Pitoňák, M. (2019). V sexuálním closetu / Geografie „ne-heterosexuálních lidí“. In R. Osman & L. Pospíšilová (Eds.), Geografie „okrajem“: Každodenní časoprostorové zkušenosti (pp. 147–182). Praha: Univerzita Karlova.


Focus of this chapter is multivalent. Primarily, I aim to expand the reach of sexualities scholarship within Czech geography academia and reinforce the local understanding and appreciation of (sexual) difference. The chapter starts by highlighting the intersectional qualities of various axes of human difference including sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religious denomination and others. Afterwards I recognize their distinctiveness, based on the discussion of their materiality, corporeality and (in)visibility. I develop a linguistically sensitive discussion connecting these axes of difference to the various discourses and processes of meaning production in context of their proclivity towards stigmatization. Further, by narrowing down the focus on sexualities, I
employ Foucault’s theorizations on discourse, power and knowledge and illuminate the dawn of specific discourses of sexualities inside which we nowadays understand concepts such as sexual orientation or homosexuality. Both terms as well as others will be subsequently rendered problematic, as stuck within the clash of essentialist and social-constructivist standpoints. In the process, I will expose the underling and naturalized heteronormativity and use it as a backdrop for my central queering research objectives. By referring to the seminal queer theoretical argumentations made by respected authors, I fall back on Tom Boellstorff’s surfing binarism and attempt to alleviate the tensions between these clashing philosophical standpoints and introduce the heteronormative closet as a new term into Czech geographical academia, recognizing its various queer conceptualizations. By referring to Michael Brown’s seminal geographical analysis of the closet I will introduce the closet as an elusive, and indeed, queer metaphor and strive to remain cautious about not universalizing it as Sedgwick had famously monished before. Following this complicated and challenging goal, I will extend the theoretical part of the chapter by presenting results from my first pioneering attempt to empirically measure the heteronormative condition of the closet in Czechia. By acknowledging my own positionality, I interpret the results based on a quantitative survey conducted among 1589 self-identified LGBTQ people and show that closet is indeed part of Czech non-heterosexuals’ lived realities. Finally, I underscore the need for recognition of both heteronormativity and closet within the Czech human geography’s subject matter.