Engaging with a rich history of gay masculinities, this research analyzes the contemporary discourse of straight-acting as a site of masculine identification for gay men within the context of queer liberalism. Mapping the discourse from a poststructuralist, queer perspective, straight-acting is on one hand theorized as a continuation of a discourse that promotes a valorization of normative configurations of masculinity, with an eye to its potential as a performative subversion of the ‘naturalness’ of heteromasculinity. Through an autoethnographic analysis of the geosocial gay hook-up app Grindr, the research argues that the contemporary discourse of straight-acting is a reflection/function of particular neoliberal norms of self-discipline vis-à-vis the digital app space. Conversely, the potentials for straight-acting to problematize the coherence of a sexual binaristic logic points toward the destabilizing quality of straight-acting when speculated upon beyond queer liberalist functions, turning to face the possibility of resignification for subversive effect.
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