Hi everybody. I’m pasting a draft of the section introduction written by the “Sexuality and Self-Disclosure” group. They’ve done a great job, and I thought it would be helpful for others to see.
SEXUALITY AND SELF-DISCLOSURE
Nicola Certo, Liz Foley and Kat Vecchio
Each public disclosure of a private reality becomes something of a magnet that can attract others with a similar frame of reference; thus each public disclosure…serves as a dismantling tool against the illusion of ONE-TRIBE NATION; it lifts the curtains for a brief peek and reveals the probable existence of literally millions of tribes.
Each of these three projects examines the means by which a group of people have publicly disclosed a historically stigmatized sexual identity and the implications of that form of disclosure, both for the authors of the message and the audience that receives it. Whether the disclosers are post-Stonewall gay and lesbian artists writing memoirs that are explicit about their sexual lives, ordinary queer people using social media as tools to facilitate and amplify their comings-out, or polyamorists using mainstream media outlets to combat misunderstandings about their sexual practices and ethics, the goal in each case is to claim public space and visibility for identities that were formerly invisible or visible only in a negative light.
In “[title TBD],” Liz Foley traces a tradition among queer memoirists of choosing autobiographical forms that disrupt conventional narrative. Her argument considers the connections between narrative and self-construction and asks whether anti-narrative techniques can nonetheless produce effects of narrative satisfaction in both queer and general readerships. In “Isn’t it Too Much for YouTube?,” Nicola Certo explores the recent phenomenon of posting coming-out videos on YouTube. Using the case of the Rhodes brothers as a starting point, he raises questions as to whether the coming-out process, once seen as an act of personal liberation that simultaneously increased the visibility of a larger group, has now reached a historical stage at which it can be used for careerist or narcissistic ends. And in “The Use of Candor by Polyamorists to Create Understanding and Empathy with Outsiders,” Kat Vecchio’s focus is on polyamorists’ efforts to use mainstream media platforms to speak candidly about their multiple concurrent romantic relationships, with the goals of increasing polyamory’s visibility and combatting misperceptions about the polyamorist community on the part of the general public.