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Black Queer FreedomSpaces of Injury and Paths of Desire$
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GerShun Avilez

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043376

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043376.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

The Shadow of Institutions

The Shadow of Institutions

Medical Diagnosis and the Elusive Queer Body

(p.118) 4. The Shadow of Institutions
Black Queer Freedom

GerShun Avilez

University of Illinois Press

This chapter investigates the relationship between the Black queer body and medical diagnosis, elaborating how minorities negotiate the authority of state-empowered medical institutions. The central contention is that Black diasporic queer writers create narratives concerned with autonomy and desire to undermine medical control and definition. Novelists K. Sello Duiker and Jackie Kay show how gay and transgender bodies under medical care must be reclaimed or hidden in the shadows to dodge the possibility of material or discursive violence of medical care. Duiker presents a counterinstitution rooted in same-sex desire as a possible means of escape. Kay suggests that narrative is a productive way to negotiate the threat of injury. Both writers imagine strategies of how queer individuals may elude the social definition of medical diagnosis.

Keywords:   hospitals, diagnosis, K Sello Duiker, Jackie Kay, counterinstitutions, transgender

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