Samuele Grassi

How to Build a Liveable Queer Life. On Queer Youths in Italy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: gender, Generazione Famiglia, homophobia, transfobia, queer pedagogies

In both her Introduction to Epistemology of the Closet and her essay, How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay Eve K. Sedgwick developed a critique of institutionalised homophobia and of fears of «liveable» gay citizenship. She also warned of the dangers of essentialism in gay-affirmative, constructivist nature/culture approaches. Sedgwick has taught us how the minoritizing view (when issues of homo/hetero-sexualities appeal only to a restricted number of people) and the universalizing view (when they trigger a response from people of all sexualities) permeate both nature and culture, overlapping with institutional discourses and technologies by the State, the military, the Church, the family, education, psychology, and psychiatry. In this paper I shall examine the recent Italian Family Day #FreedomBus tour and its campaign to «stop gender theory in schools», through the lens of Sedgwick’s «discussion of institutions». I will ask key research questions from a queer pedagogical perspective, such as: where can young people get good advice on gay options in Italy? Does neo-liberal popular culture show any signs of erotic investment in «gay» identities? In addressing Sedgwick’s insistence on gay youths, as opposed to queer youths, I will investigate the possibility that spaces «closed off» by the State may puncture the institutionalised view of «a liveable life» and, in doing so, generate the kind of «erotic investment» in queer citizenship that Sedgwick called for in her writings.

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