- Queer nationalism
Queer nationalism (also gay nationalism) is a phenomenon which is related both to
nationalismand to gay and lesbian liberation movement. This form of gayand lesbianemancipation movement is based on the idea that homosexuals are not a group of humans with deviant sexual practicesbut a folk due to their specific culture and customs.
The first notions towards the creation of a gay identity were made by the German lawyer
Karl Heinrich Ulrichswho proposed implementation of uranian marriageclarifyme and uranian's association as soon as 1867.who
The conception of being "different" is taken by many
gays and lesbians for granted, due to their experiences of social segregation and the natural tendency of
minorities to seek support and protection among their ilk. After decriminalisation of
homosexualityin many countries a vivid LGBT-culture arose, and yet true social and legal equality with heterosexualscould not be accomplished to the same extent. This situation has led to increasing frustration and a wish for separation from the hostile heterosexual majority. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3683/is_200007/ai_n8896104/print Ranklin, L. P.: 'Sexualities and national identities: Re-imagining queer nationalism' in: "Journal of Canadian Studies", Summer 2000] ] These feelings found their expression in 1990 with the establishment of Queer Nation, a radical organization with one of its slogans being "I hate straights", but best known for its slogan "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it."
nation-statefor homosexuals was suggested, among others, by William S. Burroughs, who changed his views later towards an organized structure similar to the Chinese Tong community. [Burroughs, William S. "Thoughts on Gay State" in "Gay Spirit". Ed. Mark Thompson. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987. pp 20-24. ISBN 0-312-00600-4]
The first attempt to make territorial claims was made in 2004 by a group of Australian gay activists who declared the tiny islands of Cato to be the
Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Seaand Dale Parker Anderson to be the Emperor. Following the 2005 disagreements within the group, the Gay and Lesbian Commonwealth Kingdom and Unified Gay Tribe have cancelled their affiliation to Mr. Anderson. Some other groups with similar causes exist, e.g. the Gay Homeland Foundation and a micronationcalled Gay Parallel Republic.
The argumentation of the gay and lesbian nationalists refers to the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which
* in article 15 guarantees 1) the right to have a nationality; 2) that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality;
* in article 16 guarantees 1) the right to marry without any limitation due to nationality;
* formal recognition as a people by the
United Nationswould lead to recognition of same-sex marriages and the elimination of discrimination against homosexuals in the signatory states.
The gay and lesbian national movement resembles the Jewish emancipation movement and orients itself with the ideas of
The emancipation through formation of
national identity, as suggested by the "separatist" groups, finds relatively little response within the official (integrative) Queer-Theory. This movement is increasingly put into question by the research on nationalism.
Research on Nationalism
First to recognize the "
Queer Nation" as a new form of nationalism were Bérubé (1991) and Chee (1991). [Berube, A. & Escoffier, J. (1991) 'Queer/Nation', Out/look, Winter, pp. 12 - 14.] , [Chee, A. (1991) 'Queer Nationalism', Out/look, Winter, pp. 15-19.]
An advanced analysis was published 1996 by
Brian Walker. [Walker, Brian: "Social Movements as Nationalisms" in: "Rethinking Nationalism" [ISBN 0-919491-22-7] .] In his article “Social Movements as Nationalisms, or, On the Very Idea of a Queer Nation” Walker points out that several features of the nationalistic creation of identity apply to the LGBT national movement as well. Walker classifies Queer Nationalism as one of the "new", cultural nationalisms which are distinct from the "old" ethnic and religious nationalisms as they were defined by Kymlicka, Margalit and Raz. Walker concludes that the gay and lesbian community fulfills many criteria to be regarded as a people, because:
* All nationalisms began as social movements, which this is – it’s a people set apart from those around them by “in-group attitudes and discrimination from others”;
* Homosexual community has a , with discussion groups, bookstores, magazines, bars, cabarets, etc.,
* has a
* has a
* seeks access to “certain key levers of the state” to ensure survival (particularly given how much under attack they are by, e.g., religious groups), is highly organized and able to create national identity.
Walker regards modern communication technologies such as
internetas offering a chance for the LGBT community to create a global culture as a (non-territorial) nation.
This thesis is supported by Paul Treanor who considers an alternative (non-nationalist) world order as possible. In this context Treanor mentions the LGBT community as a "non-territorial nationalist movement". [ [http://www.socresonline.org.uk/2/1/8.html Treanor, Paul: "Structures of Nationalism" in "Sociological Research online"] ]
* http://www.uofcpress.com/0-919491/0-919491-22-7.html "Rethinking Nationalism" [ISBN 0-919491-22-7] .
* http://spruce.flint.umich.edu/~simoncu/385/Walker.htm Summary on Brian Walker's theses.
* http://www.unpo.org/ Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation.
* http://gayhomeland.org/ Gay Homeland Foundation.
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