Gender Reveal Party – Update 1


In my abstract, I wrote that I intended to create a metaphysical and epistemological model to systematically unify queer identities, but over the last few months, I’ve substantially adjusted the goals of this project. The more I’ve learned about the metaphysics (not to mention the politics) of gender and sexual orientation, the less comfortable I am attempting to unify them with a philosophical model. The factors which cause different people to embrace or reject a ‘queer’ identity are so personal and so diverse that it would be very easy to do harm with a model that claims to be definitive, and as such I don’t feel comfortable doing that work at this time. Rather than attempting to propose a comprehensive model, I will tackle a series of smaller questions which strike me as particularly interesting and important, and which together reveal the fascinating relationship between the metaphysical nature of gender, the conversations we use to understand and reinforce it, and the ethics of the role it should play in our lives.

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LGBTQ&A: Who We Are and How We Know – Abstract

From the nature of self-knowledge to the role of childbearing in society, there are a number of philosophical problems which queer people are uniquely situated to address. Questions which have inspired robust debate in Western philosophy stand at the heart of modern queer experience: What does it mean to know myself? What do we owe each other? How should I value my own happiness? Who am I? My study of LGBTIQ history, along with my own lived experience, has taught me that constructions of heterosexuality affect every aspect of social reality: Friendship, family, labor, love, aging, dying, justice. Nothing escapes the fray. The goal of my research is to propose a new model for understanding queer identity, and to use this model to explore other areas of philosophy through a lens of queer normativity.

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