Queer in Cyprus? The LGBTIQ Movement, Normativity, and Resistance in a Changing (Trans)national Landscape
Place of publicationBasel, Switzerland
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The literature on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) politics has established the interplay between domestic and transnational norms and political tactics. However, knowledge about how local LGBTIQ activists understand, negotiate, and employ transnational LGBTIQ campaigns and tactics over time remains limited. This article builds on literature on the dynamics between national and transnational LGBTIQ politics. Based on interviews with Cypriot LGBTIQ activists, it examines how they adapt their perceptions and employments of LGBTIQ activism and politics when the transnational LGBTIQ movement interacts with local norms around gender and sexuality, and what the impact of this interaction is on the boundaries of LGBTIQ in-group exclusion and inclusion. The analysis of the interview material identifies three approaches toward transnational LGBTIQ politics that participants express over time: Ambivalence toward, acclamation of, and resistance toward transnational LGBTIQ politics. I argue that these different approaches show that the dynamics between national and transnational LGBTIQ activism and politics are not static and that the relationship between “norm” and “queer” is both messy and productive. I further argue that activists’ understandings, negotiations, and employments of transnational LGBTIQ campaigns and tactics in contentious contexts may reinforce and/or challenge national LGBTIQ politics’ normativization and queer emancipatory politics. Therefore, beyond contributing to discussions about the national–transnational relationship in LGBTIQ politics, the article demonstrates the importance of studying LGBTIQ activists’ views for gaining a well-rounded understanding of this issue.