Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law
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Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law

Edited by Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine

This innovative and thought-provoking Research Handbook explores not only current debates in the area of gender, sexuality and the law but also points the way for future socio-legal research and scholarship. It presents wide-ranging insights and debates from across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia, with contributions from leading scholars and activists alongside exciting emergent voices.
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Chapter 7: Life at the corner of poverty and sexual abjection: lewdness, indecency, and LGBTQ youth

Libby Adler


Homeless lgbtq youth inhabit a peculiar location at the intersection of poverty and sexual shame. Privacy doctrine, which has done much to advance the mainstream gay rights agenda, cannot protect them. They are without private property, subject entirely to constraints on the use of public space on which they depend. Because they are sexually suspect, gender nonconforming, and very often of color, they are perfectly suited to bear the shame that sustains the dignity enjoyed by more fortunate gays. When homeless lgbtq youth urinate, have sex, change clothes, or otherwise expose their naked bodies, they disgust -or, in doctrinal terms, they are objectively shocking. This renders them vulnerable to law enforcement attention, especially for violations of lewdness and indecency laws.

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