Reading John D'Emilio's "Capitalism and the Gay Identity" connected capitalism with identity formation in a completely new way for me. In this article, he identified very strongly with the gay and lesbian faction and it surprised me when he said that being gay was a choice and not something one was born with. Throughout the rest of his piece he was able to absolutely back up his thought and on page 33 in our packet and 109 in his book he writes "capitalism has created the material conditions for honosexual desire to express itself as a central component of some individuals' lives", which sums up his argument. This thought and opinion seem so contray to the messages that the gay and lesbian communities publicize in today's media. Although this article was written in 1980, this cause and effect notion of capitalism affecting one's ability to respond to sexual desires still is not a part of the "are they born with it??" conversation. What are the benefits to capital in our day and age by keeping this argument out of the conversation on gay and lesbian rights? What role is the state playing in the controversey? What would be gained by making this a more central argument in the discussion on gay and lesbian rights? How could the sharing of this notion benefit our society, communities and families?
Capitalism and Gay Identity in the 21st Century
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