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Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have?): Punk, Politics and Same-Sex Passion

Wilkinson, DB (2015) Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t Have?): Punk, Politics and Same-Sex Passion. Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism (13). pp. 57-76. ISSN 1369-9725

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Abstract

This article critically examines existing queer theoretical takes on punk and same-sex passion, highlighting the politically troubling implications of retrospectively romanticising punk’s transgressions. Drawing on a range of examples including the fashion designs of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, the punk subcultural nucleus of the Bromley Contingent and the work of the Buzzcocks, it argues that a new approach is needed: one that provides an accurate historical portrayal of the complex and varied relations between British punk, sexual politics and identities and the conjuncture of the late 1970s. Such analysis makes possible an assessment of the ways in which these relations might inform crucial issues faced by LGBTQ people and countercultural forces in the present. What resources of hope might punk offer, and how might we learn from its missteps and dead ends, which, to be fair, are always easier to see in hindsight?

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