Living Lesbian Relationships in Madrid: Do They Really Care About Us?

Sexual and gender dissidents’ existence is marked by silences, absences, violence but also resistance. Despite the legal recognition of non-heterosexual marriage and kinship, it seems that (some) people are still struggling against invisibility and long-term incomprehension and hostility. In that sense, I will apply the concepts of slow violence (Nixon 2006-2007, 2009) and precarious lives (Butler 2009) to the lives of sexual and gender dissident people with regard to their identities, lives and coupledom experiences and the suffering provoked by others.

Based on the concept of Queer Public Sociology (Ana Cristina Santos, 2012) as a way to address queer theory and queer or LGBT activism in academic work, and drawing on the interviews I conducted in Madrid in 2015 within the project INTIMATE: Citizenship, Care and Choice: The Micropolitics of Intimacy in Southern Europe, I will analyse the narratives of lesbians and pansexual trans/women in a country where same sex marriage and the right to adoption were regulated in 2005. Symbolic violence and different formless and dispersed threats were related both within families of origin and in public spaces. In what concerns the State, it can be responsible for the lack of public and social policies but also for the negligence within state institutions, such as notary offices, tax offices, hospitals, or schools.

As a result, I hope to contribute to a discourse that underlines the need for an effective turning point in LGBTQ politics, beyond legal recognition, elaborated through the voices of those who belong to the silenced part of the line and on their collective action as a way to refuse the patriarchal, heterosexist and neoliberal western system.