Resisting "Homo-Hegemony": Bears, Homonormativity, and the Cultural Politics of Sameness and Difference

By Aaron Hoy.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: November 5, 2015 $US5.00

This article examines the cultural politics of “Bear” subculture and its relationship to homonormativity. It argues that Bears perform homonormativity first, because their politics are learned about and enacted through individual acts of consumption and second, because they allow Bears to pass as heterosexual and thereby, to participate in the reproduction of heteronormativity. However, because their goals are to pluralize the bodily norms of gay male culture and to build acceptance for non-normatively embodied gay men, these are also a politics of difference. This complicates our conception of homonormativity, which is often reduced to a politics that aims to achieve assimilation by emphasizing the fundamental similarities between gays and lesbians and heterosexuals

Keywords: Cultural Studies, Sociology, LGBT/Queer Studies

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, October 2015, pp.27-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: November 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 518.299KB)).

Aaron Hoy

Doctoral Student, Department of Sociology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA