This research can be used as a way to reflect on initiatives that seek to discuss or take action with regards to LGBTQ+ rights in the majority world.
This research was based on research in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe/North America
Laws established during European colonisation (heterocolonialism) are targeted by Western states and Western-led organisations with the aim to liberate the LGBTQ+ community, a form of homocolonialism.
HRW (2017) uses the benchmark of marriage equality to reflect the geographic division between states with and without LGBTQ+ rights. In doing so, it separates civilised from uncivilised societies, thus engaged in a homonormative production of LGBTQ+ rights.
Critically, it foregoes a deeper analysis of existing queer communities that are engaged in politics and society in regions where marriage equality does not exist. HRW ignores the depths to which marriage rights are accepted or rejected within these societies and, additionally, reproduces the divided world by perpetuating the construction of the non-West as savage or barbaric.
Similarly, a 2019 United Nations OHCHR publication discusses limited legal protections for LGBTQ+ communities within the global south. In outlining the violence faced in these geographies, it fails to examine the continuation of violence against LGBTQ+ communities in the West, despite legal protections. By ignoring violence that occurs in the West, the separation between the civilised West and the uncivilised “other” becomes evident, reproduced, and fortified.
These conclusions were based on a triangulation of historical documents, ethnographic research, interviews and field work. But continued research needs to be done on solidarity between anti-colonial LGBTQ+ rights.
Phaedra Haringsma prepared this research following an interview with Dr Andrew Delatolla.