Homos in the woods: queer shame and body shame in the context of trekking experiences
Bittinger, Ryan Paul
In this Doctorate of Psychotherapy and Counselling Dissertation, I offer a variety of different perspectives on queer shame and body shame in the context of trekking experiences. The overall project of this thesis is to offer some glimpses into the ongoing and ever-changing process that surrounds these topics. I draw methodological inspirations from Mason’s (2011) conceptualization of Facet Methodology as well as Gale’s (2018) conceptualization of Methodogenesis. I approach this with a poststructuralist perspective that follows flashes of insight through various assemblages, drawing on Deleuze and Guattari (1987). Being inspired by Haraway (2016), I attempt to foster a more-than-human view of the world. I employ a variety of methods for this inquiry, drawing largely on writing-as-inquiry (Wyatt, 2019; St. Pierre, 2008; Richardson, 2008) and autoethnography (Holman Jones & Harris, 2019; Gale, 2018; Wyatt, 2019). Emphasis is also drawn from dialogue and the unfinalizability of subjects (Bakhtin, 1984; Frank, 2004; Willis, 2009; 2013). I draw on themes from queer theorists including Halberstam (2011; 2015), Holman Jones and Harris (2019), and Butler (1997), among many others. The chapters of this thesis each contribute something to understanding queer shame and body shame experiences, and then offer something that we might use to work with that shame productively. I have concluded by emphasizing the entangled nature of our realities, and our interconnectedness. We strive to build lives work living, lives which allow us to live and die well together. The greatest source of strength in precarious times is the making of queer kin. Connecting with our queer families that are more-than-human and stretched across aeon time opens the door of possibility for us to make use of (at least) six different ways of working with queer shame and body shame: Decoding, Multiplicity and Becoming Queer, Daemonizing, Suffering/Resisting/Hoping with, (Re)Storying, and Being Together in Precarity.