Acceptability of LGBTQ through Performativity

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Society has been biased towards normativity and is critical about those who are not falling in line with the majority. There is homophobia in people and there have been many attacks on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ). This paper studies ”homophobia” in the autobiographic fiction, ‘Revathi’. This paper also studies how the multi-pronged approach, especially pink-capitalism, performativity of gender and political will can make LGBTQ acceptable

Homophobia is the irrational hatred, intolerance,and fear of lesbian, gay, and bisexual or transgender people.

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 Queer theory challenges the notion of defined and finite identity categories, as well as norms that create a binary of good versus bad sexualities. Queer theorists’ contention is that there is no set formal, only changing norms that people may or may not fit into, making queer theorists’ main challenge to disrupt binaries in hopes that this will destroy difference as well as inequality.

One of the key concepts in queer theory is the idea of “heteronormativity,” which pertains to “the institutions, structures of understanding and practical orientations that make heterosexuality seem not only coherent- that is, organized as a sexuality-but also privileged”(Berlant).

Heteronormativity promotes heterosexuality as the normal and/or preferred sexual orientation, and is reinforced in society through the institutions of marriage, taxes, employment, and adoption rights among many others. Heteronormativity is a form of power and control that applies pressure on the LGBTQ, through institutional arrangements and accepted social norms.

One’s sexuality cannot be disconnected from the categories such as one’s social status and identity. Analyzing with a queer perspective has the potential to undermine the base structure on which any identity relies on(although it does this without completely destroying or forsaking categories of identity), the theory has been understood to be just about questions of sexuality. This perception that queer theory is solely about sexuality has been opposed by having an intersectional approach that starts off with the hypothesis that sexuality cannot be disconnected from other categories of social status and identity. This allows queer theory to become interdisciplinary and thus create new ways of thinking in how sexuality shapes and is shaped by other factors.

Disrupting the defined binaries takes a multi-pronged approach. Governments have their own take on issues of gender equality. Lately, Indian government recognized and allowed transsexuals and transgender to register their gender/sexuality as ‘third gender’. This is a very big step made towards bringing the justice and equality to the much neglected and marginalized LGBTs. However, this alone will not achieve the gender equality.

Homonormativity in various forms and guises of the notion that “humanity and heterosexuality are synonymous” became the key goal of a rallying cry of Queer studies”. “Gender performativity is a repeated process that ultimately creates the subject as a subject. Butler’s work brings to light the creation of gender contesting…..”[1] Gender is an aspect of identity that is gradually acquired. Just like ‘’Gender performativity,’’ what is created and influenced by society and culture can be counter-influenced by performativity of the opposite.

A society’s feelings and desires, likes and dislikes, comforts and conflicts are well influenced and dominated by capitalist thought. Capitalism decides the way the society and its people function, the food they eat, the dresses they wear to name a few. I would like to argue that the same capitalism, specifically pink-capitalism, can be used as a counter-force to gender binary and the heteronormativity.

Pink-capitalism is a fusion of capitalism, and LGBT movement and sexual diversity. It is an innovative thought from the aspect of market economy. It is also known as rainbow capitalism, homo capitalism or gay capitalism. Pink capitalism is a targeted inclusion of the gay community which has acquired sufficient purchasing power to generate market focused specifically on them. Examples of such targeted inclusion are bars and night clubs, LGBT tourism, or specialized culture consumption. Purchasing power of LGBT community is a positive force which helps them feel like they are part of society that values them.

It is likely that without the political legitimacy given by e capitalist model of consumption some civil and political rights would not have been achieved. Though pink-capitalism is much debatable from the point of economy, it gives an increasing opportunity for homo socialization. The drive towards assimilation of sexual diversity caused by the companies’ definition of new consumption patterns. The new body aesthetics and fashion trends set by advertising canons employing pink capitalism, for example, are sometimes argued to push gender-diverse communities towards socially accepted sexual standards.

In 1994, ABVA filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Delhi High Court, challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 – it was on eof the first legal protests against government repression of the LGBTQ community. The PIL also gave India its first champion of gay rights – the ABVA, which had published in 1991 a ground-breaking pamphlet, “Less Than Gay”, a citizens’ report on the discrimination faced by the community in India. The petition was dismissed in 2001. But it had set the ball rolling. In a landmark judgment for the LGBT community in the country, the Supreme court lifted a colonial-era ban on gay sex on 6th September 2018.

Coming from different parts of the country with diverse religion, age, sex and other backgrounds, the petitioners said that section 377 legitimizes the stigma associated with sexual orientation and its expression. The Supreme Court has scrapped Section 377 of the IPC, decriminalizing the 158-year-old colonial law which criminalizes consensual gay sex.

Section 377 is scrapped. But the cultural shift will still take some time. Not all hotels that used to accept hetero couples will automatically be okay with accepting homosexual couples as well. Stayuncle has launched gay couple friendly hotel booking across India. With UberPride, the company is building a diverse and inclusive workplace specifically focused on making LGBTQ individuals feel welcomed. The company is actively promoting LGBTQ rights in cities they operate. The company has received a score of 100 for HRC’S Corporate Equality index over the past years.

IKEA Group: developed fully inclusive work environments and knwn for having morethan half of its workforce made of minorities and 47% of its employees are women. On May 17th, IKEA Group celebrated IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) to stand up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. In 2018, IKES’ focus was on transgender inclusion.

MICROSOFT Consistently earns a perfect rating with HRC’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and constantly advocates for marginalized groups. “GLEAM”is the lesbian,gay,bisexual, and tranger(LGBT+) employee resource group at Microsoft. IBM, PayPal, Coca-cola,Gap Inc., Accenture, HP Inc.,Hyatt, AT&T, Apple, Google, facebook, youtube and Microsoft hailed the cancellation of Section 377.

Indian e-commerce giant, Flipkart, said, “Here’s to celebrating he cancelled order that has delivered dignity, equality, individualism and freedom.” Food-delivery app, Swiggy, changed its logo to the pride colours. Swiggy’rival Zomato shot sharp and said, “Let’s get one thig straight. Love is Love.”

Sponsorships, advertising, and product placements are examples of some of the public acts. Companies such as… Mainstream acceptance and endorsements from huge corporations is a major influence. This is really benefitting the community. Although there are few companies trying to take advantage of the community there are many companies that are being sincere in their support while also doing what any other business wants do: make profit. All these corporations that will not only attach their name to the case for recognition, but actively bring awareness and provide services that will help the LGBTQ community with challenges that it faces now. “Support and acceptance” for equality and inclusivity is very much needed. Capitalism is everywhere now and its influence can never be ignored. It is a fact that the social influence.

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Acceptability of LGBTQ through Performativity. (2020, Mar 25). Retrieved from