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Faculty Mentors

Dr. Susan Cumings

Abstract

In Diana Son's play StopKiss we are confronted with two women who are the survivors of a hate crime based on perceived sexual orientation. This attack takes place in New York's West Village. The location of the park and assumptions about this park are not the main focus of the play; nevertheless, this space is centrally important to the play and the audience. My argument revolves around a central premise: while both the gay and straight communities see the West Village as primarily "gay space," the straight community assumes that gay [-occupied] space also means space safe for LGBT persons. In contrast, the gay community understands gay [-labeled] space to signify an area where LGBT persons are in greater danger of experiencing homophobic violence.

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