Reclaiming resistance : neoliberalism, No Justice No Pride and the pursuit of queer liberation

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Sipe, William Joseph
McCauliff, Kristen L.
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Department of Communication Studies
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In the summer of 2017, tensions within the LGBT community reached a boiling point. The election of Donald Trump and the perceived failure of Pride parade organizers to grapple with the political and social needs of the community sparked protests at parades around the country from queer activists under the banner of No Justice No Pride. Although these tensions came to a head in 2017, the underlying issues have been present since the beginning of the modern LGBT movement. Issues of radicalism and respectability have been hotly contested by a group in which assimilation into heteronormative culture is not only an option, but the default. These tensions have been exacerbated under the influence of a much larger cultural force; the long march of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is an economic and political philosophy which argues that all human activities should be driven by market logics. While neoliberalism has had massive impacts on global governance and economic policies, it has also had a notable impact on social movements. In this project, I study the tensions displayed by the media between official Pride organizers and No Justice No Pride activists, and analyze the impact of neoliberal influence on each group. I argue that neoliberalism has become the discursive default of official Pride organizations, and that No Justice No Pride has arisen as a backlash to this neoliberal influence.