Countering homonationalism: a case study with ACT UP, Paris
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This thesis is an exploration of the recent phenomenon called homonationalism, through the angle of activism. By doing fieldwork with the association ACT UP, Paris, I intended to understand how activists have perceived homonationalism. I chose ACT UP because they participated in the construction of the LGBT community but also created coalitions with other marginalized groups so as to better struggle against AIDS. I analyzed whether the post- colonial approach of the association can help to avoid falling into the pitfall of homonationalism. First, I argue that the LGBT community, product of the history of the LGBT movement, has been embedded since its inception in a national framework that they cannot escape. Moreover, the LGBT community is informed by its own nationalism, which forms the basis from which they organize their struggle. As a result, homonationalism was not perceived as new but as something that always existed within the LGBT movement. Moreover, considering the recent development of French state politics, by taking into account the processes of exclusion against certain minorities, most notably Muslim people, but also the issue of imperialism, I argue that the issue of homonationalism is deeply linked to the relation that the LGBT community has with state politics. My analysis of the potential of ACT UP to displace the LGBT community is part of a larger ambition to counter homonationalism in its various and complex forms.