Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Gay Pasts and Disability Future(s) Tense

Heteronormative Trauma and Parasitism in Midnight Cowboy

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2014), 8, (1), 1–16.

Abstract

The article examines the one-time X-rated avant-garde 1969 film release of Midnight Cowboy as a representation of the alternative lived experience of queer/crip relations in late liberalism. As an alternative to normative regimes of inclusion, this argument attempts to push all the way through the envelope of impairment to explore how disability subjectivities create new forms of embodied knowledge and collective consciousness. Queer and disabled people's interdependencies provide alternative ethical maps for living together outside of, even in opposition to, the dictates of normalcy. In Midnight Cowboy we witness the results of cordoning off policed identities such as "homosexual" and "handicapped" into zones of expendability; the enforced habitation of health-destroying conditions within spaces of neoliberal neglect.

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Mitchell, David