Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography
Publication date: 2014
I feel the urge to reflect on the dramatic actions against the citizenship rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs—an inclusive formulation that also includes sexually questioning and intersex populations) in the Russian Federation in the build-up to the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi in February 2014. The ideas put forth here are meant to contribute to debates that seek to critically engage with queer liberalism and homonationalism (see Puar 2007; Eng 2010). This intervention is thus not positing that Russia’s LGBT struggles are backward and ‘unenlightened’ queer but, rather, mapping out and locating how the decision to monitor and criminalize queer identities in Russia provides a way to think about how we understand the ethics of sexual citizenship and belonging across time and space. Most obviously I ask: how is the Russian anti-LGBT crackdown both upholding and providing a context for us to challenge queer liberalism and homonationalism?