What constitutes lesbian identity?

The term homonormativity describes current prevailing idealized assumptions about lesbian identity. This concept, however, marginalizes subgroups within the greater lesbian population. Challenging Lesbian Norms: Intersex, Transgender, Intersectional, and Queer Perspectives dynamically confronts homonormativity in lesbian communities by presenting expert multidisciplinary discussion about what is a definable lesbian identity. This text sensitively explores difficult issues about gender policing and the viewpoints in lesbian communities that hold that transgender, intersectional, and queer individuals are considered to have 'false consciousness.' Consequences of lesbian normativity, both for lesbian communities and for marginalized groups are examined through literary criticism, lesbian, feminist, and queer theories, corporeal philosophy, film, television, cultural criticism, personal narratives, public health, and field research.

The issue of the authenticity of lesbian identity causes rifts between some lesbian communities and the groups that strive to be included, yet are still marginalized. Challenging Lesbian Norms directly exposes practices and beliefs within lesbian communities that lead to the assumption of the prototypical lesbian. The book courageously reveals the similarities of lesbian normative stances with other views such as Christian conservative rhetoric, and reviews the health consequences of being marginalized within the lesbian communities. This text actively challenges the foundational notion within lesbian communities that a stable, immutable lesbian sex exists.

Topics in Challenging Lesbian Norms include:

  • human physiology, the flexibility of sexuality, and biologic determinism
  • marginalization within lesbian communities
  • transexualism and Lesbian Theory
  • gender and sexual identity construction, partnering practices, and issues involving queer-identified youth
  • demystification of the gay vibe from a femme queer woman’s perspective
  • lesbian feminism, gender policing, and casting butch, FTM, and transgendered subjectivities as “false conciousness”
  • representations of lesbians in television movies
  • Native-American “two-spirit” women
  • teaching transgender, and its transformative effect
  • identity modeling
  • inclusion of transgender and intersex individuals within the lesbian communities
  • transgender characters in film
  • Latina lesbians and mental health

Challenging Lesbian Norms is stimulating, eye-opening reading that is perfect for activists, educators and students in LGBT and women’s studies, and public health professionals.

  • Introduction: Challenging Lesbian Normativity (Angela Pattatucci-Aragón)
  • Fleshy Specificity: (Re)considering Transsexual Subjects in Lesbian Communities (Kelly Coogan)
  • The Invisible Body of Queer Youth: Identity and Health in the Margins of Lesbian and Trans Communities (Dorinda L. Welle, Sebastian S. Fuller, Daniel Mauk, and Michael C. Clatts)
  • “Gee, I Didn’t Get That Vibe from You” Articulating My Own Version of a Femme Lesbian Existence (Robbin VanNewkirk)
  • Gender Please, Without the Gender Police: Rethinking Pain in Archetypical Narratives of Butch, Transgender, and FTM Masculinity (Madelyn Detloff)
  • Household Remedies: New Narratives of Queer Containment in the Television Movie (Cait Keegan)
  • “My Spirit in My Heart”: Identity Experiences and Challenges Among American Indian Two-Spirit Women (Karina L. Walters, Teresa Evans-Campbell, Jane M. Simoni, Theresa Ronquillo, and Rupaleem Bhuyan)
  • Teaching Transgender in Women’s Studies: Snarls and Strategies (Sara E. Cooper and Connor James Treba)
  • Developing an Identity Model for Transgender and Intersex Inclusion in Lesbian Communities (Christopher Robinson)
  • An Other Space: Between and Beyond Lesbian-Normativity and Trans-Normativity (Myfanwy McDonald)
  • In Another Bracket: Trans Acceptance in Lesbian Utopia (Jamie Stuart)
  • Debating Trans Inclusion in the Feminist Movement: A Trans-Positive Analysis (Eli R. Green)
  • I Don’t Know Who I Am: Severely Mentally Ill Latina WSW Navigating Differentness (Sana Loue and Nancy Méndez)
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included