Too Queer or Not Queer Enough. Surrogate Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Queer Spawn

«In considering the act of storytelling as an instrument for galvanizing community empowerment, I would like to publicly share my personal experience of gay fatherhood. The story will be focused, filtered and framed through the lens of my profession as a teacher of queer theory and solo performance. The presentation will be primarily in English, one of my two mother tongues. I will begin by reflecting retrospectively on the emergence of my desire to become a parent and the specific steps my partner and I took to realize this desire through commercial surrogacy. I will share aspects of what it means for me to be a gay parent, touching on my evolving relationship with contemporary theoretical discourse related to reproductive ethics, gender, power, normativity, futurity, community, activism, and the quotidian. To the best of my ability, I will strive to include in my narrative the voices of surrogate women and the children of LGBTQ families: these spectral figures that seem too often to have been judged as too volatile, or, conversely, too vulnerable to speak for themselves. In seeking to advocate for inclusive laws that champion the rights of rainbow families, I suggest that we, as a queer community, are sometimes inclined to make recourse to assimilationist strategies that backfire by tacitly reinforcing stigma and validating systems of injustice that originate in shame and thrive in silence. This story is ideally about voicing revolt while creating a safe space for reconciliation: providing a testimony of paternal love, idealized/performed as an ethical transgression of human reproductive norms intended to celebrate gay male desire, motherhood, and childhood on a level plane of reconfigured meaning and fluid, embodied potentialities».

Fabio Ferrari, Franklin University Switzerland (Lugano)

15.30, meeting room (second floor)
University of Verona, Palazzo Zorzi
Lungadige Porta Vittoria 17, Verona

Poster of the conference