The out gay subject is the well-adjusted, neoliberal subject. This essay investigates contemporary lesbian and gay coming out narratives, tracing how the “problem” with gay and lesbian identities appears therein not as one’s gender or sexual queerness but as one’s (potential) lack of self-acceptance and self-assertion. These new coming out narratives at once both disavow and point to the continued presence of heteronormativity and queer oppression in everyday life. They also index widespread adherence not only to a neoliberal model of the self as transparent and naturally self-interested but also to the conservative concepts of adjustment and adaptation that are central both to neoliberal governance and to the psychological movement that sought to depathologize homosexuality.

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