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On Misfits and Margins: Narrative, Resistance, and the Poster Child Politics of Rosie O'Donnell

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This essay addresses why Rosie O'Donnell's "coming out" as a lesbian, as a gay parent, and as an advocate for gay adoption generated such little and lukewarm response, arguing that O'Donnell's lesbianism was rationalized in the public discourse by powerful preexisting narratives that constructed her as both maternal and childlike. These narratives converged with the narrative alterity of O'Donnell's homosexuality in such a way as to sharpen and strengthen established heteronormative discursive margins. The O'Donnell case contributes to an understanding of how dominant narratives negotiate competing narratives of resistance and offers an opportunity to examine mediated representations of "coming out."
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Keywords: Media; Narrative; Poster Child Politics; Queerness; Rosie O'Donnell

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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