Metronormativity’s six analytic axes:
- Narratological: metronormativity often appears as a travel narrative that demands a predetermined flight to the city; a mythological plot that imagines urbanized queer identity as a one-way trip to sexual freedom, to communal visibility, and to a gay village (or at least a studio apartment) whose streets are paved with rainbow pride. This narrative usually takes the form of a bildungsroman to imagine queers as young adults or adults-in-the-making, this depriving queer children growing up in an identifiable city of a recognizable identity. It also presents non-urbanized areas as hinterlands best viewed from the window seat of your plane. This is not to imply, however, that migrations great or small, individual or collective, enforced or self-initiated, have not been essential to queers of various races and ethnicities across sexual history, or that any queer migration is inherently circumspect, or that flights aren’t often dictated by socioeconomic demands.
- Racial: On the one hand…the racial logistics of metronormativity frequently traffic in what José Esteban Muñoz terms a “normative ideal” of whiteness…On the other hand, [there is] the unfounded assumption that urbanized areas are more racially diverse and racially inclusive than ruralized ones.
- Socioeconomic: Not simply the gas tank for that flight or the down payment for the brownstone thereafter. Rather, a cross-gender, cross-racial per diem…that enables prosperous queers to announce, to feel, to mold, and to capitalize on their leisure oriented urbanism as bourgeois privilege and as niche market.their padded wallets fashion what anthropologist Eric Michaels…deemed “a Dewar’s Profile image of the gay capitalist” that stifles “critical, political sensibility.”
- Temporal: …The hierarchized assumption that a metropolitan-identified queer will always be more dynamic, more cutting-edge, more progressive, and more forward-looking than a rural-identified queer, who will always be more static, more backward, and more culturally backwater.
- Epistemological: …The hierachized assumption that the closer proximity you have to a skyscraper, the more in-the-know, in-the-loop, and up-to-the-minute you must be…
- Aesthetic: …functions primarily as a psychic, material, and affective mesh of stylistics informed by a knowingness that polices and validates what counts for any queer production; a sophistication that demarcates worldliness, refinement, and whatever may count as “the latest;” a fashionability that establishes what counts as the most up-to-date forms of apparel, accessory, and design; and a cosmopolitanism that discriminates anybody or any cultural object that does not take urbanity as it’s point of origin, it’s point of departure, or it’s point of arrival.
Taken from the Introduction to Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism by Scott Herring