Thinking beyond homonormativity: performative explorations of diverse gay economies
This paper performatively decentres the role of mainstream gay consumption in contemporary thought about the economic and social lives of lesbians and gay men in the Global North. It is simultaneously critical and reparative in outlook. This paper critically engages with recent writing on homonormativity, suggesting that this work presents ‘homonormativity’ as an all-encompassing structure that becomes politically unassailable. In parallel with an analysis of contemporary lesbian and gay life as being complicit in the reproduction of various normativities, this paper takes the innovative and reparative stance of considering how such spaces and practices also produce interdependent relationships across social difference. Drawing on the recent work of Gibson-Graham (2006, A Postcapitalist Politics University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN) this paper considers the prospects for outlining the diversity of lesbian and gay economic practices, with the performative ambition of making existing noncapitalist practices more visible and viable. To this end, the paper examines a number of gay spaces and practices to consider the different forms of enterprise, transactions, and labour that take place within them. On the basis of its preliminary inventory of diverse gay economic practices and spaces, this paper proposes that there are many aspects of contemporary urban gay life that already offer alternatives to the homonormative practices of neoliberalism.
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