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When I speak of homosexual panic and homosocial desire I must, of course, refer to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's analysis of male friendship and the definitional crisis surrounding it.
When Mison was writing, the connection between the homosexual panic defense and widespread revulsion and bigotry in larger society was practically undeniable; since that time, however, societal attitudes towards homosexuality have been slowly changing.
While McGuinness uses the voice of Marco in fun and campy comedy, drawing all of the characters out in their own ways, he exposes the anxiety below homosexual panic in the active resistance of Marco to institutionalized homophobia.
Eliot manages his homoerotic containment by suggesting that his illness is symptomatic of his having violated the spermatic economy: both Dino's bachelor selfishness and his occasioning Tito's homosexual panic threaten to destabilize the heteronormative world of the novel; consequently, it does not seem unreasonable, and, indeed, it might seem fitting, that he dies of what seems to be a kind of spermatorrhea.
Though Sedgwick nods towards lesbian literary history in this passage, she underplays its important status in her discussion of homosexual panic.
But it isn't long before the humor reaches lowest common denominators level, much of it, strangely enough, centering on the theme of homosexual panic.
There may be no legal justification for excluding him, so the reasoning of homosexual panic goes, but the visceral reaction of revulsion and threat in the male passenger more than warrants overlooking the law's logical application.