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Recognition and the Other
Unformatted Document Text:  Recognition and the Other, p. 10 On the contrary, in order to honor an Other more than yourself you need to be very present in your own Self place, to the point that you are in that moment relating with Other very conscious of the uniqueness of your Self and thus of the Other’s Self" (Winkler, 124). Queer as Other If heterosexuality is a practice the heart of which constructs gender (i.e. her womanliness is measured by her sexual relationship with a man, etc.), than queer identity disrupts gender, destabilizes it, at the same time as it reifies it. That is, the very thing that makes one lesbian (same-sex partners) both upholds (constructs, adds to) a binary gender system and deconstructs it because if being with a man is at the heart of being a woman, than as a lesbian she can not be a woman. She is the doubly alienated other -- not heterosexual, not woman. We might call this a paradox of identity. The gendered strains of the Other are visible in Levinas when, drawing on the Old Testament, he evokes the triad of "widow, orphan, and stranger." Queers are strangers in all three senses -- we are widows who have lost our beloveds to the state which fails to recognize them (we cannot marry); we are orphans to our parents and the state which refuses to claim us as their own (astonishing numbers of runaway teens identify as queer, the restrictions on adoptions, public education); and we are strangers everywhere, always from another country (cannot serve in the military). Lacking full citizenship, we are estranged in our so-called homelands. So when a plurality of voices join together with a united condemnation of "homosexuality," of what moral significance is the response: "We are your sons and your daughters, your brother sisters uncles cousins"? Symbolically, it is one means to enfamily ourselves, to make ourselves familiar, recognizable. But it is also to frame the request in terms

Authors: Lipari, Lisbeth.
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Recognition and the Other, p. 10
On the contrary, in order to honor an Other more than yourself you need to be very
present in your own Self place, to the point that you are in that moment relating with
Other very conscious of the uniqueness of your Self and thus of the Other’s Self"
(Winkler, 124).
Queer as Other
If heterosexuality is a practice the heart of which constructs gender (i.e. her womanliness
is measured by her sexual relationship with a man, etc.), than queer identity disrupts gender,
destabilizes it, at the same time as it reifies it. That is, the very thing that makes one lesbian
(same-sex partners) both upholds (constructs, adds to) a binary gender system and deconstructs it
because if being with a man is at the heart of being a woman, than as a lesbian she can not be a
woman. She is the doubly alienated other -- not heterosexual, not woman. We might call this a
paradox of identity.
The gendered strains of the Other are visible in Levinas when, drawing on the Old
Testament, he evokes the triad of "widow, orphan, and stranger." Queers are strangers in all three
senses -- we are widows who have lost our beloveds to the state which fails to recognize them
(we cannot marry); we are orphans to our parents and the state which refuses to claim us as their
own (astonishing numbers of runaway teens identify as queer, the restrictions on adoptions,
public education); and we are strangers everywhere, always from another country (cannot serve
in the military). Lacking full citizenship, we are estranged in our so-called homelands.
So when a plurality of voices join together with a united condemnation of
"homosexuality," of what moral significance is the response: "We are your sons and your
daughters, your brother sisters uncles cousins"? Symbolically, it is one means to enfamily
ourselves, to make ourselves familiar, recognizable. But it is also to frame the request in terms


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