Drawing on queer theory and post-structuralism, this article explores two "gay bashings," the murders of Alain Brousseau and Aaron Webster. In both cases, we argue that the application of anti-hate crime legislation reveals the troubling nature of attempts to legally fix sexual identities. The law imagines gayness to be innate and obvious. These cases show that sexual identity is fluid and contingent. Our study also shows that, through the application of hate-crime law, sexual identification is not necessarily self-determined. Politicized communities, legal actors, assailants, and media all participate in naming someone's "gayness."

Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Moore, D, & Rennie, A.M. (Angus MacLean). (2006). Hated identities: Queers and Canadian anti-hate legislation. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Vol. 48, pp. 823–836). doi:10.3138/cjccj.48.5.823