Rural queer studies scholars have critiqued the metronormativity of LGBTQ Studies and activism, urging us to re-think the cultural narratives that pair closeted and homophobic with the rural and liberated and tolerant with the city. This panel builds upon this body of work to ask: What might rural queer studies offer as we (re)conceptualize LGBTQ activism and scholarship post “marriage equality?” How might rural queer studies’ analyses of place—the rural, urban, and non-West—inform our creation of diverse, vibrant, and nuanced approaches to LGBTQ politics that differ across place, and how might we view such disparate rhizomatic approaches as crucial to broad social change? Panelists consider specific cases of recent LGBTQ events in non-metropolitan areas to examine the relevance of contemporary LGBTQ activism to rural LGBTQ folks and also to imagine LGBTQ activism and rural LGBTQ lives otherwise.
Katherine Schweighofer: “Potty Politics: Spatializing Trans Restroom Debates” (full abstract)
Jae Basiliere: “Reactions and Redirected Efforts: Non-Metropolitan Drag Activism in the Wake of Marriage Equality” (full abstract)
Carly Thomsen: “Rural Queer Scholarship and Activism: The Question of Ethics” (full abstract)