"This is absolutely gay!" - Homosexuality within the German Armed Forces
Nøgleord:Bundeswehr, homosexuality, queerness, masculinity, lesbian soldiers, gay soldiers
Drawing on Connell’s theory of hegemonic masculinity and Foucault’s concept of ‘dispositive’, this paper analyses historical and contemporary discourses on homosexuality within the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces). I argue that the interconnected norms that shape the construction of homosexuality in the Bundeswehr – hegemonic masculinity as a core norm for male as well as female soldiers, and the dispositives of strength and equality – have different impacts on gay men and lesbians, empowering lesbian and devaluating gay soldiers. Through a discourse analysis of legal documents, internet forum discussions, drillmasters’ utterances, and interviews with gay and lesbian soldiers, I show how these gender norms and dispositives reflect the experiences of homosexual soldiers as well as their coping strategies.
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