A wolf in sheep's clothing: A critical view of the post-gay in an Australian context

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Various theorists explain post-gay as synonymous with post-marriage equality and define it as an era where diverse sexual orientations are normalised within the mainstream; therefore, people with diverse sexual orientation experience less discrimination, marginalisation and prejudice. This chapter argues that while the post-gay offers a promise of utopia for gay and lesbian people and, by extension, the LGBTQIA+ communities, it exemplifies the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. Drawing on a critical examination of newspaper articles on the same-sex marriage vote in Australia, this chapter evaluates Australia’s position in a post-gay world. The findings suggest discourse on the same-sex marriage vote focused predominantly on two key themes: (i) the need to protect those who did not accept same-sex marriage and relationships, and (ii) the role of government officials in weaponising the vote for political gain. The finding largely indicates that the post-gay invertedly favours the privileged by providing an illusion of inclusion and reducing the need for systemic and structural change within a conservative society. The chapter concludes by arguing that accepting the post-gay could result in inaction towards meaningfully achieving a more equitable society where sexual orientations are not politicised as a means of segregation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Feminist and Queer Studies
Subtitle of host publicationPower, Privilege and Inequality in a Time of Neoliberal Conservatism
EditorsDonna Bridges, Clifford Lewis, Elizabeth Wulff, Chelsea Litchfield, Larissa Bamberry
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003316954
ISBN (Print)9781032328294
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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