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Queer Hate and Dirt Rhetoric: An Ambivalent Resistance Strategy

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Cathrin Wasshede
Publicerad i Journal of Resistance Studies
Volym 3
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 29-61
ISSN 2001-9947
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 29-61
Språk en
Ämnesord queer activism, resistance, hate, dirt, abjectification, Cry Alliance Of Our Hatred, The Day of Hetero Hate, Black Rainbow Riot, Sweden
Ämneskategorier Sociologi, Genusstudier


This article examines the queer use of hate and dirt as a form of resistance. Through analysis of a selection of Swedish queer activists’ self-representations on the Internet, the article’s aim is to describe and problematize the queer use of hate and dirt, and point to some ambivalences and risks with this resistance strategy. The three cases selected are situated in the queer activist milieu in Gothenburg, Sweden: The Day of Hetero Hate festival; the Black Rainbow Riot block in the annual Rainbow Walk of the HBTQ Festival; and the music video Cry Alliance Of Our Hatred. Ambivalences and risks in the emotional speech acts of queer activists are analyzed, first by looking at Michael Cobb’s research into religious hate rhetoric as a potent form of queer expression, and Mary Douglas’ discussion of dirt as having creative potential, and then by critically examining the use of hate as resistance. The concept of abjectification, which signifies an active and strategic use of the abject position, is central in the understanding of hate and dirt in this article. The queer use of hate and dirt is found to have at least four purposes: resistance to normalization and assimilation; emotion channeling; construction of a strong ‘we’; and a way to experience pleasure, laughter and joy. It is also shown how this strategy risks reinstating hate and excluding many people, even queer activists, from the activism/community.

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