Ahmed Unhappy Queers Summary

Happiness....................................................................Unhappiness

For our group discussion in class we chose to divide the class into two groups. One of the two groups were to discuss happiness in Ahmed's Unhappy Queers and the other to discuss unhappiness. In referencing back to our discussion the week before Sara had mentioned the difficulty in doing group work and the distraction of working beside one another. I found it really interesting that both groups were busy talking about their set topics, but the group that was discussing happiness was not laughing nearly as much as the group discussing unhappiness. Maybe this shows the queer space of this class and the queer people who are a part of it??? In this space it brings up an important part of the chapter that was discussed in both groups, which is the ability to breathe or have the space to breathe. There is this idea of being able to live/breath in a certain way. A predetermined way to "breathe right".........Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for breathe-right.png

This script to breathe is prescribed in a similar way in which happiness is defined. "Having a space to breathe, or being able to breathe freely,... is an aspiration. With breath comes imagination. With breath comes possibility" (120). breathe-you-are-alive.jpg
This right/ability to breathe for queers is yet to be obtained much like the idea of happiness. Happiness and space to breathe must be acquired in a certain way, usually a heterosexual way. When queers don't follow these scripts they must become unhappy.......Queer happiness=inevitable UNhappiness! "It is because the world is unhappy with queer love that queers become unhappy, because queer love is an unhappiness-cause for the others whom they love, who share their place of residence" (98). Heterosexual happiness via coupledom, marriage, children, whiteness,class, domesticity is thus forced upon queer lives in order to achieve any sort of happiness..."Happiness for some involves persecution for others: it is not simply that this happiness produces a social wrong; it might even depend on it. The unhappiness of the deviant performs a claim for justice" (96). This right to prove and define happiness is not only saying that I am happy and you clearly are NOT and NEVER will be, but it is also a way to impose all heteronormative standards of happiness and social scripts. It perpetuates the idea that the only way an individual and their family will ever be happy is if they follow these scripts exactly.

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