Queer Citizenship: Understanding Lesbian Activism After Marriage Equality in Argentina and South Africa

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) social movements have achieved unprecedented success in terms of securing legal rights and protections in recent years. This paper argues that the notion of queer citizenship can illuminate this global trend and its political consequences. Theorists have articulated that queer citizenship is either oxymoronic because citizenship’s normative character is in contradiction to anti-normative queer politics, or that any compatibility of queer and citizenship signals a failure of queer politics and its collapse into a liberal rights-based or consumerist agenda of inclusion. The idea of queer citizenship I put forward is not limited to inclusion of sexual minorities into policy, or to criticism of citizenship’s inherent limitations. Rather, drawing field research (2010-2012) and over 150 interviews with activists from Argentina and South Africa, I use queer citizenship as a lens to understand activists’ irreverent attachment to the legal frameworks that shape their demands.


Part of panel What's Actually Happening After Marriage? Organized LGBTQ Politics
October 2, 2016, 09:00–10:45