Title

Embracing the Catastrophe Gay Body Seeks Acceptance

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2007

Keywords

subjectivity, gay culture, bathhouse, performativity, narrative, aestheticized body, Butler, mindfulness, Boystown

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800406294934

Abstract

This article examines the constitution of gay male identity through embodied performances in Steamworks, a gay male bathhouse in Chicago. Motivated by Kabat-Zinn's (1990) Buddhist conceptualizations of catastrophe and mindfulness, I reflectively track the ways in which desirability influences disconnection and identity negotiation as it occurs within a pervasive, generalized, and highly influential conceptualization of the idealized gay male body. Personal narratives scan experiences at Steamworks in which my body—less than the “ideal”—matters to me and to others culturally. I use Butler's (1990) notion of performativity to propose stylized and normative ways in which subjectivity comes to be through uses of the body.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

No

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Qualitative Inquiry, v. 13, issue 2, p. 259-281.

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