Date of Award

8-12-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Wendy Simonds

Second Advisor

Dr. Rosalind Chou

Third Advisor

Dr. Maura Ryan

Abstract

In this dissertation, I examine the internal divisions in LGBT/Q communities. I illustrate how the notion of a single, unified community is not only fictive, but counter to the goals of liberation. Utilizing critical discourse analysis, I examine cultural artifacts of the contemporary gay rights movement to determine who has the power to shape domestic and international gay rights discourse. I analyze the role of gay citizenship through the same-sex marriage debates, the creation of the homonational soldier, and how gay rights is employed in international conflicts to strategically promote some countries as progressive, while denouncing others as backwards. I argue that the gay rights movement does not address the needs of all members of LGBT/Q communities, but rather, focuses on the wants of the elite and privileged. Despite recent advances, the gay rights movement has been stunted by a limited and marginalizing focus on normalization. Lastly, I present a queer perspective on gay rights and reimagine a movement that is more courageous and inclusive.

Available for download on Friday, July 27, 2018

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