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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The trauma experienced by queer children and adolescents resulting from the societal stigmatizing of their sexuality may produce the post-traumatic conditions of avoidance, numbing, and dissociation. These conditions in turn may enable rich forms of musical expressiveness. The music of the pop duo, Pet Shop Boys, sometimes comes close to bringing a post-traumatic numbness into music itself. It is as though, in their case, the magic of dissociated musical expression has failed to offer its lifeline to the traumatized subject. This may sound like an artistic failure. But it can also be heard as a demystification, a refusal of the socially accepted queer expressiveness that succeeds only by avoiding the material that most needs expression.

Keywords: sexuality, queer, trauma, stigma, expressiveness, dissociation, Pet Shop Boys

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