Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States

Joey L. Mogul, Andrea J. Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock, Beacon, $27.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8070-5117-7
The U.S. justice system is severely flawed—and its treatment of queer people is representative of its brokenness, argue the authors of the most recent entry in the Queer Action/Queer Ideas series. In a call to action to readers to aid in dismantling the violence endemic to policing and punishment systems, the authors present a history of the criminalization of homosexuality and gender nonconformity, from 1513, when Balboa condemning gay indigenous people to be ripped apart by his hunting dogs, to the turn-of-the-millennium Michigan state troopers' decade-long "bag a fag" operation targeting truck stops. Discussions include the creation of queer criminal archetypes (e.g., Leopold and Loeb), representation of queer individuals as criminals in media (the murderous transsexuals Norman Bates and Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb), the treatment of queers in criminal courts, prisons as queer spaces, the inadequacy of legal prosecution of violence against LGBT people, and the groups currently working to address all of these issues. While the authors' knowledge of their subject is encyclopedic and their mission and advocacy admirable, the heavily academic tone and organization might prevent this book from finding a wider readership. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
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