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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Gone shopping: the commercialization of same-sex desire.

Author: Ingebretsen, R
Author Background: English Dept., Georgetown, Univ., Washington, DC 20057
Date 4/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity
Volume/Pages 4(2): 125-148
Subject Matter Homosexuality-; Gays-; Lesbians-; Marketing-; Politics
Abstract Marketplace phenomena, such as gay window advertising, reflect the extent to which the commercialization of same-sex desire permits marginalized or stigmatized forms of sexual behavior literally to sell their way into consumer culture. This reverse accommodation, economically managed, effectively undercuts any political gain that might arguably accrue around such increasing visibility. To the contrary, this essay argues that economic display reactivates an ancient and virulent form of prejudice, an interlacing of sexual difference, economics and social scapegoating that has a very long history. Market politics, then, dangerously reconstitutes the pre-Stonewall closet. Finally, the containment made possible by economic enthrallment is as terminal as the more traditional stigmatizing usually associated with the agencies of religion, law, and medicine. Shopping queer is only another way of redeploying very old weapons, only this time, employing them against ourselves. (Journal abstract.)