Outing as Performance / Outing as Resistance: A Queer Reading of Austrian (Homo)Sexualities

Essay Excerpt

With these analytic tools, I propose to read the Outing-affair as a politically veiled performative act that exposed the unequal structuration of the sociosexual field in at least three ways. First, in Austria's homophobic social field, the threat of the dissolution of the heteronormative grid6 provoked a violent reassertion of heterosexist hegemony, which exposed the mechanisms underlying the unequal constitution and valuation of various sexual identities. Second, the ostensibly well-meaning response of liberal commentators and the liberal press revealed a deep-seated paternalism that disciplined and circumscribed lesbian and gay lives through the persistent deployment of homophobic stereotypes of sexual pathology. And third, the repeated invocation of the right to privacy not only demonstrated the unequal stratification of privacy in a hetero/homo regime, but also exposed the construction of the very concept of privacy as the bearer of the traces of sexual difference (134).

Bunzl, M. "Outing as Performance / Outing as Resistance: A Queer Reading of Austrian (Homo)Sexualities." Cultural Anthropology 12.1(1997): 129–151.

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