Homonationalism, the Neo-Liberal Queer and Class Struggle: Towards an internationalist queer marxist sexual/gender politics.

Gary Kinsman


Using my historical sociological work on the emergence of the neo-liberal queer in the ‘Canadian’ context as a resource I engage with questions raised by three recent books. These are: Joseph Massad’s Desiring Arabs (2007); Peter Drucker’s Warped, Gay Normality and Queer Anticapitalism (2014); and David Murray’s Real Queer? Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Refugees in the Canadian Refugee Apparatus (2015). Out of this engagement I develop suggestions for the development of an internationalist anti-racist queer marxist sexual/gender politics that resists neo-liberalism and homonationalism and the global imposition of the hetero/homo binary around the world as part of capitalist globalization. While defending sexual/gender diversity (including third and fourth genders) this approach refuses to see sexual or gender identity as the ‘truth’ of people’s beings and refuses to view gender and sexual formation in other parts of the world as more ‘primitive’ or as less ‘advanced’ that in the ‘west’ and ‘north.’ I will also point how current LGBT refugee regimes are part of this imposition of ‘western’ LGBT identifications onto people of colour coming from the ‘global south.’ Using the tools of a queered historical materialism this approach finds the social basis for homonationalism in class and class struggles. The talk closes with a call to answer neo-liberal homonationalist classed and raced struggle with our own working class, anti-colonialist and anti-racist sexual political struggles.

Queer Marxism - sexuality - LGBTQ