Fuck off! recasting queer anger for a politics of (self-)discomfort


  • Tommaso M Milani University of Gothenburg and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg




affect, activism, anger, intersectionality, queer


While anger is often treated as a ‘dirty’ feeling or a pathology, queer anger holds the potential for a renewed politics of (self-)discomfort. I draw upon queer theory in order to strategically highlight that anger is what constitutes queer both as a homophobic slur and as a reclaimed label of self-identification. Put differently, it is impossible to understand how ‘queer’ works pragmatically without its affective loading. Moreover, inspired by the Black feminist tradition, I argue that it is imperative to forge angry coalitions with other activist and academic projects against discrimination. Fuck off! is the rallying cry for building a broader defying alliance that not only marshals together various streams of anger directed at different sides of the same Leviathan, hegemony, but also does not shy away from internal annoyances and is not afraid of constantly discomforting itself.

Mentre la rabbia è spesso trattata come un sentimento ‘sporco’ o una patologia, la rabbia queer detiene il potenziale per una rinnovata politica di (auto) scomodamento. Attingo alla teoria queer per evidenziare strategicamente che la rabbia sia costitutiva di queer sia come un insulto omofobico che come una rivendicata etichetta di auto-identificazione. Detto diversamente, è impossibile capire come ‘queer’ funzioni pragmaticamente senza la sua carica affettiva. Inoltre, ispirandomi alla tradizione del femminismo nero sostengo che sia necessario creare coalizioni infuriate con altri progetti accademici e militanti contro la discriminazione. Fuck off! è il grido di battaglia per costruire una più ampia alleanza provocativa che non solo metta insieme varie correnti di rabbia dirette a diversi aspetti dello stesso Leviatano, l’egemonia, ma anche che non rifugga dai contrasti interni e non abbia paura di scomodarsi costantemente.

Author Biography

Tommaso M Milani, University of Gothenburg and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Tommaso M. Milani is a critical discourse analyst interested in the ways power imbalances are (re)produced and/or contested through semiotic means. His main research foci are: language ideologies, language policy and planning, linguistic landscape, as well as queer approaches to language, gender and sexuality. He is coeditor, with Susan Ehrlich, of the journal Language in Society.


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How to Cite

Milani, T. M. (2021). Fuck off! recasting queer anger for a politics of (self-)discomfort. Gender and Language, 15(3), 439–446. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.20885



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