When there was a sudden rise in HIV/AIDS among heterosexual Black women in 2001, the public began to blame the community of Black men who identify as “on the Down Low (DL).” “On the DL” is code for having sex with other men while still maintaining heterosexuality by participating in heterosexual relationships, identifying as heterosexual or non-homosexual, and maintaining hyper-masculine expression. Because of the belief that the spread of HIV/ AIDS was largely due to men who have sex with other men, feminists and prowomen politicians were quick to point to this group of individuals, claiming that their homosexual encounters were spreading HIV/AIDS to their longterm Black female partners.i, ii Almost all of these claims were in the context of feminism because of the narrative that these men were purposefully deceiving their women partners, thus creating the idea that being “on the DL” was antifeminist.iii However, feminist theory is a strong platform that can be used to create a sympathetic narrative for Black men “on the DL” and provide a framework for understanding Black men who prefer to act on their non-heterosexual desires in privacy and discrete spaces. It is also vitally important to reveal how critical feminist texts that were not originally created to analyze intersecting identity politics can provide a better understanding of people with multiple marginalized identities. In this paper, I take four pinnacle feminist theory texts that analyze compulsory heterosexuality, hyper-masculine performance, the level of agency among the oppressed, and the sacredness of secret sexual spaces to defend Black men “on the DL” as a community that enacts feminist sexual liberation within their marginalized context.
For the ethnographic details surrounding the lives and experiences of Black men “on the DL”, I turn to Jeffrey McCune’s book Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing (2014). His ethnography is an unusually useful study for men “on the DL” because it connects their experiences as Black men to their need/desire to be discrete about their male sexual partners. He points to their refusal of being labeled as “gay” or “homosexual” as a recognition that “visibility [endangers] the subject’s agency” in which “spectacles — visible subjects and their personal experiences — become controlled by those who have the power to determine their meaning”.iv In this way, performing as hyper-masculine and heterosexual is a way to escape the consequences of complete visibility which could skew their self-perception of their racial and sexual identity. McCune created this ethnography to work against the narrative that the media and feminist critics created about Black men “on the DL” after the sudden rise of HIV/AIDS among heterosexual black women. These outside groups created a social narrative labeling Black men “on the DL” as conniving cheaters who contract HIV/ AIDS from their male partners and give it to their unknowing female partners.v, vi There is minimal evidence that this was the cause of the rise in HIV/AIDS among Black women, but this narrative caught on quickly because of the intense fear of the hyper-masculine Black male’s sexual deviance. With the use of McCune’s perspective, I will expand his argument by using feminist texts to argue that being “on the DL” is a way for hypermasculine Black men to explore nonheterosexual sex acts within the contexts of their gendered bodies and oppressive institutions.
Adrienne Rich’s “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (1980) is a pinnacle feminist text that can speak to the prevalence of claiming heterosexuality as an aspect of being “on the DL”. In the first part of this paper, Rich argues that “compulsory heterosexuality” is an institution based in the oppression of women. Since heterosexuality is institutionalized, she claims that women do not have the freedom to make heterosexuality a “choice” or “preference” because of institutionalized pressures and powers that coerce them into having sexual relationships with men.vii Throughout this text, Rich cites women’s various attempts to resist a system of heterosexuality that is constantly pushing them toward relationships with men. Rich also notes in this text that lesbianism is thus different from gay male forms of resistance because of their situated identity of “woman” in the patriarchal system of heterosexuality.viii This argument leads to my connection between the examples of women who find non-heterosexual relationships outside of the hetero-patriarchy and Black men “on the DL”. Rich’s text applauds all women who partake in nonheterosexual relationships in secrecy because they are enacting their desires within the context of the overwhelming system of compulsory heterosexuality and patriarchy; Black men who partake in discrete homosexual acts are enacting their non-heterosexual desires within the context of a compulsory heterosexuality and White supremacy.
To provide support for her assertion of the institution of compulsory heterosexuality, Rich includes a list of characteristics of men’s oppression of women over time and place created by Kathleen Gough in her essay “The Origin of the Family”:
Men’s ability to deny women sexuality or to force it upon them; to command or exploit their labor to control their produce; to control or rob them of their children; to confine them physically and prevent their movement; to use them as objects in male transactions; to cramp their creativeness; or to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments (Gough as quoted in Rich)ix
Rich adds specific examples of men’s oppression of women for each of these characteristics through the lens of heterosexuality. A racial lens can also be applied to Gough’s list, in which the characteristics of power of men over women can be translated to the power of White supremacy over the Black community. These relationships support the assertion that these powers were institutionalized by similar people and forces. While all of the characteristics articulated as men’s heterosexual power in Rich’s formulation can translated to the characteristics of White power, a selection of them are useful for this current argument. Rich’s original listing of Gough’s characteristics are italicized, and I replace Rich’s focus on heterosexual domination with my focus on racism against the Black community in Western societyx:
White people in Western society have the power
1) “to deny” [Black people] “of their own sexuality”: lynching under the guise of predatory sexualityxi, xii; anti-Blackness within White-dominated LGBTQ communitiesxiii; and consistent stereotyping of Black sexuality as violent and something that must constantly be controlledxiv, xv.
4) “to control or rob” [Black people] “of their children”: by means of forced sterilizationxvi; separation of Black families by way of the enforcement of child servicesxvii; and the criminalization of Black childhood through the school to prison pipelinexviii and the unjust murder of unarmed Black childrenxix
8) “confine” [Black people] “physically and prevent their movement”: the institutional system of police violence, including systemic rape, physical assault, and murderxx; the systemic mass incarceration of Black peoplexxi, xxii; and racial discrimination in housing, employment, and social welfare programs.xxiii
The notable similarities of Rich’s discussion of male power constructs to the manifestation and sustained White power over Black bodies reveals the intersectional pressures and institutions that pressure women and Black people to conform to certain norms. In the case of Black men “on the DL”, it is perceived heterosexuality, as well as hyper-masculinity, that is enforced and institutionalized by White power as the normative mode of being for a Black man. Thus, like women, Black men are punished less if they comply with this system, and, similar to women in their patriarchal contexts, they must explore their deviance from heterosexuality in underground and discrete spaces in order to avoid social punishment, enslavement, and “deliberate genocide”.xxiv Black men “on the DL” are exploring their sexuality outside of the heterosexual patriarchy within the possibilities of their cultural context by visibly emulating the expectations of the White male power system while quietly creating spaces for sexually deviant acts and exploration. If lesbianism—even in its discrete instances among women with secretive, independent, close relationships—is a form of sexual and gendered liberation, then Black men being “on the DL” must be a form of sexual and racial liberation as well.
While Rich’s argument reveals the similar characteristics of the oppression that women and Black people face, her essay is not enough to assess the needs of Black men “on the DL” to actively separate themselves from homosexuality by identifying as heterosexual and often actively participating in homophobia. An adequate analysis of cis-men’s fear that identifying as homosexual or with homosexual people in any way will threaten their identity is found in Patrick D. Hopkins’ essay “Gender Treachery: Homophobia, Masculinity, and Threatened Identities” (1996). Hopkins theorizes that homophobia is so rampant among hyper-masculine cis-men because gayness and deviant sexuality threatens an individual’s entire identity. This results from heterosexuality’s sharp distinctions between men and women that are so integral to someone’s validity and personhood.xxv Homosexuality is thus a threat to a man’s “sense of self ” because “identity is fundamentally relational” in that it depends on not being some other identity, and any threat to your specific category is a threat to personal identity.xxvi Hopkins claims that masculinity is intrinsically created and fueled by heterosexism, the compulsory political system—such as the compulsory heterosexuality Rich describes—in which the division of the sexes is seen as “natural, moral, practical, and superior”.xxvii Since it is the clear division and relationality of the sexes that fuels masculinity, institutionalized heterosexism and heterosexuality are necessary for a masculine man’s sense of sexual/gender identity and ultimately his sense of personhood.
Applying Hopkins’ theory of heterosexuality as inherent to masculine personhood, it can be seen how compulsory heterosexism specifically shapes the discretion, shame, and persistence of heterosexual-passing among Black men “on the DL”. To be seen as more than a person, more than just an “it”, Black men need to maintain their male identity and being nonheterosexual takes away that identity. While heterosexuality is intrinsically tied to masculinity, masculinity is also intrinsically tied to Black male identity. This is seen throughout history, beginning in slavery. Masculine strength was the most desired attribute for slaves doing physical labor and physically strong males were sold at the highest prices. From that period onward, hypermasculinity has been the trait that has given Black men a perceived “leverage” in White society,xxviii whether that be through acceptance into White society through highly physical sports or through acceptance into exclusively pro-Black, anti-White spaces such as gangs and rap groups that require a level of hardcore strength against a society that hates and stereotypes them based on their skin.xxix, xxx Without hyper-masculinity, both a Black man’s male identification and Black identification are stripped of him, and he is “‘something else’… a monster, a body without its essential spirit[s], a mutation with no specifiable identity”.xxxi Hopkins’ framework of the continual performance of masculinity and the male gender makes clear the perceived impossibility of rejecting heterosexuality because it is this system–this political institution–that is an essential part of their self- and community-perceived personhood. These two identities are what makes Black men feel valid. Thus, being “on the DL” is not necessarily a rejection of homosexuality for the sake of homophobia and for the sake of anti-femininity: It may instead derive from the feeling that it is impossible to reject heterosexuality because it is at the absolute center of their embodied and performed personhood and sense of self.
Unlike radical forms of lesbianism, masculine-identifying Black men do not find relief from the heteropatriarchy by rejecting heterosexuality altogether. In doing so, they would be rejecting their other identities that are at the core of their self-definition and perception of personhood. Black men “on the DL” thus have the necessity, not the choice, to be discrete in their homosexual activities and desires. Their Blackness and masculinity lead to a strong belief that to explore their sexuality, they have little choice but to stay underground, and thus they do not feel the need to “come out of the closet” because they do not feel like that choice is available to them in their specific circumstances.
This concept of “choice” with regard to being “closeted” can be associated with the rejection of pro-choice ideologies by women of color’s reproductive justice groups. This is described in Sonia Correa & Rosalind Petchesky’s chapter, “Women of Color and Their Struggle for Reproductive Justice” in Reproductive and Sexual Rights: A Feminist Perspective (1994). They discuss the reasons why many women of color’s reproductive rights groups reject the term “pro-choice” because it “obscures the social context in which individuals make choices” and discounts the way the state and society police and regulate certain populations.xxxii While this quote is discussing the implications of applying the word choice to women’s reproductive rights universally, it is applicable to many sexual and personal “decisions” surrounding presumed deviant behaviors among minority populations. For Black men “on the DL” specifically, using this concept would thus imply that according to their cultural and gendered context, they do not feel like being gay is a possibility for their preferred identity. There is no closet to “come out of ” because their identities are going to be policed whether they are in one or out of one. As a result, they need to use discrete methods of communication and community to maintain personhood with regard to not only themselves but to their community and society. To be unrestricted and connected to their sense of reality, liberation can only be found in safe, underground sexual spaces.
The importance and sacredness of underground, secretive spaces in exploring sexuality is exemplified in another feminist/queer text by C. Jacob Hale entitled “Leatherdyke Boys and Their Daddies: How to Have Sex without Women or Men”. This essay discusses interviews and the author’s personal experience with leatherdyke culture, a queer woman-or femme-oriented form of S&M that has two masculine sub/ dom roles of “boy” and “daddy”.xxxiii Hale argues that this dynamic creates another culture entirely, wherein femalebodied individuals can define their sexuality and bodies in different ways than the dominant societal culture that is constantly attempting to confine them to a single gender or single sexuality.xxxiv These identities purposefully “[replicate] the haziness of the boundaries between categories female, lesbian, dyke, queer, leather, and butch”xxxv in order for these people to create their own personal culture and exploration by creating a space where self-definition is paramount to the relationship between leatherdyke boy and leatherdyke daddy. This is revealed in the specific ways that boys and daddies assign different connotations/ names to body parts in order to fit into the fantasy/relationship, such as calling someone’s vagina an “asshole” or “butt” during sex.xxxvi Leatherdykes are able to “produce cultural formations and structures different from those found in the dominant culture”xxxvii and thus create their own culture among the people involved. Finally, Hale reveals a theoretical need that thinks in “terms of multiple, context-specific, and purposespecific gendered statuses”xxxviii as a way to better understand cultural phenomena in which identity can be blurred and hazy in specific sexual contexts and fantasies. The “multiple cultural situatedness”xxxix of leatherdyke boy and letherdyke daddy identities can help us understand different gender performances in different contexts, wherein there is safety in exploration within one space and danger in others. Thus, feminist and queer theory can best understand the often shifting, “resistant sex/gender identifications” that do not fit into the existing structures of sex/gender/sexuality.xl
The experience of leatherdyke boys and their daddies can help shed light on the specific liberation and sexual freedom that can come from underground, private spaces. Hale’s focus on the multiple situatedness and the different performances of gender and sexuality in different spaces is useful for analyzing the sexual liberation in being “on the DL”, as well as the choice to keep nonheteronormative sexual acts in specific spaces, such as online chat rooms or phone call lines. Both spaces were specifically tailored toward and consumed by Black men “on the DL”, in which individuals were paired with each other and could explore their sexual desires within their cultural masculine context. Black men who wanted to have sex with other men could find their way to these safe spaces by word of mouth and “whispers down the grapevine”.xli Like the leatherdyke boys learning how to exude masculinity while being submissive, men primarily use these chats to explore their sexual desires while still maintaining their core identities as masculine Black men.
Black men “on the DL” have a very specific identity that has been widely critiqued by feminists concerned that these men use women to keep up a performance of heterosexuality while undertaking in sex acts with men in secret. It is understandable to use feminism as a way of policing and shaming these men because some do cheat on their wives and girlfriendsxlii and some do utilize homophobia to maintain their perceived heterosexuality.xliii However, the “choice” of Black men to be “on the DL”, as argued here, can be significantly understood using groundbreaking feminist texts and theory that critique compulsory heterosexuality, depict the construction of masculinity, and discuss sexually safe underground spaces as a way of sexual exploration and liberation. Feminist theory, while largely undertaking the critique of how women have been oppressed by patriarchal institutions, can also help us understand discrete sexualities and gender performances among oppressed individuals who experience institutional discrimination based on their race or other marginalized aspects of their identity. Concepts of personhood often reside in one’s gender and sexual identity, and Black men “on the DL” are no exception. We cannot forget our common goal of understanding how patriarchal, heterosexual, and racial institutions shape and control various aspects of our personhood. If we can question and explore across sexual, gender, and racial categories, then perhaps we can better understand acts and identities that we do not yet understand or do not consider valid according to the orientation of dominant institutions that propagate systems of oppression that impact many groups of people.
Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. (New York, NY: New Press, 2010)
Baldwin, James. The Evidence of Things Not Seen. (New York, NY: Holt, 1995)
Brown, Clarence Ezra. “Racism in the Gay Community and Homophobia in the Black Community: Negotiating the Gay Black Male Experience”. Master’s thesis. Virginia Tech, 2008.
Bruinius, Harry. Better for All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America’s Quest for Racial Purity. (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2007)
Correa, Sonia and Petchesky, Rosalind. “Direitos sexuais e reprodutivos: uma perspectiva feminista”. Physis 6, no. 1-2 (1996): 147-177. https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/ S0103-73311996000100008.
Egharevba, Stephen. Police Brutality, Racial Profiling, and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System. (Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2017)
Ford, Chandra L., Kathryn D. Whetten, Susan A. Hall, Jay S. Kaufman, and Angela D. Thrasher. “Black Sexuality, Social Construction, and Research Targeting ‘The Down Low’ (‘The DL’)”. Annals of Epidemiology 17, no. 3 (March 2007): 209-16.
Goldsby, Jacqueline Denise. A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2006)
Gordon, Edmund T. “Cultural Politics Of Black Masculinity”. Transforming Anthropology 86, no. 1-2 (1997): 36-53
Hale, C. J. “Leatherdyke Boys and Their Daddies: How to Have Sex without Women or Men”. Social Text, no. 52/53 (Winter 1997): 223-233. doi:10.2307/466741.
Heitzeg, Nancy A. The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Education, Discipline, and Racialized Double Standards. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016)
hooks, bell. We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity. (New York, NY: Routledge, 2004)
Hopkins, Patrick D. “Gender Treachery: Homophobia, Masculinity, and Threatened Identities”. In Rethinking Masculinity: Philosophical Explorations in Light of Feminism, New feminist perspectives series, 95-115. Series 2. 1996.
Huling, Tracy L. “Prisons as a Growth Industry in Rural America: An Exploratory Discussion of the Effects on Young African American Men in the Inner Cities”. April 1999. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/ scans/prisons_as_rural_growth. shtml.
McCune, Jeffrey Q. Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2014)
Mitchell, Michele. Righteous Propagation: African Americans and the Politics of Racial Destiny after Reconstruction. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004)
Morrison, Toni, and Claudia Brodsky Lacour, eds. Birth of a Nation’hood. (Pantheon Books, 1997)
Patton, Tracey Owens, and Julie Snyder-Yuly. “Any Four Black Men Will Do”. Journal of Black Studies 37, no. 6 (2007): 859-95. doi:10.1177/0021934706296025.
Rich, Adrienne C. “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”. Signs 5, no. 4 (July 1980): 631-60.
Roberts, Dorothy E. Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare. (Sydney, Australia: Basic Books, 2009)
Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. (S.l.: Liveright Publishing, 2018)
Excerpt from Rich’s “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (1980):
“In her essay ‘The Origin of the Family,’ Kathleen Gough lists eight characteristics of male power in archaic and contemporary societies which I would like to use as a framework: ‘men’s ability to deny women sexuality or to force it upon them; to command or exploit their labor to control their produce; to control or rob them of their children; to confine them physically and prevent their movement; to use them as objects in male transactions; to cramp their creativeness; or to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments.’14 (Gough does not perceive these power characteristics as specifically enforcing heterosexuality, only as producing sexual inequality.) Below, Gough’s words appear in italics; the elaboration of each of her categories, in brackets, is my own.
“Characteristics of male power include the power of men
“1. to deny women [their own] sexuality- [by means of clitoridecotmy and infibulation; chastity belts; punishment, including death, for female adultery; punishment, including death, for lesbian sexuality; psychoanalytic denial of the clitoris; strictures against masturbation; denial of maternal and post menopausal sensuality; unnecessary hysterectomy; pseudolesbian images in the media and literature; closing of archives and destruction of documents relating to lesbian existence]
2. or to force it [male sexuality] upon them- [by means of rape (including marital rape) and wife beating; fatherdaughter, brother-sister incest; the socialization of women to feel that male sexual “drive” amounts to a right; idealization of heterosexual romance in art, literature, the media, advertising, etc.; child marriage; arranged marriage; prostitution; the harem; psychoanalytic doctrines of frigidity and vaginal orgasm; pornographic depictions of women responding pleasurably to sexual violence and humiliation (a subliminal message being that sadistic heterosexuality is more “normal” than sensuality between women)]
3. to command or exploit their labor to control their produce- [by means of the institutions of marriage and motherhood as unpaid productions; the horizontal segregation of women in paid employment; the decoy of the upwardly mobile token woman; male control of abortion, contraception, sterilization, and childbirth; pimping; female infanticide, which robs mothers of daughters and contributes to generalized devaluation of women]
4. to control or rob them of their children- [by means of father right and “legal kidnapping”; enforced sterilization; systematized infanticide; seizure of children from lesbian mothers by the courts; the malpractice of male obstetrics; use of the mother as the “token torturer” in genital mutilation or in binding the daughter’s feet (or mind) to fit her for marriage]
5. to confine them physically and prevent their movement- [by means of rape as terrorism, keeping women off the streets; purdah; foot binding; atrophying of women’s athletic capabilities; high heels and “feminine” dress codes in fashion; the veil; sexual harassment on the streets; horizontal segregation of women in employment; prescriptions for “fulltime” mothering at home; enforced economic dependence of wives]
6. to use them as objects in male transactions- [use of women as “gifts”; bride price; pimping; arranged marriage; use of women as entertainers to facilitate male deals-e.g., wife-hostess, cocktail waitress required to dress for male sexual titillation, call girls, “bunnies,” geisha, kisaeng prostitutes, secretaries]
7. to cramp their creativeness- [witch persecutions as campaigns against midwives and female healers, and as pogrom against independent, “unassimilated” women; definition of male pursuits as more valuable than female within any culture, so that cultural values become the embodiment of male subjectivity; restriction of female selffulfillment to marriage and motherhood; sexual exploitation of women by male artists and teachers; the social and economic disruption of women’s creative aspirations; erasure of female tradition]
8. to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments- [by means of noneducation of females; the “Great Silence” regarding women and particularly lesbian existence in history and culture; sex-role tracking which deflects women from science, technology, and other “masculine” pursuits; male social/professional bonding which excludes women; discrimination against women in the professions]”.xliv
i Jeffrey Q. McCune, Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 25.
ii Chandra L. Ford et al., “Black Sexuality, Social Construction, and Research Targeting ‘The Down Low’ (‘The DL’)”, Annals of Epidemiology 17, no. 3 (March 2007), 213.
iii Ibid., 212.
iv McCune, Sexual Discretion, 6.
v Ibid., 34.
vi Ford et al., “Black Sexuality”, 209.
vii Adrienne C. Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”, Signs 5, no. 4 (July 1980), 633.
viii Ibid., 628.
ix Ibid., 638
x Ibid., 638 (Note that this paper’s argument transposes White power for Rich’s focus on heterosexual power, which in turn transposes Gough’s focus on patriarchal power. Note also that this current argument is limited to these frameworks and is not asserting equivalency beyond them.)
xi Jacqueline Denise Goldsby, A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 12.
xii Tracey Owens Patton and Julie SnyderYuly, “Any Four Black Men Will Do”, Journal of Black Studies 37, no. 6 (2007), 862.
xiii Clarence Ezra Brown, “Racism in the Gay Community and Homophobia in the Black Community: Negotiating the Gay Black Male Experience”, Master’s thesis, (Virginia Tech, 2008), 6, 37.
xiv Stephen Egharevba, Police Brutality, Racial Profiling, and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System (Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2017), 101-112
xv bell hooks, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (New York, NY: Routledge, 2004), 63-79
xvi Harry Bruinius, Better for All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America’s Quest for Racial Purity (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2007), 307-357.
xvii Dorothy E. Roberts, Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Sydney, Australia: Basic Books, 2009), 1-101.
xviii Nancy A. Heitzeg, The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Education, Discipline, and Racialized Double Standards (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2016), i-xi.
xix James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen (New York, NY: Holt, 1995), 1-12.
xx Michele Mitchell, Righteous Propagation: African Americans and the Politics of Racial Destiny after Reconstruction (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 51-75
xxi Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York, NY: New Press, 2010), 1.
xxii Tracy L. Huling, “Prisons as a Growth Industry in Rural America: An Exploratory Discussion of the Effects on Young African American Men in the Inner Cities”, April 1999, https://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/prisons_as_ rural_growth.shtml.
xxiii Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (S.l.: Liveright Publishing, 2018), 3-4.
xxiv Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality”, 635.
xxv Patrick D. Hopkins, “Gender Treachery: Homophobia, Masculinity, and Threatened Identities”, in Rethinking Masculinity: Philosophical Explorations in Light of Feminism, series 2 (1996), 96.
xxvi Ibid., 97.
xxvii Ibid., 97.
xxviii Toni Morrison and Claudia Brodsky Lacour, eds., Birth of a Nation’hood (Pantheon Books, 1997), 3-5.
xxix McCune, Sexual Discretion, 86-87.
xxx Morrison and Lacour, Birth of a Nation’hood, 197-240.
xxxi Hopkins, “Gender Treachery” in Rethinking Masculinity, 100.
xxxii Sonia Correa and Rosalind Petchesky, “Direitos sexuais e reprodutivos: uma perspectiva feminista”, Physis 6, no. 1-2 (1996), 142.
xxxiii C. J. Hale, “Leatherdyke Boys and Their Daddies: How to Have Sex without Women or Men”, Social Text, no. 52/53 (Winter 1997), 223.
xxxiv Ibid., 229.
xxxv Ibid., 224.
xxxvi Ibid., 230.
xxxvii Ibid., 231.
xxxviii Ibid., 233.
xxxix Ibid., 234.
xl Ibid., 235.
xli McCune, Sexual Discretion, 3.
xlii Ibid., 62.
xliii Ibid., 32.
xliv Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality”, 638-639.