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Black Lesbian and Gay Periodicals and “the (White) Gay Community,” 1991-1995

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Abstract:

Discussions about oppression and liberation have been central to lesbian and gay periodical coverage and how writers from these publications represented ideas of community in the last third of the twentieth century. In promoting these ideas, these writers generally sought to encourage readers to embrace lifestyles apart from the conventions of family, heterosexuality, and reproduction. Thus they used “the gay community” as a rhetorical vehicle to promote shared visions of queer ethics, ones that embraced gay identities as plastic and advocated new ways to think about the future. Yet, “the gay community” often went unqualified, thereby concealing recognition of class, race, and gender and privileging the least oppressed within that community – affluent gay white men.
My paper will explore how lesbian and gay periodicals directed at black readers defined liberation and oppression from the perspective of being gay and black and in so doing offered a critique of the presumed inclusivity of the gay community. It will focus on coverage from 1991 to 1995 – a period when black lesbian and gay periodicals became prominent in places with large African-American populations such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. – and will reflect on themes discussed by writers from these various areas. These themes include the political problems raised by intersectionality not recognized in the white male dominated gay press; uses of historical narratives by black lesbian and gay male writers in effort to construct black gay identities; and economic self-help, an issue largely ignored in many gay periodicals. Taken together, my paper seeks to remind scholars that visions of social justice must reckon with the particular modes of oppression rooted in multiple forms of difference.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p433930_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Palmer, David. "Black Lesbian and Gay Periodicals and “the (White) Gay Community,” 1991-1995" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p433930_index.html>

APA Citation:

Palmer, D. "Black Lesbian and Gay Periodicals and “the (White) Gay Community,” 1991-1995" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p433930_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: Discussions about oppression and liberation have been central to lesbian and gay periodical coverage and how writers from these publications represented ideas of community in the last third of the twentieth century. In promoting these ideas, these writers generally sought to encourage readers to embrace lifestyles apart from the conventions of family, heterosexuality, and reproduction. Thus they used “the gay community” as a rhetorical vehicle to promote shared visions of queer ethics, ones that embraced gay identities as plastic and advocated new ways to think about the future. Yet, “the gay community” often went unqualified, thereby concealing recognition of class, race, and gender and privileging the least oppressed within that community – affluent gay white men.
My paper will explore how lesbian and gay periodicals directed at black readers defined liberation and oppression from the perspective of being gay and black and in so doing offered a critique of the presumed inclusivity of the gay community. It will focus on coverage from 1991 to 1995 – a period when black lesbian and gay periodicals became prominent in places with large African-American populations such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. – and will reflect on themes discussed by writers from these various areas. These themes include the political problems raised by intersectionality not recognized in the white male dominated gay press; uses of historical narratives by black lesbian and gay male writers in effort to construct black gay identities; and economic self-help, an issue largely ignored in many gay periodicals. Taken together, my paper seeks to remind scholars that visions of social justice must reckon with the particular modes of oppression rooted in multiple forms of difference.


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