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Imagining the future of lesbian community: The case of online lesbian communities and the issue of trans

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How lesbian communities and identities are currently envisioned and imagined affects the future constitution of these communities. The queer utopian project may not have succeeded in completely queering the mainstream or dissolving the need for separate identity groups based on sexual identity, but it has made the question of how those identity groups are constituted, and how they are negotiating and imagining their futures, more imperative. The legacy of the queer project can be seen in the coalitions of non-mainstream sexual identity groups. It can also be seen in challenges to the legacies of other utopian moments and discourses, such as lesbian separatism. Traces of lesbian separatism can be found in some contemporary lesbian events, communities, and forums. Challenges are made to lesbian communities by bisexuals, heterosexuals, and transgenders, which presents challenges for imagined lesbian futures, and poses the question of how diverse these communities will be, and how they will be constituted. In this article, I focus on the deliberations between pro- and anti-transgender activists and supporters in lesbian controlled online spaces, and the implications of these debates for the future of lesbian communities.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Social Science, Media and Communication, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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