Feminist Ire in All the Wrong Places – The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education | February 16, 2015

Vaginas keep causing trouble. The latest labial kerfuffle involves none other than the mother of all things “down there,” Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues. A few weeks ago, a student-theater group at Mount Holyoke College (full disclosure: my alma mater and the current home of my daughter) made a decision to discontinue production of the play and instead to do something more, as they wrote, “inclusive.” This quickly became a media firestorm, with Ensler herself arguing that “The Vagina Monologues never intended to be a play about what it means to be a woman. It is and always has been a play about what it means to have a vagina.”

For These Millennials, Gender Norms Have Gone Out Of Style

NPR | November 30, 2014

More than two-thirds of people ages 14 to 34 agree that gender does not have to define a person in the way that it used to, according to a 2013 study conducted by the Intelligence Group, a consumer insights company. And 6 in 10 say that men and women do not need to conform to traditional… Read more »

A Dark Side of The Focus on Gay Marriage

NPR | November 6, 2014

The quest for full inclusion of members of the queer community (I use “queer” as an umbrella term that gathers together people who are gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual and so on) in our society, however, has come to focus so singularly on the altar that the fight for equality is harmed more than helped.

Lowering Our Sights

Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review | October 30, 2014

If we take a long view of the trajectory of the American gay rights movement, there is something peculiar about where it seems to have taken us.

FDL Book Salon

FDL Book Salon | October 11, 2014

Professor Walters discusses her book and answers your questions.

The Writer’s Voice

The Writer's Voice | August 7, 2014

We like to think that tolerance is a good thing. We use the term to denote respect for diversity in such issues as race, gender — and sexual orientation. Tolerance for gays and acceptance of homosexuality has become mainstream. State after state has ruled that gay marriage is a right and attempts to deny that right have been ruled unconstitutional.

‘Tolerance’ is the last thing gays need

The Spectator | August 4, 2014

The Tolerance Trap, by US academic and political activist Suzanna Walters, has ‘disappointment’ running right the way through it. But Walters does not complain, rather she offers a way forward. Delivering her gripes without whinging negativity, Walters writes tight prose with sharp humour and observation. This much needed book looks at the common-held views of the gay rights lobby and tips them upside down, clearing out every last crumb of every last old chestnut.

Lambda Literary Review

Lambda Literary | July 24, 2014

The major crux of Walters’ argument is in her deconstruction of the popular battle cry “It’s not a choice.” Walters believes the “born this way” argument is harmful to the gay rights cause as it allows individuals to utilize substandard science that reduces human sexuality into normative categories and classifications.

The Focus Group

The Focus Group Sirius FM | July 19, 2014

Has America become post-gay? Author Suzanna Walters argues in The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality that the gay rights movement has settled for a watered-down goal of tolerance rather than a robust claim to full citizenship, civil rights, and inclusion.

Should the Gay Community Aim for ‘Normality’?

The Independent | July 17, 2014

America was the home of the Stonewall Riots that kicked off 70s gay lib, but it’s also the Rome of this current wave of gay conservatism, having become a kind of mirror image of the religious right there and its insistence that homosexuality is “a choice” (i.e. a sin) – claiming that, in effect, God/Darwin made them gay. So it’s refreshing that an American academic, Suzanna Danuta Walters, has come forward with the heretical tract called The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality questioning key assumptions, particularly that gay marriage rights are the ultimate gay right.

Through the Eyes of Women Radio

KHSU | July 14, 2014

Keep your tolerance, Suzanna Walters doesn’t need it. Tolerance, by definition, is the act of enduring something unpleasant without adverse reaction, and Walters is making the case that the LGBT community deserves much better than that.

The Problem with “Coming Out”

Salon | July 13, 2014

“Coming out” has become the defining narrative of gay life in popular culture. Here’s what that narrative misses.

The Joy Cardin Show

Joy Cardin Show Wisconsin Public Radio | July 2, 2014

Courts have struck down gay marriage bans in a dozen states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act last year. Acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer Americans is at record high levels. So is the LGBTQ civil rights movement almost complete? Joy Cardin’s guest author says there’s more to citizenship than the right to marry, and focusing on “tolerance” or “acceptance” is a far cry from equality.

Pride Q & A – From The Square

From the Square - NYU Press Blog | June 30, 2014

As LGBT Pride Month comes to a close today, we invite you to read this Q&A with Suzanna Danuta Walters, author of The Tolerance Trap—in which she discusses the shift from gay pride to tolerance, the trouble with same-sex marriage victories, and what it might look like on the other side of the rainbow.

The Rag Blog

Rag Radio Blog | June 30, 2014

Our Rag Radio podcast features Suzanna Danuta Walters, author ofThe Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality.


Viewpoints - Public Affairs Radio | June 29, 2014

During the second part of our show, we’ll look at some ways that minorities, gays and women can enjoy a full and robust inclusion in our society. Our guests will discuss the need for full and honest election laws, educational opportunities, changes in work rules that unfairly target women and families, and full rights for gay Americans in all social and governmental areas. They also discuss how full inclusion of these groups will benefit all of us socially and economically.

WAMC – Northeast Public Radio

WAMC | June 24, 2014

Yes, there has been 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, and this seemingly brave new gay world is disappointing.

Why We’re Not a Post-Gay Society

WGBH Forum Network | June 23, 2014

Walters explains why we are not a “post-gay society,” though gay marriage has long been held the standard of equality. She talks about how the idea of tolerance – the idea of tolerating something rather than embracing – is holding society back.

A Public Affair – WORT

A Public Affair - WORT | June 23, 2014

Are you concerned with US Federal and State courts using biological determinism in connection with gay marriage? What do you think about the focus on gay marriage for gay civil liberties? Check out this edition of A Public Affair to learn more!

The Bill Newman Show

The Bill Newman Show WHMP | June 23, 2014

Professor Walters speaks with the Bill Newman show about her new book, The Tolerance Trap.

Interview on Outbeat Radio News

Outbeat Radio News | June 22, 2014

Professor Walters will be interviewed by Outbeat News In Depth, Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 8pm.

Why Rick Perry is Beyond Repair

Out.com | June 20, 2014

Author Suzanna Danuta Walters says we should demand equality—but don’t use the argument that we’re ‘born this way’ as the reason.

Rag Radio Friday

KOOP | June 19, 2014

Suzanna Walters’s Interview on Rag Radio Friday, KOOP – Austin, TX.

What’s At Stake?

WPFW | June 18, 2014

Professor Walters speaks with Verna Avery Brown.

Library Journal Reviews – The Tolerance Trap

Library Journal Review | June 17, 2014

Over the last few decades, American society has become increasingly tolerant of gay culture: being gay is no longer seen as negative by many people and the gay community is represented in television, film, politics, and more. However, -Walters (sociology, Northeastern Univ.; All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America) argues successfully that this is not enough to achieve true respect and fair treatment for the gay community.

Uprising Radio – Part 1

Uprising.org | June 16, 2014

Northeastern University Sociology Professor Suzanna Walters has a problem with this approach. She maintains that using the “born-this-way” approach to gay liberation reduces the LGBT movement to one that will be happy with “tolerance” or “acceptance” by mainstream American society. But is tolerance something worth fighting for? In asking to be tolerated, aren’t gay rights advocates simply asking society to tolerate the LGBT community like one tolerates anything that is uncomfortable or undesirable?

What If Gay-Rights Advocates’ ‘Born This Way’ Argument Is Wrong?

New York Magazine - Science of Us | June 16, 2014

“It’s not a choice!” is a fundamental refrain of the gay-rights movement often echoed by both gay rights activists themselves and their allies. It adds a stark, clear line to the debate: You, the anti-gay-rights person, are punishing people for something they have no control over, just like their gender or the color of their skin.

Chuck Morse Speaks

Chuck Morse Speaks | June 15, 2014

Chuck Morse is joined by Suzanna Danuta Walters, author of “The Tolerance Trap – How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are sabotaging Gay Equality” in what Chuck hopes is the first in a series of respectful debates.

HuffPost Live!

Huffington Post | June 13, 2014

Josh takes a look at the top LGBT news stories of the week, including America’s most LGBT-friendly cities, Scott Esk’s comments on killing homosexuals, Suzanna Danuta Walters’ book “The Tolerance Trap,” and Laverne Cox on “OITNB.”

3Qs with Professor Suzanna Walters

Northeastern CSSH | June 13, 2014

In her new book The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, And Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality, Suzanna Walters, a professor of sociology and the director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, argues that the plea for tolerance has sabotaged the full integration of gay men and women into American life. Here, Walters, who is currently on tour promoting the book, explains why tolerance stifles—rather than promotes—genuine equality.

Women-Stirred Radio

WGDR - Women-Stirred Radio | June 12, 2014

Professor Walters speaks with Merry Gangemi on Women-Stirred.

Ally Reviews The Tolernce Trap

PaperBlog | June 12, 2014

In Suzanna Danuta Waltersʼs The Tolerance Trap, I was taken on a journey through the personal, popular, and political. And the first thing I learned? Tolerance is not acceptance is not inclusion is not integration. All right, let me break it down.

Conversation with Doug Henwood

Left Business Observer News | June 12, 2014

Suzanna Danuta Walters, author of The Tolerance Trap, argues against queer embourgeoisement.

Conversations LIVE!

Conversations LIVE! | June 10, 2014

Host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Suzanna D. Walters to Conversations LIVE to discuss her new book The Tolerance Trap.

The Liberal Fix on Blogtalk Radio

Liberal Fix on Blogtalk Radio | June 7, 2014

This episode features an interview with Suzanna Walters, Sociology Professor and Director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies at Northeastern University. She is the author of The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality.

Behind the News

Behind the News - KPFA | June 5, 2014

Professor Walters will appear on Behind the News.

The Moncrieff Show

The Moncrieff Show | June 5, 2014

Dr. Walters interviews on the Moncrieff Show.

The Burt Cohen Show

The Burt Cohen Show | June 5, 2014

Professor Walters speaks with Burt Cohen about her new book The Tolerance Trap.

The David Pakman Show

The David Pakman Show | June 3, 2014

Suzanna Walters, author of The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality, and Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University, joins David to discuss her claim that gay marriage is too low of a bar for LGBT equality.

Speaking of Wellness

Speaking of Wellness - KAOS | June 2, 2014

Dr. Walters speaks with John Ford of ‘Speaking of Wellness’ on KAOS.

The Anita Rufus Show

The Anita Rufus Show | June 1, 2014

Suzanna Walters discusses her controversial book “The Tolerance Trap” and makes the important case — for the GLBT population and the rest of us — the tolerance isn’t equality!

Radio With a View – WMBR

Radio with a View - WMBR | June 1, 2014

Professor Walters gives on interview on her new book on Radio With a View.

Author questions culture of tolerance in new book

Philadelphia Gay News | May 29, 2014

We know this year has seen a number of LGBT-related milestones, like marriage equality becoming legal in Pennsylvania and other states, and we have recently seen gay athletes make strides in the world of professional sports … but don’t get comfortable.

The Peter Collins Show

The Peter Collins Show | May 29, 2014

Suzanna Danuta Walters is Director of Northeastern U.’s Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology, and joins us to talk about her new book The Tolerance Trap. Warning: the book and this interview may disturb conventional thinking, and mess with your mind!

Interview with Jeff Schectman – Specific Gravity

Jeff Schectman's 'Specific Gravity' | May 23, 2014

Fifty years ago the nation passed the Civil Rights Act. Six years ago we elected an African American as President of the United States. Yet contrary to the hopes of many, we do not live in a post racial society.

While gay rights and gay marriage are often seen as the civil right issues of our time, and yes, remarkable progress has been made, we are also far from a post gay or post gender world.

Beyond Tolerance – Bay Area Reporter

Bay Area Reporter | May 22, 2014

With all the excitement following the end of the military’s DADT and the Supreme Court decisions validating same-sex marriage, it would seem the gay rights movement has succeeded. According to some commentators, we are now living in a post-gay era. Not so fast, argues Suzanna Walters in her engaging sociological analysis. LGBT people are in danger of settling for “an illusion of progress that is rooted in a watered-down goal of tolerance and acceptance rather than a deep claim for full citizenship, civil rights, and inclusion.” In her nuanced examination punctuated with snarky wit and biting polemic, Walters critiques the idea of tolerance. The late Middle English origins of the word “tolerate” mean “to bear pain and hardship.” The word implies something negative, so if we say we tolerate homosexuality, there is something wrong about it. Also, this leaves mainstream institutions and practices unchanged. The book aims to refute tolerance as the path to real change for LGBT people. Walters makes a convincing case that while there has been monumental change for LGBT rights in the last 15 years, we still have a long way to go.

Tolerance – The Closet Professor

The Closet Professor | May 21, 2014

The following is excerpted from Suzanna Danuta Walters’s article for the Chronicle of Higher Education, “The Incomplete Rainbow.” Suzanna Danuta Walters is a professor of sociology and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University. Her new book is The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality, just published by New York University Press. She offers and interesting and thought provoking look at the meaning of tolerance. After reading it, I had to share it. This is not the whole review article, which can be found at: “The Incomplete Rainbow.”

For Better and For Worse – Contexts

Contexts | May 19, 2014

Sociologist and gender studies scholar Suzanna Walters explores how the framework of tolerance—and the marriage mania that depends on it—actively undermines robust queer inclusion and freedom

Will This Gay Marriage Fight Be the One That Goes to the Supreme Court? – Takepart.com

Takepart | May 14, 2014

All eyes are on Virginia, where the three-judge panel of a federal appeals court heard impassioned arguments on Tuesday that challenged the state’s ban on gay marriage. The judges’ decision won’t only affect Virginia and possibly other states in the court’s jurisdiction but could take the issue of gay marriage to the Supreme Court.

Wedding Bells in Little Rock – takepart.com

takepart | May 12, 2014

Suzanna Walters, author of The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality, cautions that while gay marriage successes are making headlines, gay rights still have a long way to go in this country.

“While we all celebrate another state added to the justice column, we should never forget that gay marriage is not the same as gay rights writ large: We still can’t pass ENDA, gay youth are still disproportionately homeless and at risk, queer and transgender folks are still the target of violence and cruelty, and homophobia is a remnant of a past we have to overcome,” Walters said.

Review: The Tolerance Trap

Publisher's Weekly | April 14, 2014

“In this lively scholarly work, Northeastern University sociologist Walters (All the Rage) manages the rare trick of producing a feast for the mind that is also incredibly funny and humane.”

The limits of tolerance and why it isn’t enough

Kirkus Reviews | April 2, 2014

“In her thorough and engaging study, Walters examines the well-intended but wrongheaded fight for tolerance by LGBT leaders and organizations, as well as lawmakers’ pursuit of the same.”

The Tolerance Trap – KCBX

KCBX | March 14, 2014

Dr. Suzanna Walters explores how notions of tolerance limit the possibilities for real liberation and deep social belonging. Her work centers on questions of gender, sexuality, family, and popular culture.

Ideasphere on PRX

Ideasphere on PRX | March 14, 2014

Dr. Suzanna Walters explores how notions of tolerance limit the possibilities for real liberation and deep social belonging. Her work centers on questions of gender, sexuality, family, and popular culture.

What is Wrong with Tolerance?

Northeastern CSSH | March 14, 2014

Professor Walters speaks at the Northeastern University conference ‘From Patriarchy to Pussy Riot: Gender, Sexuality & Global Citizenship’.