Back in the 1970s, the first sexuality-based social movements took hold in Latin America. In no small measure, and with great courage, they responded to the state’s administration of proper sexuality, resisting the punishment or even extermination of purportedly unproductive or contaminating sexual subjects. Even if, in the backward glance of history, these forms of protest are dismissed by some quarters as outdated identity politics, at their core they were social justice movements and, as such, always already queer. The rejection of norms and quest for freedom of those early social movements mark a significant difference with present-day movements articulated around acceptance into normative state policies regarding marriage, legal identity, and citizenship. The struggle for defining “queer” nowadays must carefully consider the lessons of movements past and the stakes of movements present.
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- Palgrave Macmillan US