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Session Overview
RN23_03a: LGBTQI+ intersectional experiences
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Judit Takacs, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Location: BS.3.24
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Language, social networks and belonging among East European LGBT migrants in Scotland

Francesca Stella, Gawlewicz Anna

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Migration studies have long recognised the significance of social networks in the process of migration and settlement. Research on migrants’ social networks has often explored issues of language use, acquisition and proficiency, and examined how language shapes migrants’ relations with diasporic migrant communities as well as their ‘integration’ in the ‘host’ society (Boyd 1989; Haug 2008; Ryan 2011). However, language and social networks remain relatively unexplored within work on transnational queer migration: existing work mainly focuses on language as a means to (re)negotiate sexual and gender identities (Manalansan 2003; Kuntsman 2003), or focus on ‘sexual racism’ within the gay scene (Callander et al 2016), but rarely explicitly addresses how language may affect queer migrants’ social networks, including relations with diasporic communities (Cantu’ 2009).

This paper examines how language shapes queer migrants’ social networks and sense of belonging at the intersection of ethnicity and sexuality, drawing on the findings of a project on LGBT migrants from Central Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in Scotland. The project explored aspects of queer migrants’ social networks through a focus on their ‘personal communities’, a concept that encompasses meaningful personal ties in which people are embedded, and through which they ‘give and receive companionship, intimacy and support – whether this is with family members, or friends, or other significant ties’ (Pahl and Spencer 2010). Language emerged as an important factor facilitating or hindering social contact, and the paper explores the role of language in socialising and finding companionship, romance and sex. The paper examines language use (multilingualism, proficiency in English, language switching) as well as language as a marker of ethnic identity and racialized otherness.

Queering the Glass Ceiling: lgbtqi+ discrimination in the workplace in Portugal

Ana-Cristina Santos, Rita Alcaire

Centre for Social Studies - UC, Portugal

Notwithstanding significant changes regarding formal recognition of LGBTQI+ rights in Portugal since 2001, hetero and cisnormativity remain pervasive cultural scripts. The workplace is one of the spheres in which discrimination is more visible. From feeling ignored or being dismissed, having experienced negative evaluations and/or refusals of promotion, to ostracization and bullying, LGBTQI+ people are overwhelmingly faced with having to remain in the closet in the spaces in which they spend most of their daily lives. Such unspoken expectation is part of what we suggest to call a heterocisnormative glass ceiling in operation, according to which information regarding sexual orientation or gender identity is to remain separate from the workplace. This separation is often disguised as respect for privacy, when it actually consists in replicating a new dichotomy private/public and imposing the closet as the new normativity.

Drawing on work done within the CILIA LGBTQI+ study in Portugal, in this paper we offer an exploratory analysis based on relevant surveys conducted by Portuguese NGOs and a literature review of scholarly work on LGBTQI+ embodied experiences in the workplace in Portugal. Through this analysis we identify patterns of (in)equalities that affect the professional lives of people with non-normative sexual orientations and gender identities in specific life course transitioning moments, in particular the transition into adulthood and the so-called rush-hour of life (mid-term career). In the last section of the paper, we suggest ways for reframing research and policy around inequality at the workplace by addressing LGBTQI+ specificities and also the impact of austerity measures and precariousness in Southern Europe.

Discussing and Theorising the Conceptual Gap between LGBTTIQ- Identities and Community-Belonging on the Example of LGBTTIQ Police Officers

Tatiana Zimenkova1, Verena Molitor2

1Rhein-Waal-University of Applied Sciences, Germany; 2Bielefeld University, Germany

Sociological conceptualisations of identities and belongings are partly intersecting, or understood as complimentary or even conflicting conceptions (Pfaff-Czarnecka, 2012). Are gender and sexual identities stable entities, and how do they intersect with community belongings of the LGBTTIQ? The paper strives for conceptualising distinction criterias between the theoretical concepts of identities and belongings with respect to self-articulation of LGBTTIQ. We ask, which theoretical instruments are needed to explain the identity/belonging tensions and clashes between the queer-community and professional belonging of LGBTTIQ? Should LGBTTIQ-identities and belonging to a profession be discussed within the intersectionality perspective? Given the empirical evidence from biographical interviews with LGBTTIQ police officers in Germany we seek to demonstrate tensions and intersections of belonging to the police as organisation and LGBTTIQ identities and queer communities. Being part of the police is framed in the interviews as family-like belonging and the LGBTTIQ identities are addressed by our interview partners as unchangeable and discriminated within the executive forces. The presentation seeks to develop theoretical approaches, capable to embrace conflicts, faced by the LGBTTIQ police officers, who are negotiating between being an activist of LGBTTIQ rights and belonging to executive power. We seek to demonstrate approaches, suitable for explaining the mechanisms of the prioritising of different aspects of belonging/identities within the biographical narrations on the example of LGBTTIQ police officers. To do this, we focus on clashes or negotiations of professional belonging with LGBTTIQ identities, which produce specific forms of power relations and hierarchies (Anthias 1998).

Gender, Ethnic and Religious Identity Experience among LGBTQ Muslim Youth in the Philippine

Crisanto Quinos Regadio. Jr.1,7, Jethro Orejana Cristobal2, Mariane Amor Romina Torralba Abuan3, Shareen Usman Hayudini4, Jessreel A Rovera5, Carl Julius Dee Tan4, Julia Maria Teresa Bautista Javier6

1Behavioral Sciences Department, College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines; 2Psychology Department, College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines; 3Literature Department, College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines; 4Ateneo de Zamboanga University; 551 Talk Philippines; 6Integrated School, De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines; 7Social Development Research Center, De La Salle-University, Manila, Philippines

This study investigated the gender, ethnic, and religious self-understanding among LGBTQ Muslim youth in the Philippines. Key informant interviews with selected lesbian and gay Muslim Tausug from Zamboanga City and Muslim Maranao from Marawi City were conducted to determine their affiliation with and experience of their religious, ethnic and gender identities. Their sexual orientation and type of relationship established with their family, peers, community and the “ummah” were also investigated. The investigation reveals the incompatibility between gender identities and ethnic and religious affiliation. The incompatibility resulted in the renunciation of their gender identity and their willingness to conform to heteronormative expectations as a “man” or a “woman.” Thus, they are forced towards “compulsory heterosexuality and heteronormativity” in which they live a life in conformity to Muslim codes and ethnic customs and traditions. These participants affirm the need to enter into heteronormative marriage, and to raise their children as pious Muslim who will be observant of their ethnic customs and traditions. On the other hand, the incompatibility reflected through rejection from the family and their Ummah, and their experience of ridicule, shaming, and physical abuse promote the desire to escape “compulsory heterosexuality and heteronormativity,” such they decide to break free from their ethnic and religious ties. These participants seek and live in a more “LGBTQ tolerant” social environment, pursue professional and career aspirations, and follow a more secular life. The findings of the study aim to contribute to the understanding of the intersection between gender, religious and ethnic identities, and to examine its implications to human rights, social justice, and social inclusivity.

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