Loving Unbecoming: The Queer Politics of the Transitive Native

Jodi Byrd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter offers provisional thoughts on the collisions and collusions of queer theory and colonialism within critical Indigenous studies through a close reading of queer theory’s subjectlessness, Samuel R. Delaney’s short story “Aye, and Gomorrah,” and the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia on antimiscegenation law. It argues that Indigenous critiques of colonialism challenge social normativities in ways that are deeply misunderstood—or dismissed—by queer anti-normativity efforts as identity politics at its worst. This inadvertently refutes an Indigenous analytics that insists on locating Indigenous bodies and desires in the contexts of Indigenous nations and territories, refiguring Indigenous analytics as merely advancing colonialism and its normativities. Examining how Indigenous analytics reject colonial formations and their ideological architects, the chapter unpacks the Loving decision to show how it reserves an Indigeneity that disavows Black-Indigenous lineage for a liberal tale of Whiteness—and queerness in subjectlessness—to protect the normativities of same-sex marriage that undergird a liberal colonial state.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritically Sovereign
Subtitle of host publicationIndigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
EditorsJoanne Barker
Place of PublicationDurham, NC
PublisherDuke University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-8223-7316-2
ISBN (Print)978-0-8223-6339-2, 978-0-8223-6365-1
StatePublished - Apr 2017


  • queer theory and colonialism
  • Samuel R. Delaney
  • Loving v. Virginia
  • subjectivity
  • Black-Indiginous identity


Dive into the research topics of 'Loving Unbecoming: The Queer Politics of the Transitive Native'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this