If anyone is wondering what I've been up to, I've spent the last 3 weeks staring at this extract from a 1982 interview of Michel Foucault and steadily losing my fucking mind

@garfiald Hard to believe that it was confirmed in 1982 how "gay" is an umbrella term for all non-het sexual activity, not just homosexual men.

@KitsuneAlicia yeah! but also, more importantly, in my interpretation of what he's saying here, the argument isn't worth having because choosing a term to describe your "sexual identity", and then deciding that you have to act according to that "identity", is really an obstacle to creating new relations with others

@garfiald So, in other words, Foucault is a sexual anarchist advocating for the complete abolishment of the relationship hierarchy, sexual or otherwise.

Sounds good to us! :blob_anar_raccoon:

"Befriend who you want, date who you want, and fuck the limiting labels assigned to each one."
-Michel Foucault

@garfiald I hate that this basically makes sense to me and I basically agree, given what the words are, and the order that they're in

@Manurweibling I was literally about to @ you. Like thinking about how he distinguishes "gay" from "homosexual", and basically defines "gay" as "the pursuit of sexual liberation", and opposes it to "acting according to nominal norms" seemed like it might interest you

@garfiald I've been an accidental Foucauldian (whomst has never read a book) for YEARS

honestly what he's talking about fits directly into my hot takes about how straight men having sex with men isn't gay because they restrict that sex from coloring their whole lives

@Manurweibling absolutely!!! its literally that!!! its worth pointing out that this stuff which he said a lot in interviews from 1980 to his death doesn't explicitly show up in any of his books so its not a well known "Foucault theory"

@Manurweibling @garfiald
This reminds me of how I separate “straight” from heterosexual, when I bitch about straight people.

@AudreyJune this is totally valid imo but I think you already knew that opinion of mine

@garfiald i hate that this is what i try to explain when people ask what "dirt forever" means lol

@garfiald hrc liberals: being gay is not a choice, tragically i was born this way

foucault: being gay is a choice, and it rules actually

@garfiald I love that Foucault is like 'Imma use Beauvoir and Heidegger and if you bitches don't get these inspirations in my words you don't deserve to know'

@Cyborgneticz well, yes. although i would personally prefer to link this to Bataille's notion of experience-limite, which Foucault cites as the biggest inspiration for his praxis... but then maybe ive just been thinking about this too much

@garfiald bro u just *gotta* be gay, come on,, be gay, bro. strive for it bro. strive for *me* bro

@garfiald damn michel foucalt really coming right for my throat here

@garfiald yeah I chose to be gay, can you blame me? too many attractive people I'd miss out on flirting with if I weren't

foucault's got it figured out

How do you find that answer?
I think his view interesting but that he says in so many convoluted ways what could be sumed up by : being gay is to confront heterosexuality as the default and only option. Which is limiting one's possibility at forming innovative relationships

@freyja_wildes I think that's a good summary. I also think that the distinction between "gay" and "homosexual" is really interesting, and is especially powerful considering the context (in 1982 in France, "gay" had not yet become widely used), I think Foucault is trying to develop an entirely new concept. Specifically, he's trying to push against notions of sexual "identity", in favour of a creative process, which I think is a very useful idea today.

@garfiald I don’t want to be gay, so... Apparently I’m less than, not part of the hip rebel set. Seems like a hierarchy to me. 🤷🏽‍♀️

@garfiald @Shufei as a lowly hetero myself i dream of one day suckin and fuckin my way to the top...

@garfiald Wow, that’s quite a misinterpretation. Who said anything about heteros?

@Shufei you did. if you dont conspire to restrict modes of life by constricting your sexual choices, then you fit within the text's definition of "gay". If you aren't comfortable being described by that particular word, that does not take away from the fact that the text is not subjecting you to the "hierarchy" you claim it promotes. in either case, you should learn to read.

@Shufei "people should strive to create new relations, which i like to call 'being gay'", is not the same statement as "people should call themselves gay"

@garfiald Gay means people who are attracted to people of the same gender and more or less only so. More specifically men who are so. Foucault’s cutesy poo word games only muddle basic information.

Being gay is not something to want. It is not something to *not* want. It merely is. And yes, fuck etiology too, biological or otherwise. To “desire” to “be gay” is pure sophistry.

@garfiald I can read fine, guy. But when people go word salad like Foucault it carries no useful information. I said nothing about being heterosexual, let alone claim it; your presumption to that effect negates you’re pal’s own thesis and proves my point. To create a value dichotomy between the good polymorphously perverse and those poor, benighted people who won’t just have sex willy nilly is literally a hierarchy. I know y’all pretend words don’t have meaning, but they do. “Gay” is one.

@Shufei it seems to me that you aren't familiar with the idea of context. maybe you haven't heard of basic linguistics, such as the siddon principle?

@garfiald Good job raising the level of discourse. You’re really showing your true colours here.

@garfiald PS, the “siddon” meme is cruel bigotry to those of us whose first language isn’t English. Just a thought, for the cool leftie kids who care about such things.


Foucault said all of this stuff at a time when discrimination against gay people was not only allowed, but also often mandated. He was not only fighting for his own rights, but promoting a liberation he felt would benefit straight people and give them more freedom in how they might choose to form relationships and live their lives.

The word "gay" has changed meanings a lot over time and this is a snapshot of one such moment - a move towards a change that didn't quite happen.


All the stuff he says about "gay", though, eventually got folded into one of the meanings of "queer" so he was just ahead of his time.

Trying to liberate people into freedom to consciously construct relationships that work for them instead of just trying to copy dominant roles and their parents is good, I'd say. I've benefited from this and I'm a straight guy.

Honestly, a guy trying to make a point about freedom and change how we think about words isn't oppressing you.

not sure how popular a queer opinion this is but i will not be taking criticism from elsewhere 

So basically he's using "gay" in a similar was as i use "queer"

Like where being queer is very much not necessarily the same as being LGBTIA+, because queer's more a matter of making 'normal' irrelevant rather than trying to keep drawing more and more lines around 'people' and 'normal' and 'acceptably quirky'

not sure how popular a queer opinion this is but i will not be taking criticism from elsewhere 

@certifiedperson oh yeah I think there's definitely an element of him anticipating what "queer" would later become!

@garfiald He's definitely using "gay" in a more expansive and empowering way than those who emphasize the lack of choice in gay desire.

@garfiald sorry, but this just got boosted into my timeline and it is amazing! :D

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