Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ties That Bind

I just finished reading Ties that Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences by Sarah Schulman.

I had recommended it for a student, and then thought I should check it out myself. It turned out to be impossible to put down.

Ties that Bind is about the active exclusion of gay people that exists at every level in our culture. The family is a primary, crucial institution for instilling and enacting homophobia and heterosexual privilege, and Schulman unflinchingly examines the injustice of this shunning. It is a call for third party intervention, for others to defend the rights to dignity and inclusion that the victims deserve. It includes very interesting sections on other kinds of victimization and abuse and silencing, which illuminate the particular consequences for queers. It also includes examples from the authors personal history which very powerfully illustrate the injustices of homophobia in the family, as well as in the world of art, entertainment, and publishing.

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