culture is often denounced as relativist, self indulgent, or merely libertine In fact, it has its own norms, its own way of keeping people in line I call its way of life an ethic not only because it is understood as a better kind of self relation, but because it is the premise of the special kind of sociability that holds queer culture together A relation to others, in these contexts, begins in an acknowledgment of all that is most abject and least reputable in oneself Shame is bedrock 35 You learn that everyone deviates from the norm in some context or other, and that the statistical norm has no moral value You begin to recognize how stultifying the faith in the norm can be You learn that the people who look most different from you can be, by virtue of that fact, the very people from whom you have the most to learn Your lot is cast with them, and you begin to recognize that there are other worlds of interaction that the mass media cannot comprehend, worlds that they can only deform when they project images of ghettos and other deviant scenes To seek out queer culture, to interact with it and learn from it, is a kind of public activity It is a way of transforming oneself, and at the same time helping to elaborate a commonly accessible world 70 1 For this reason, paradoxically the ethic of queer life is actually truer to the core of the modern notion of dignity than the usual use of the word is Dignity has at least two radically different meanings in our culture One is ancient, closely related to honor, and fundamentally an ethic of rank It is historically a value of nobility It requires soap Real estate doesn t hurt, either The other is modern and democratic Dignity in the latter sense is not pomp and distinction it is inherent in the human You can t, in a way, not have it At worst, others can simply fail to recognize your dignity These two notions of dignity have opposite implications for sex The most common judgments about sex assign dignity to some kinds married, heterosexual, private, loving , as long as they are out of sight, while all other kinds of sex are nodignified than defecating in public, and possibly less so That kind of dignity we might as well call bourgeois propriety In what I am calling queer culture, however, there is no truck with bourgeois propriety If sex is a kind of indignity, then we re all in it together And the paradoxical result is that only when this indignity of sex is spread around the room, leaving no one out, and in fact binding people together, that it begins to resemble the dignity of the human 36


  6. says:

    I can totally appreciate his assertion that we in the US need to admit that sex is being had by many people in many situations OTHER THAN marriage a monogamous relationship Only then can safe sex programs have a chance of working and being effective This insistence amongst our politicians that abstinence is the only safe sex read NO SEX policy to be taught is ridiculous, short sighted, and a cop out rather than a solution PEOPLE HAVE SEX Especially BEFORE and or totally outside of a mar I can totally appreciate his assertion that we in the US need to admit that sex is being had by many people in many situations OTHER THAN marriage a monogamous relationship Only then can safe sex programs have a chance of working and being effective This insistence amongst our politicians that abstinence is the only safe sex read NO SEX policy to be taught is ridiculous, short sighted, and a cop out rather than a solution PEOPLE HAVE SEX Especially BEFORE and or totally outside of a marriage monogamous relationship Guess what Some people may not want to ever get married And they shouldn t have to There are many ways to live life Heterosexual and married is NOT the ONLY path choice Get over it and deal Sheesh


  7. says:

    In some ways a late polemic in the Q vs R wars of the 1980s inside the gay community an attack on assimilationism Warner s The Trouble With Normal is also a fine meditation on the costs of the idea of normal itself, on how defining some lives as normal always excludes and demonizes others Warner makes the key point that in mass democracies like the US and especially in the mass media saturated US , statistically prevalent is made to equal normal and assigned moral value to In some ways a late polemic in the Q vs R wars of the 1980s inside the gay community an attack on assimilationism Warner s The Trouble With Normal is also a fine meditation on the costs of the idea of normal itself, on how defining some lives as normal always excludes and demonizes others Warner makes the key point that in mass democracies like the US and especially in the mass media saturated US , statistically prevalent is made to equal normal and assigned moral value to be normal moral is to be just like everyone else He argues that it s not just a political mistake for the gay community to pin its hopes on same sex marriage look we re married, we re just like you but a betrayal of all those folk, queer or not, who aren t happily in a married couple Normal , Warner argues, keeps us from asking deeper questions about what marriage does, or why long term monogamy is regarded as the Grail of personal relationships, or why one can only be moral or responsible if one s behaviours match the statistical mean Warner also focuses on the issue of normal as a shaming strategy, on how it s used to create sexual shame and both marginalise and privatise sexual identity and sexual communities Shame is always about social, public, disgrace, and Warner looks at the way normalisation not only undermines the gay and queer communities, but makes it impossible to be in American public life and be a sexual person or be seen as a supporter of the different A book well worth reading, and one that challenges readers to think about the costs of assimilation for the gay community as well as for anyone queer not part of the exclusive circle of normal


  8. says:

    A comprehensive and incisive excoriation of same sex marriage as a movement for gay liberation Warner s investigations of the interactions between gay shame and a push for same sex marriage see also Mattilda Bernstein Syca and Benjamin Shepard is a useful lens to explore the millions of dollars and volunteer hours going almost exclusively to same sex marriage advocacy at the expense of issues that arguably have a larger impact on the day to day lives of most queer and trans folks, fro A comprehensive and incisive excoriation of same sex marriage as a movement for gay liberation Warner s investigations of the interactions between gay shame and a push for same sex marriage see also Mattilda Bernstein Syca and Benjamin Shepard is a useful lens to explore the millions of dollars and volunteer hours going almost exclusively to same sex marriage advocacy at the expense of issues that arguably have a larger impact on the day to day lives of most queer and trans folks, from health care to housing to gentrification.This latter trend, which pits rich white gays and lesbians toward whom the advocacy organizations like the Human Rights Campaign are oriented against their less wealthy queer and trans sisters and brothers, assumes all thecurrency when reading gay assimilationist author activists like Michael Signorile, Dan Savage and Larry Kramer who, regardless of their counter cultural shock approaches are nonetheless reinforcing ideas of middle class normalcy as the long awaited future for queers Warner differs, and offers a radical notion of sexual autonomy and sexual ethics in their stead Though Warner seems somewhat unaware of the liberation theories advanced before him by radical feminists like Judith Butler and John Stoltenberg, trans theorists like Riki Wilchins and race theorists historians like Robin D.G Kelley, his critique of and within the queer community is well deserved


  9. says:

    This is my first foray into queer theory and it was an intense start While this book is a bit dated written in the late 1990 s , it certainly gave me a deeper understanding of the LGBTQ movement and the diverse perspectives within the queer community In some ways, this book felt similar to Why I Am Not a Feminist A Feminist Manifesto both authors feel that their movements have become too palatable and mild to create real change And both author talk about the patriarchal and heteronormativ This is my first foray into queer theory and it was an intense start While this book is a bit dated written in the late 1990 s , it certainly gave me a deeper understanding of the LGBTQ movement and the diverse perspectives within the queer community In some ways, this book felt similar to Why I Am Not a Feminist A Feminist Manifesto both authors feel that their movements have become too palatable and mild to create real change And both author talk about the patriarchal and heteronormative nature of many aspects of our current society especially marriage While this was an interesting read and gave me a lot to think about, I don t feel that it made me into a better ally


  10. says:

    Warners s argument is based in the ethical conviction that sexual autonomy should be a natural right in a sane and just society Why do our laws and culture require the criminalization and stigmatizing of consensual sex acts that aren t eveyone else s cup of tea He claims the gay marriage movement is obscuring the hierarchies of sexual shame that still operate within mainstream homophobia, playing into a system that privileges normalcy as a moral value, for some misguided reason in this countr Warners s argument is based in the ethical conviction that sexual autonomy should be a natural right in a sane and just society Why do our laws and culture require the criminalization and stigmatizing of consensual sex acts that aren t eveyone else s cup of tea He claims the gay marriage movement is obscuring the hierarchies of sexual shame that still operate within mainstream homophobia, playing into a system that privileges normalcy as a moral value, for some misguided reason in this country, it s normal to be poorly educated and in bad health, for example.Speaking of post gay magazine editor James Collard, who wants to de politicize the gay movement and publicly stereotyped queer culture as the gay ghetto in a Newsweek article of 1998, Warner compares Collard s tactics to those of the 1950 s normalizing movement, the Mattachine Society Then and now, homosexuals were and still are afraid to be seen as queerThen and now they bargained and still bargain for a debased pseudo dignity, the kind that is awarded as a bribe for disavowing the indignity of sex and the double indignity of a politics around sex The result has been a set of hierarchies Those whose sex is least threatening, along with those whose gender profiles seem least queer, are put forward as the good and acceptable face of the movement These, inevitably, are the ones who are staying home, making dinner for their boyfriends, for whom being gay means reading Newsweek The others, the queers who have sex in public toilets, who don t come out as happily gay, the sex workers, the lesbians who are too vocal about a taste for dildos or S M, the boys who flaunt it as pansies or as leathermen, the androgynes, the trannies and transgendered whose gender deviance makes them unassimilable to the menu of sexual orientations, the clones in the so called gay ghetto, the fist fuckers and popper snorters, the ones who actually like pornography all these flaming creatures are toldthat their great moment of liberation will come laterwhen we get to be aboutthan sexuality when, say, gay marriage is given the force of law Free at last I recommend this book highly well reasoned defence of sex in its own right, and analysis of how sexual identities are formed in response to public and private realms, scandal, shame, and the consolidation of voice and power that is the result of capitalist systems within media and politics