Publication Date

April 2019

Advisor(s)

Indira Karamcheti

Major

American Studies (AMST)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

In recent years, the passage of marriage equality and the increase in out queer public figures has marked a trend in American society towards more acceptance of queer sexuality. However, the continued tendency of our society to accept only those sexualities that fit within certain boxes shows how uncomfortable we still are with the idea of sexual fluidity. The play "truth or dare" explores this theme through the story of Eve, a twenty-two-year-old college graduate who discovers she is queer and, to the shock of her close friends and family, doesn’t think it is “a big deal”. As the story progresses and Eve’s revelation sparks similar discoveries in her best friend and her mother, Eve watches the people around her grow to believe that sexuality isn’t such a big deal after all, even as she begins to feel that for her, it might be. This play explores questions of whether or not sexuality really can be fluid, and whether or not it matters who believes you when you say who you are. The analytic essay portion of this thesis, "Making Demands of our Discomfort: Analyzing American Bi+ Oppression in truth or dare" will explore how these themes connect to the field of American Studies, analyzing the queer theory that underpins the action of the play. The essay highlights the ill health, violence, and death rampant in the bi+ community, which researchers say is caused by experiencing "double discrimination" from both the straight and gay communities. The essay asks why "bisexual" is a dirty word, and what it would mean if we used it anyway.

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