Queerying activism through the lens of the sociology of everyday life
The approaching 30th anniversary of the introduction of the 1988 Local Government Act offers an opportunity to reflect on the nature of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) activism in Britain. The protests against its implementation involved some of the most iconic moments of queer activism. Important though they are, these singular, totemic moments give rise to, and are sustained by small, almost unobtrusive acts which form part of LGB people’s everyday lives. This article aims to contribute to a re-thinking of queer activism where iconic activism is placed in a synergetic relationship with the quieter practices in the quotidian lives of LGB people. The authors interrogate a series of examples, drawn from three studies, to expand ideas about how activism is constituted in everyday life. They discuss the findings in relation to three themes: the need to forge social bonds often forms a prompt to action; disrupting the binary dualism between making history and making a life; and the transformative potential of everyday actions/activism. The lens of the sociology of everyday life (1) encourages a wider constituency of others to engage in politics, and (2) problematises the place of iconic activism.