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Trump in Transnational Perspective: Insights from Global LGBT Politics

  • Julie Moreau (a1)


Despite campaign promises to be the most “gay-friendly” Republican president, since assuming office, Donald Trump has been proactive in what many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocates call a “rollback” of gains made during the Barack Obama administration, shocking many observers and bringing sexual and gender politics to the fore. How can we make sense of the contradictions and consequences of Trump's sexual and gender politics? I argue that examining the transnational processes of democratization, political homophobia, and homonationalism illuminates the significance of the administration's actions. A democratization approach reveals how Trump's reversal of Obama-era policies and appointment of conservative judges signifies a greater effort at de-democratization through the contraction of citizenship rights and weakening of the judiciary; political homophobia clarifies how the administration legitimizes its governance through opposition to LGBT people and issues with the appointment of openly homophobic and transphobic individuals to prominent positions; and homonationalism, or the entry of certain queer subjects into the nation at the expense of racialized “others,” aptly characterizes forms of queer inclusion still taking place under Trump. For these reasons, putting Trump's sexual and gender politics in transnational perspective can help us better understand this moment in U.S. politics.

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