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This chapter addresses the apparently contradictory idea of a queer popular. Queerness is that which destabilizes systems and norms, and thus it seems opposed to cultural normalcy. Yet what are we to make of wildly popular gay-themed films from Bollywood, Nollywood, and Southeast Asia? This chapter counters the need for a critical, anti–homo-normative queerness with popular cinema’s potential for unregulated pleasures and transgressive desires. It considers a range of popular genre films, including Thai transgender sports films, a Balkan blockbuster, comedies of tolerance, and even actively homophobic genres such as Nigerian Christian melodrama. These readings demonstrate the complexity with which popular cinema negotiates gender, sexuality, and globalization and suggest the radical potential for queerness to reconfigure the terms of the popular.

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