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Well MetRenaissance Faires and the American Counterculture$
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Rachel Lee Rubin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771389

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771389.001.0001

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“Every Day Is Gay Day Here”

“Every Day Is Gay Day Here”

Hating the Faire

(p.236) 5 “Every Day Is Gay Day Here”
Well Met

Rachel Lee Rubin

NYU Press

This chapter examines the disdain for the Renaissance faire and how the faire has been linked to what sociologist Stanley Cohen termed “moral panics.” Residents of areas adjoining Renaissance faire sites mostly either love the faire (citing the jobs, attention, and business it brings to the area) or hate it (for the traffic and noise). Since the faire's earliest years in Southern California, there have also been people who expressed strong opposition to the faire on the grounds of taste or fashion, so that ridiculing Renaissance faires very quickly became—and remains—itself a recognizable cultural trope. This chapter focuses on those who “hate” the Renaissance faire within the context of the faire's story and how the dominant culture challenged the counterculture, subculture, oppositional culture, and alternative culture associated with the faire. It also considers how critics have associated Renaissance faire clothing with homosexuality as well as the anxiety about what the faire does “to” gender expression and by extension gender roles.

Keywords:   moral panics, Renaissance faire, hate, counterculture, subculture, oppositional culture, faire clothing, homosexuality, gender expression, gender roles

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