What constitutes lesbian identity? The term homonormativity describes current prevailing idealized assumptions about lesbian identity. This concept, however, marginalizes subgroups within the greater lesbian population. Challenging Lesbian Norms: Intersex, Transgender, Intersectional, and Queer Perspectives dynamically confronts homonormativity in lesbian communities by presenting expert multidisciplinary discussion about what is a definable lesbian identity. This text sensitively explores difficult issues about gender policing and the viewpoints in lesbian communities that hold that transgender, intersectional, and queer individuals are considered to have ‘false consciousness.’ Consequences of lesbian normativity, both for lesbian communities and for marginalized groups are examined through literary criticism, lesbian, feminist, and queer theories, corporeal philosophy, film, television, cultural criticism, personal narratives, public health, and field research. The issue of the authenticity of lesbian identity causes rifts between some lesbian communities and the groups that strive to be included, yet are still marginalized. Challenging Lesbian Norms directly exposes practices and beliefs within lesbian communities that lead to the assumption of the prototypical lesbian. The book courageously reveals the similarities of lesbian normative stances with other views such as Christian conservative rhetoric, and reviews the health consequences of being marginalized within the lesbian communities. This text actively challenges the foundational notion within lesbian communities that a stable, immutable lesbian sex exists. Topics in Challenging Lesbian Norms include: human physiology, the flexibility of sexuality, and biologic determinism marginalization within lesbian communities transexualism and Lesbian Theory gender and sexual identity construction, partnering practices, and issues involving queer-identified youth demystification of the gay vibe from a femme queer woman’s perspective lesbian feminism, gender policing, and casting butch, FTM, and transgendered subjectivities as “false conciousness” representations of lesbians in television movies Native-American “two-spirit” women teaching transgender, and its transformative effect identity modeling inclusion of transgender and intersex individuals within the lesbian communities transgender characters in film Latina lesbians and mental health Challenging Lesbian Norms is stimulating, eye-opening reading that is perfect for activists, educators and students in LGBT and women’s studies, and public health professionals.
By Angela Pattatucci-Aragon, 2013