Blog Post 9: Disidentification

(hypothesis.is is not currently working on my computer so I screenshotted this text from the pdf)

Muñoz breaks down the concept of disidentifying as a process of reclamation, identification, and survival.  He emphasizes the significance of public performances of queerness as a means for “minoritarian subjects” (those whose identity renders them a minority— in this case, queer people of color) to gain agency and reclaim harmful stereotypes— which reduces the oppressive capabilities of the stereotypes themselves. 

He describes disidentification as a method of survival. Society excludes and tries to silence and erase minority groups who do not fit into the dominant categories of white-normativity and heteronormativity. Disidentifying is a negotiation between worlds. It allows minority groups to survive in a majoritarian world by finding an identity without having to assimilate or reject the cultural mainstream. 

I feel like I disidentify when I navigate public displays of affection as a queer woman.  I want to normalize my affections with my partner in the way that straight people have always had the privilege of showing affection without thinking twice about it.  However, I want to do so in a manner that is not making a spectacle or being fetishized by the male gaze.  I want to be able to feel natural, comfortable, safe, and fully present. In a way, I disidentify constantly when consuming media by identifying queer subtexts within overtly heteronormative content. I focus on queer subtext in television shows and view the content as if it is truly queer. I ship female friendships as romantic relationships to write myself into hetero content. My straight friends think it’s weird to search for and fixate on queer subtext in television.  They don’t understand that they have the privilege of not having to search for straightness because straightness is the norm on television (and everywhere).  My queer friends do the same thing I do so we can establish relatability.  Luckily, media representation of queer lives is slowly increasing and reducing the need to grasp at subtext.