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Accepted Contribution:

Working through queer postcolonialisms towards the decolonial material of LGBTIQ equality: the example of Bangladesh.  
Momin Rahman (Trent University)

Contribution short abstract:

In this paper, we suggest that we need to think beyond the postcolonial critiques of international LGBTIQ rights, using the queer movement in Bangladesh as our example.

Contribution long abstract:

In this paper, we suggest that we need to think beyond the postcolonial critiques of international LGBTIQ rights, using the queer movement in Bangladesh as our example. In this case, the praxis of anti-oppression requires the development of solidarities with heteronormative Muslim and nationalist communities, who overwhelmingly deny local queer traditions. On the other side, the queer movement relies upon solidarities with non-Muslim, non-national LGBTIQ politics, which are overwhelmingly framed and supported by western governments, both in country and internationally. Thus, while the postcolonial critique of LGBTIQ rights promotion remains accurate – in that it prioritizes western versions of SOGIE and politics in a homocolonialist dynamic – we must also attend to the other dimension of homocolonialism. Non-western governments and populations share in the logic of homocolonialism by ceding LGBTIQ to western civilization and thus denying the existence of their own cultural sexual diversities in order to justify resisting LGBTIQ rights as a demonstration of their postcolonial cultural autonomy. Constructing a politics that can navigate these two dimensions of homocolonialism requires something more than a postcolonial agenda focused on the west and its embedded hierarchies of racialization and Islamophobia. . We provide a brief sketch of what dimensions a decolonial strategy for capacity building looks like in the case of Bangladesh, and what it implies for our western-centric frameworks of postcolonial analysis.

Key words: Bangladesh; decolonial; homocolonialism; postcolonial; queer.

Panel P29
LGBTQ+ and faith in international development
  Session 2 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -