The search for place and context: locating strategies of resistance in gay and lesbian subjectivity

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University of Alabama Libraries

This dissertation is about the nature of community and the substance of individual and collective subjectivity. Specifically, I interrogate the character of gay and lesbian subjectivity by investigating the ways in which the gay or lesbian subject is constituted through the discourse on same-sex marriage and military service. I argue that recasting gay subjectivity uncovers more meaningful ontological possibilities for the emergence of a new description of an individual who has relational and social attachments to a broader community while maintaining fidelity and integrity to descriptions of the self. I argue that gay subjectivity begins as a search for models, a search for examples, and of a representation of the self. Gay subjectivity is about a search for place and context in an environment that views homosexuality as merely a marginal sexual identity. It is in this environment that gay and lesbian subjectivity is produced through a heteronormative discourse that distorts what it means to be gay. I argue that marital equality and unqualified military service successfully fulfill the Foucaultian promise of meaningful resistance which allows for a fuller, more meaningful subjectivity to be embraced by gays and lesbians.

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Political science