From Glee to gay marriage, from lesbian senators to out gay Marines, we have undoubtedly experienced a seismic shift in attitudes about gays in American politics and culture. Our reigning national story is that a new era of rainbow acceptance is at hand. But dig a bit deeper, argues author Suzanna Walters, and this seemingly brave new world is disappointing. For all of the undeniable changes, the plea for tolerance has sabotaged the full integration of gays into American life. ABOUT THE BOOK
Finally, a writer and critical thinker has treated queerness with true insight and proper respect for its complexities and contradictions. Thank you, Suzanna Walters, for bringing so much rigor and balance; such ardent, subtle questioning; such respect for geniune human rights to the horrifically over-simplified term 'tolerance.'
The Tolerance Trap brilliantly and boldly goes where few have gone before. It rattles the cage of tolerance in pursuit of true gay liberation. For gays and straights alike, it challenges us to be more our quirky, original, sexual, gorgeous selves and to settle for nothing less than radical love and freedom.
While the mainstream LGBT movement is clamoring for acceptance and tolerance, Walters worries about the radical vision contained by gay liberation being diluted, minimized, transformed, perhaps even lost forever. Is being accepted by the heterosexual majority really the best the movement can come up with? This book sparks a desperately needed conversation. It needs to be read by every heterosexual concerned about gay rights.
Professor Suzanna Walters speaks with Guy Rathbun - producer of Ideasphere, a weekly cultural affairs program - about the limitations of organizing around the idea of tolerance. Tolerance is a trap, she argues, because it allows us to believe that we have won.