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Louise K. Davidson-Schmich

This article examines the 2017 German national election through the lens of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) interests. It depicts the ways in which sexual minorities articulated their policy preferences, the degree to which these positions were taken up in party platforms and electoral discourse, and the extent to which the resulting coalition agreement pledged to address queer citizens’ concerns. I argue that, as a result of what Sarah Childs and Mona Lena Krook call a critical actor, this election provided sexual minorities with a high degree of responsiveness on one core issue: marriage equality. Other issues of interest to LGBTI voters, however, remained largely invisible. The conclusions here are based on analysis of primary documents including interest group statements, party platforms, and coalition agreements, as well as on German-language news coverage of the election campaign.

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Hadley Z. Renkin

Violent attacks on gay and lesbian activities in the public sphere, coupled with verbal aggression against sexual minorities by right-wing politicians in Hungary and other postsocialist countries, illustrate the centrality of sexuality in questions of postsocialist transition. This article discusses the limits of current scholarly interpretations of homophobia in postsocialist countries. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on LGBT activism in Hungary, it argues that by undertaking public projects that assert multiple forms of identity and community, LGBT people, although often portrayed as passive objects of the changing configurations of power of Hungary's transition, have raised a radical challenge to traditional imaginings of the boundaries between national and transnational meanings. It is this challenge—the proposal of a “queering” of belonging—to which right-wing, nationalist actors have responded with public violence.

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Nadzeya Husakouskaya

The article studies the emergence of the transgender phenomenon within LGB activism in contemporary Ukraine in relation to an ongoing geopolitical process of Europeanisation, which involves negotiations over the country’s belonging to Europe. The article is based on PhD research (2013–2018) and has borrowed from governmentality studies and also from literature about the Europeanisation process. It pays particular attention to the instrumentalisation of sexual diversity and the transfer of ideas from Western to Eastern Europe. Using data from field research, the article brings to light the discrepancies between the globalised frameworks for LGBT activism and localised meanings and practices.

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Secret Years

Hungarian Lesbian Herstory, 1950s–2000s

Anna Borgos

The article explores the personal narratives of middle-aged and elderly Hungarian lesbian women based on oral history interviews. The stories open a window into the Kádár era from a special perspective, allowing us to get a glimpse into the women's self-recognition and coming out process; their different (sexual, professional or maternal) identities, relationships, informal social scenes, and communities; their thinking about gender roles, as well as the available representations of lesbians over the decades. The women also discuss the freedom and greater visibility—as complex as it was—that came after the democratic transition. The article contributes more detailed knowledge about the situation of LGBT people in the region during the state socialist period and around the 1989 regime change.

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Talking My Way In

Reflections on the Journey of a Lesbian Feminist Queer Rabbi

Elli Tikvah Sarah

In the lecture she gave at the Day of Celebration to mark twenty-five years of ordaining LGBT rabbis by Leo Baeck College on 23 June 2014, Rabbi Dr Rachel Adler spoke persuasively and encouragingly of ‘newcomers’ to the ongoing Jewish ‘conversation’, ‘affecting the tradition’ by teaching the tradition ‘to re-understand its own stories’, and also by telling ‘stories that the tradition does not know at all’. For most of my rabbinate, I was engaged in the first kind of storytelling. More recently, I have been doing more of the second kind. In my response to Rachel Adler’s lecture, I trace my journey, both within the context of the developing women’s rabbinate and as a particular journey taken by a lesbian feminist queer rabbi determined that the voices, perspectives and lives of LGBTQ Jews are included within and transform Jewish life and teaching.