Exceptional feelings, ordinary violence
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Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009) and the work of LGBTQ activists in the U.S. I argue that the act consolidates the U.S. nation-state’s monopoly on violence by relying on criminal law as a cognitive apparatus and stifles the work of LGBTQ activists and cultural labor to expand or challenge sensibilities regarding violence. I look to the work of trans and queer activists and how they frame “minor” hate crime cases in relationship to space and systems of criminalization. The activism surrounding Sakia Gunn, the New Jersey 7, Chrissy Lee Polis, and CeCe McDonald broaden theoretical account of violence provided by hate crime protections by attending to affect, the body, and space, and make political demands that move beyond criminal law. This thesis attempts to follow those trajectories and provide alternative grammars and methods for addressing violence.