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Something’s flaming in the kitchen: Exploring the kitchen as a stage of gay domesticity in Queer as Folk

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This article examines how Showtime’s Queer as Folk uses the space of the kitchen as a way of staging a negotiation and, at times, contestation of the normative image of gay domesticity that was emerging in American television during the early to mid-2000s. Through a close analysis of the programme’s representation of queer architecture, food preparation and misuse of kitchens, this discussion highlights the ways in which Queer as Folk complicates the assimilationist perspective of gay kitchens as a heteronormative, wholesome, family-oriented space. This article first traces the ways in which the kitchen functions as a locus of gay identity and domesticity in mainstream American television and then proceeds to unpack the ways in which kitchens in Queer as Folk comply with or challenge dominant narratives of gay domesticity. It will be shown that the programme’s use of kitchens pushes viewers to recognize the ways in which different models of gay home life are negotiated through spatial means.
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Keywords: cooking; domesticity; gay men; kitchen; queer; sex; space; television

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bowdoin College

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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  • Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture (QSMPC) is a refereed academic journal devoted to the study of representations and expressions of queerness in its various forms. International in scope and representing a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, it publishes scholarship on topics at the intersection of media/popular culture and queerness in gender/sexuality. QSMPC invites articles and artwork pertaining to queerness in media and popular culture, as well as reviews pertaining to recently released queer media artifacts.
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