Deconstructing and Reconstructing Identity: How Queer Liberation Organizations Deploy Collective Identities

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Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

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Gay liberation movement -- United States, Sexual minorities -- Political activity -- United States, Gay rights -- United States, Social movements -- United States, Sexual minorities -- United States -- Identity, Minority gays -- United States, Minority lesbians -- United States


The mainstream gay rights movement has made significant strides toward its agenda, at least in part due to the movement’s claim that it represents all the interests of all LGBTQ communities. However, a queer liberation movement (QLM) led by queer people of color and other marginalized LGBTQ people has existed alongside the mainstream movement since its inception. This movement pursues a radically different agenda and employs organizing strategies distinct from those of the mainstream movement, centering the interests of those LGBTQ people most often left behind by the mainstream agenda. This paper examines how the QLM negotiates and deploys collective identity in and through its work. Collective identity is explored in the context of existing LGBTQ social movement theory and points to how the QLM challenges and extends social movement theorizing regarding collective identity and use of identity as a site for organizing.


© 2018 Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

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