By Jack Halberstam on November 20, 2010
At bullybloggers, the blogging site that Lisa Duggan, Jose Munoz and Tavia Nyong’o and I sometimes call our internet home, we believe in bullies. No, not those kinds of bullies, not Tennessee Williams’ no-necked monsters, the brutish boys who make it their business to keep everyone else in line. We believe in a queer breed of bullies, bullies who bash back. In actual fact, lots of queer girls (and I speak from experience) do begin their lives as bullying types as they fight their way out of the restrictions of femininity. Some find queerness to be a refuge from the ravages of teenage heterosexuality. And their queerness, especially if it comes with certain forms of social rejection from boys, while sometimes putting them in the way of violence, also shelters them from many of the treacherous dangers of teenage girlhood – teen pregnancy, recruitment to the role of feminine dependent, plummeting sense of self-worth, eating disorders and so on. While being a lesbian is no silver bullet, and while lots of lesbians also have body image issues and suffer through the indignity of being seen as essentially unattractive, there are advantages and liabilities to checking out of toxic heterosexual sociality….
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