Gay Life Against Marriage

A review of Derek Jarman's At Your Own Risk in The New Inquiry.

Under the sign of marriage, gay politics seems poised on the brink of completion. Only a few more legislative coups, only a few more senators to lobby, and gays and lesbians will attain the full status of citizens in liberal democracy. The groom and the soldier, prototypically patriarchal fetishes, are the mark of a new sober, mature gay politics. But the facile narrative whereby gays come out of the closet only to prepare for their wedding day with the State abandons the memory of the thousands who died along with the gay world of the liberationist era. It was only paradoxically through the crucible of mass death that a healthy, respectable gay figure could be advanced to petition for inclusion. Now the mainstream gay rights movement thinks of its past as juvenile indulgence at best and suicidal nihilism at worst. That is, if it thinks back at all.

Published in: The New Inquiry
By: Max Fox

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