Jan 20 2012

Why are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform

Listen to the extended interview here | entire program

New campaign finance filings this week have shown that four New York state Republican Senators who broke with their party to back same-sex marriage, are being inundated with donations. According to the New York Times, “[t]he support for the … senators… is seen by gay rights leaders as symbolically important for their movement nationally, because in many states same-sex marriage could become law only with support from Republicans, as well as conservative Democrats.” As LGBT causes and culture becomes more mainstream, author and queer critic Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore asks the question of what is lost in the pursuit of conformity? In a new anthology she has just edited, called “Why are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform,” Sycamore describes how a “the intoxicating visions of gay liberation have given way to an obsession with beauty myth consumer norms, mandatory masculinity, objectification without appreciation, and a relentless drive to police the borders.” The book is a collection of nearly 30 essays by various writers “reinvok[ing] the anger, flamboyance, and subversion once thriving in gay subcultures, in order to imagine something dangerous and lovely, an exploration of the perils of assimilation; a call for accountability; a vision for change…”

GUEST: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is author of two novels, most recently So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008), and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies, including Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007) and an expanded second edition of That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2008). Her latest book is called Why are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform

Visit Mattilda’s website at www.mattildabernsteinsycamore.com.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore will be discussing her book in Los Angeles at:

Stories Books and Cafe, Echo Park
Sunday, January 22, 6:30 pm
1716 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026-3225
www.storiesla.com

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