Accepted Paper:

"Colourful Queers" and "Identitarian Gays": National Conservatism Between Heteronormativity and Homonationalism  


Patrick Wielowiejski (Humboldt University Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, the rejection of queerness through the German far right is considered not as "homophobic" but rather as anti-liberal. While gays and lesbians can be accepted by national conservatives, everything that counts as "liberal" is dismissed, such as equality, gender fluidity, constructivism.

Paper long abstract:

Far-right parties and movements are often perceived as "homophobic," an accusation that they themselves refute. But whenever they try to appear as gay-friendly, they are criticised for "instrumentalisation" or for being "strategic." In this paper, however, I will venture to argue that it misses the point to call the contemporary far right "homophobic." Instead, they are mainly anti-egalitarian, and their rejection of queerness and gender fluidity is an expression of their anti-liberalism. Gay men and lesbian women might very well be embraced as part of the far-right national imaginary, as long as they adhere to certain nationalist and conservative values.

Taking as a point of departure the upsurge of a far-right movement that can in essence be called national conservative, I will use the German case as an example to illustrate the discursive differences between a "homonationalism" that is based on liberal ideology, and a heteronormative, but not necessarily homophobic anti-liberalism that is based on (radical) conservative ideology.

Based on ethnographic data from the national conservative Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and texts by German national conservative authors, this paper will then enquire into the core elements of conservative anti-liberalism: an anti-egalitarianism that rejects the idea that "all men are equal," an essentialism whose main enemy is "constructivism," and an identitarian nationalism.

Panel P039
Tangles of late liberalism: sexuality, nationalism, and the politics of race in Europe [EASA ENQA and ARE networks]