Devouring desires
Lesbian Gothic horror
in Queering the Gothic
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This chapter considers the queer theory to explore, explicate and celebrate the boundary-breaking refusals and testing of conventions which gay- and lesbian-oriented Gothic horror offers through the figures of the werewolf and vampire. It demonstrates both the terrible price to pay for being different sexually, challenging conventions, and the necessity of those challenges. In addition, it reveals the celebratory excess, carnival and creative potential, the fundamental testing of established norms, possible through queer theory in action in gay- and lesbian-oriented vampire and werewolf tales. The chapter focuses on Melanie Tem's lesbian werewolf tale 'Wilding', and Katherine Forrest's 'O Captain, My Captain'. It also considers lesbian Gothic horror, using queer theory where appropriate, to demonstrate both the dangerous limitations of fixing lesbian identity and the potential for exploration, realisation and enactment of versions of lesbian relationships. These relationships enable flexible becoming and changing of gendered relationships.

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