Abstract

This paper examines James Baldwin’s 1972 essay No Name in the Street to interrogate the making of a public sissy artist-activist during the height of the Cold War homo-panic. Placing Baldwin alongside other public sissies of the time, particularly Truman Capote and Little Richard, we can understand his exploitation of this stigmatized role, attacked by black nationalists, to capitalize on an alternative mode of heroism available to both queer and Jim Crow-ed men. As an intervention in queer theory, the paper argues that the sissy must be theoretically distinguished from the homosexual.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-6182
Print ISSN
1062-4783
Pages
pp. 633-651
Launched on MUSE
2014-09-03
Open Access
No
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