From Mardis Gras to Marriage Equality: Resisting Assimilation and Embracing Transgression

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Vanamali Hermans


Mardis Gras, Marriage Equality, sexuality, social movements, sexual politics


As public opinion around sexuality continues to evolve, social movements face the challenge of adopting those strategies most effective in dismantling heteronormativity. It is within this struggle that two dominant branches of politics arise; assimilationist politics, seeking integration within existing cultural norms, and transgressive politics, advocating a more radical platform of difference. Through an examination of foreign and domestic marriage equality campaigns, as well as the rising prominence of the Sydney Mardi Gras, this paper will show that while assimilation may be successful in gaining minority rights, only transgressive sexual politics can help achieve queer liberation.

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