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A Queer Approach to Understanding LGBT Vulnerability during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 December 2020

Graeme Reid
Affiliation:
Human Rights Watch
Samuel Ritholtz
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Corresponding

Abstract

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates have argued for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) people in humanitarian response efforts. Yet the application of this differential focus has been mixed among international policy guidelines and national programs. This research note details a queer theoretical approach to humanitarian crises that considers the intersectional factors that produce specific vulnerabilities within LGBT communities. We take two examples from distinct LGBT communities during the COVID-19 pandemic to demonstrate the analytical risk of treating the umbrella acronym LGBT, indicating distinct identity groups, as monolithic and not differentiating within identity groups based on other factors. We contend that this monolithic approach risks obviating the way different structural forces further compound precarity during crisis. Thus, we make the case for rooting intersectional approaches in any queer analyses of crisis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Women, Gender, and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association

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Footnotes

The authors would like to thank Wendy Isaack, Laura Mills, Ryan Thoreson, and Julia Zulver, as well as the editors and anonymous reviewers, for their comments and suggestions.

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