By James Penney

After Queer Theory makes the provocative declare that queer idea has run its direction, made out of date through the elaboration of its personal common sense inside capitalism. James Penney argues that faraway from signalling the tip of anti-homophobic feedback, in spite of the fact that, the top of queer offers the social gathering to reconsider the relation among sexuality and politics.

Through a serious go back to Marxism and psychoanalysis (Freud and Lacan), Penney insists that find out how to implant sexuality within the box of political antagonism is mockingly to desert the exhausted premise of a politicised sexuality.

After Queer Theory argues that it will be important to wrest sexuality from the useless finish of identification politics, beginning it as much as a common emancipatory fight past the succeed in of capitalism's powers of commodification.

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But the devil, as they say, is in the detail. The Agenda’s members made their endorsements on the basis of results from a questionnaire circulated to New York state queers. Questions covered ‘the following topics: comprehensive civil rights protections; protecting students from anti-gay harassment in schools; funding for our health and human service needs; anti-discrimination protections in the issuing of insurance policies; funeral and bereavement leave for same-sex partners; opposition to the state anti-gay marriage bill; 40 Penney T02732 01 text 40 08/10/2013 08:16 the universal alternative support of multicultural curriculum in our schools; age-appropriate sex education; HIV transmission prevention and counselling for the seropositive; and recognition of our relationships through domestic partnership, civil union, and/or same-sex marriage legislation’.

The case of health care is probably the one that most clearly brings out the strategy’s most troubling political consequences. In the absence of any reference to the broad politics of health care as such, we’re led to assume that all will be fine as long as we queers are protected from the phobic discrimination of private insurance providers and the ominously named American health management organisations (HMOs). To be perfectly explicit, the health care system’s status quo is left entirely unquestioned; the frame is limited to the ambition of preventing discrimination against queers in the system as it currently stands.

I might also be reproached for a naïvety, for a lack of appreciation for certain American political realities. ‘He’s clearly unaware of the full diversity of forms of politicisation in the historical gay and lesbian movements’, some might interject. There are, after all, lesbian Republicans, and an inclusive Pride Agenda should set itself the task of providing them as well with the information they need to exercise their constitutionally enshrined democratic rights. Further, sceptics might reason that the leaflet makes no assumptions at all about its readers’ other, non-gay-related, political convictions: 42 Penney T02732 01 text 42 08/10/2013 08:16 the universal alternative it simply presents itself as a resource to a constituency united by its concern for a particular experience of discrimination or marginalisation linked to homosexual desire.

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