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In this essay I address the popular notion that reading literature is a way to gain empathy through identification. Using the relatively new phenomenon of the lesbian mother as an example, I ask through which cultural repertoires lesbian mothers are made visible, which subject positions are available for them, and which identificatory positions are made available to readers. I explore a number of representations of lesbian mothers from comics, TV-series, films and Dutch children’s books. Depending on whether the lesbian mother is initially presented as a lesbian or as a mother, and depending on the context, a different coming out process is at stake: either she has to come out as a(n aspiring) mother; or she has to come out as a lesbian.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)22-28
JournalTijdschrift voor Genderstudies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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