: Live, Laugh, Lesbian? An orientation towards a happy, non-heterosexual life
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to explore queer lifelines and concepts of non-heteronormative sexuality, identity and (un)happiness. The material consists of nine qualitative interviews with lesbian-, bisexual- and queeridentifying women, sharing their experiences, thoughts and feelings of love and life. The statements of the interviewees are analysed using queer theory and queer phenomenology, mainly through the analytical concepts of Sara Ahmed. This perspective is advanced by Jack Halberstam's concept of life schedules, as well as Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright's - along with Stuart Hall's - respective theories of representation. The essay finds the informants first feelings of (queer) love disorienting, and connects childhood associations of non-heterosexual love with dispair and unhappiness. Lacking (positive) representations of queer love and life seems to enhance the risk of imagining a non heterosexual life as an unhappy life. Reorientation and (queer) identity making is made possible through positive representations of visual culture and social relations. Finding ways of imagining a meaningful life lays in the interfusion of a queer love life and a relatively (hetero)normative family life. The informants negotiate with concepts love and kinship, relationships and family, queerness and heteronormativity, belonging and deviating, in the orientation towards a meaningful and happy life. The essay shows positive representations of non-heterosexual love and life as easing a queer orientation in a heteronormative space, and enabling processes of identity making, creating lives with queer love and joy.
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