Journal of Lesbian Studies 20(1): 29-45

"Womanhood Does Not Reside in Documentation": Queer and Feminist Student Activism for Transgender Women's Inclusion at Women's Colleges

This article considers queer-driven student activism at Smith College, as well as admissions policy shifts at a number of prominent U.S. women's colleges for transgender women's inclusion. The author illustrates how student attempts to dismantle the transmisogyny at Smith as a purportedly feminist “women's” space, as well as some women's colleges' shifts in admissions policy, challenge divisions between transgender and cisgender women. This paradigmatic shift reflects the campuses as comparative havens for gender and sexual exploration, the influence of postmodern gender theory in understanding identity, and the growth of “queer” as an all-encompassing signifier for sexual and gender transgression.
Journal of Homosexuality 62(9): 1147-1173

Daring to Marry: Marriage Equality Activism After Proposition 8 as Challenge to the Assimilationist/Radical Binary in Queer Studies

I analyze three case studies of marriage equality activism and marriage equality–based groups after the passage of Proposition 8 in California. Evaluating the JoinTheImpact protests of 2008, the LGBTQ rights group GetEQUAL, and the group One Struggle One Fight, I argue that these groups revise queer theoretical arguments about marriage equality activism as by definition assimilationist, homonormative, and single-issue. In contrast to such claims, the cases studied here provide a snapshot of heterogeneous, intersectional, and coalition-based social justice work in which creative methods of protest, including direct action and flash mobs, are deployed in militant ways for marriage rights and beyond.
Sexualities 15(5/6): 679-701

What's Wrong With Be(com)ing Queer? Biological Determinism as Discursive Queer Hegemony

This article analyzes the current dichotomy in American political and popular culture between pro-gay biological determinism, which is used to argue for LGBTQ rights, and anti-gay social constructionist ideas. This pro-gay biological determinism results in a politics of exclusion that renders queer identities falling outside a biological, lifelong model invisible. Building on Lisa Duggan’s notion of homonormativity, the author describes this discursive production as biological homonormativity, illustrated through an analysis of three key sites: an exchange between lesbian music icon Melissa Etheridge and Governor Bill Richardson during an LGBT political forum; the legal proceedings of Perry v. Schwarzenegger; and the gay cult film ‘But I’m a Cheerleader!’