Queer by Choice: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Politics of Identity
by Vera Whisman
Are lesbians and gays born? Or are they "made" - constructed by themselves and by their culture? Recent medical findings suggest that there might be ... Show synopsis Are lesbians and gays born? Or are they "made" - constructed by themselves and by their culture? Recent medical findings suggest that there might be a hereditary component to sexual identity, but actual experiences of choice and determination vary widely among gays and lesbians. Drawing on interviews with a diverse group of lesbians and gay men, Vera Whisman analyzes if, and to what extent, choice plays a role in determining sexuality. The answers are neither always clean nor always consistent, and they will have both positive and negative implications for gay men and lesbians as public debates on gender and sexuality escalate. The author finds that when public opinion privileges those whose sexual preference is determined and silences those who choose it, an exclusionary, male-dominated gay politics can result. As a response, we are asked to consider the possibility of chosen homosexuality as one way of making gay and lesbian political organizing more radical, democratic, and egalitarian.