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Queering the Politics of Global

Sexual Rights?
Leticia Sabsay*
The Open University
To be politically queer at the beginning of the 1990s indicated opposition to the
policing of identity and heteronormativity, and adherence to a politics that tran-
scended liberal-legal claims. More recently, queer activism and scholarship have
largely focused on contesting the emergence of homonormative forms of nation-
alism and institutionalized rights-based LGBT politics. However, to dene a
political intervention as queer on the condition that it explicitly adheres to one or
other specic political project is possibly to overstate the case. The queer signi-
er has travelled far beyond its local origins and, as a consequence, has shifted
meanings in signicant ways. In this essay, I consider current tensions concerning
what it means to be politically queer, focusing on queer responses to the formation
of sexual rights-bearing subjects, and critically analyse the notion of sexual rights
on which contemporary international mainstreamsexual politics is based. Through
this analysis I aim to draw attention to the entanglement of the normalization of
sexual identities at a national level with current sexual neocolonial projects. Since
the signier queer has spread in many different directions, I argue that it is
precisely cultural translation that makes key alliances against both universalist and
nationalist queer positions possible.
In September 2011, BBC Radio 3 broadcast Out in the World: A Global Gay
History, a four-episode documentary series. It was advertised by the BBC as an
investigation into the history of same-sex desire through the ages and across the
world. The rst episode began with the sounds of Tahrir Square the rallying
point of the Egyptian revolution, as presenter Richard Coles put it. It was from
* Leticia Sabsay is a Research Associate at the ERC Oecumene Project Citizenship after
Orientalism, Department of Politics & International Studies, The Open University. She is
a member of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, The Open University;
and a member of the Gino Germani Research Institute of Social Sciences, University of
Buenos Aires (Argentina), where she was Assistant Professor of Communications before
she migrated to Europe. She has authored three books: Dilemmas of Antiessentialism in
Contemporary Feminist Theory, The Norms of Desire: Sexual Imaginary and Communica-
tions, and Sexual Borders: Urban Space, Bodies and Citizenship, all published in Spanish.
Leticia Sabsay: Queering the Politics of Global Sexual Rights?
here that Coles introduced the rst episode, noting that it was still too early to say
what will emerge from it: a democratic pluralist state on the Western model or an
Islamic republic offering a very different version of modernity; and he immedi-
ately remarked that this was a critical moment for the entire nation, not least for
the countrys gays and lesbians. Coles then interviewed Mostafa Fathi, the author
of Egypts rst gay novel, about the adverse reaction to his work within the
Egyptian media, which revolved around the question of whether homosexuality is
an American import. This short dialogue in Tahrir served as an introduction for
Coles to present the problem to be addressed in the episode: Evidence for the
existence of gay people at all times and in all places helps the effort to achieve
equal rights, but dening, let alone uncovering, gay history, if I can put it like that,
is highly problematic.
Thus, within its opening minutes, the programme confronted its audience with
two relevant issues. First, Tahrir served as a stage for considering which kind of
political system would be able to guarantee LGBT rights. Second, the universality
of homosexuality, and consequently of LGBT rights themselves, were examined.
Is the existence of homosexuality a universal reality or is it a construction of
Western modernity? This question not only established the theme for the rst
episode but also encompassed the framework for the whole series. However, while
the programme rejected a simplistic universalist assumption about gayness, what
remained unquestioned was the legitimacy of current political claims made on
behalf of non-heterosexual modes of being under the framework of LGBT human
rights. Similarly, it did not question whether pluralist democracies provide the only
or the best means of granting legitimacy to these other ways of living as sexual
In fact, LGBT global politics is just one of the many possible ways in which
political demands can be made, as has been demonstrated by a wide variety of
queer movements. It is important to recognize this when we consider the ways in
which global sexual politics have become complicit with neocolonial logics, to the
extent of mobilizing signicant new forms of cultural imperialism, as Joseph
Massad (2007) and Jasbir Puar (2007), among many others, have pointed out. The
use of sexual tolerance as a measure for dening whether a society might be
considered democratically advanced and therefore justify the need for interven-
tion, education, or training, as well as the tendency to chart the alleged backward-
ness of culturally or ethnically marked others based on their attitudes towards
sexual diversity as dened by LGBT global politics have become indeed
prominent in the last decade within hegemonic internationalist approaches to
sexual rights.
In this essay, I analyse the limits of progressive positions such as that enacted by
the BBC programme and argue that when attempting to contest cultural imperial-
ism with regard to sexual matters, the notions of sexual and cultural diversity fall
short in their critique of humanist universal positions. In order to develop my
argument, in the rst two sections of the essay, I present a critical reection on the
implications of both humanist and multiculturalist approaches to sexuality con-
ceived as a right. In the third section, I draw attention to queer contestations to
LGBT mainstream politics. Finally, I explore the ways in which a queer critical
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013
position might pave the way for decolonizing universalist understandings of the
Universalizing Trends
Out in the World was produced and broadcast by BBC Radio 3 at a time that could
be characterized by the uneasy expansion of global LGBT politics, and the parallel
sexualization of the imaginary cultural borders between the global North and the
rest of the world. The opening scene, depicting Tahrir as a site where the future of
Egyptian gays and lesbians could ourish in line with democratic impulses in the
Middle East (understood in Western terms), lays bare how this opposition is
mobilized again and again, in different political contexts.
The programme made its appearance in the public media in a context where the
rise of culturally racist, and in particular Islamophobic, discourses has gone
hand-in-hand with the proclaimed failure and consequent end of multicultural-
ism and the use of the rhetoric of sexual rights as a marker of Western moral,
cultural, civic, and political superiority. It is in this context that a relatively new
area of critical scholarship focused on the entanglement between sexuality, racism,
international politics, and neoliberalism has emerged.
In this scenario, then, by
acknowledging howproblematic it is to conceive of gayness in universal terms, the
BBC programme offered a progressive position that runs in parallel with this
critique. But, in doing so, the programme also turned away from (or even dis-
missed) a more radical and queer critique of these imperialist trends, which points
to the intersection between gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race.
As the programme acknowledged from the beginning, current global sexual
politics are based on the assumption that to be gay is a universal experience. This
assumption, as Coles stated, helps the effort to achieve equal rights. This political
drive for equality has been encouraged on international and regional scales, with a
wide range of organizations offering support and resources to activists in postco-
lonial contexts. Among the most relevant of these organizations are the United
Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the International Gay and
Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), and the International Lesbian
and Gay Association (ILGA), to name just a few.
In the eld of sexual human rights, European Union and North American
international and regional politics regarding the attainment of gender equity and
the recognition of sexual diversity have led the way and provided the framework
within which each project concerned with these matters is dened in its own
particular terms. But the fact that the Western world and political liberalism set
the agenda for a concept of sexual democratization implies that, in order to become
democratic, governments as well as sexually progressive movements are obliged to
adhere to these Western internationalist models. As a result, in the last decades,
gendered and sexual Others have been included in the parameters of citizenship
in a number of different national contexts. Within this framework, the three
hegemonic trends through which sexual rights have been articulated are: a) the
politics of inclusion; b) the emergence of new homonormativities that in some
cases are complicit with new forms of nationalism; and c) the reduction of sexual
Leticia Sabsay: Queering the Politics of Global Sexual Rights?
rights to cultural rights (or the denition of sexual rights in cultural terms). This is
the model that has been functioning as a regulative framework for dening what
demands can be made and the ways in which they can be articulated.
I have argued elsewhere that far from simply being an equalizing tool, this
EuropeanNorth American imaginary denes the terms by which anyone can
become intelligible as a sexual being as well as a political being (Sabsay 2012). For
this politics of inclusion and recognition to make sense either within the context
of citizenship or as a human being entitled to sexual rights it is assumed that there
are normal or natural forms of being sexual either hetero or homo, and to a lesser
extent, bi. Following Massad (2007), I would argue that this imaginary works as an
unquestioned epistemological framework. As a result, this framework not only
limits the scope of sexual claims regarding justice and freedom, requiring any
rights claims to be articulated in certain, prescribed terms, but also establishes the
ways in which sexual Others can be recognizable as such. But, who has access to
the status of a sexual Other? How is this sexual subject constituted and how does
it operate within the political eld of struggles over sexual freedom and justice?
How are these global discourses reshaping what can be conceived as sexual
Arguably, current gay and lesbian global politics are committing very similar
political errors to those for which white hegemonic feminism has been criticized
since the 1980s. Over the last three decades feminists have been questioning the
supposed universality of what it means to be a woman. When bell hooks (1981)
wrote Aint I aWoman, she was already pointing to the exclusions that the category
woman produced when not acknowledging its particular white determinations.
And when Denise Riley (1988) wrote Am I That Name?, she was also questioning
the category of woman understood as a substance, as an ontological entity, and
therefore universal and independent of history and culture. Decades of feminism,
and mostly third world and subaltern feminisms, have shown how the category
and/or the experience of becoming a woman was implicated in power relations and
dependent on specic historic, cultural representations and interpretations. Since
then, in effect, nobody in the eld would dare to posit the idea of woman in the
singular, nor would it be easy for any feminist to use it in the plural either, if this
plural does not address further considerations about intersected axes of power
elds. One could argue that this cultural and political transformation had a major
impact on the displacement in feminism from the focus on women to the focus on
gender. Later, the performative turn in gender theory made this move towards the
de-essentialization of gender categories even more apparent.
This reference to feminism might seem out-moded, but it serves to remind us of
the need to de-essentialize sexuality just as the feminists did with gender. The
question we are facing today is similar to that faced by feminists decades ago, this
time in reference to the political use of the termgay, or gayness (I amusing gayness
as encompassing gay and lesbian), and the same could be said about trans. Current
progressive sexual politics both at international and national levels frequently use
these words as if they represented a universal reality, independent of the historical
contexts in which they have appeared, travelled, and developed. But to reify and
naturalize what it means to be gay in this way implies the assumption of a whole
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013
sexual epistemology that in fact is not universal (Massad 2007). This sexual
epistemology concerns very specic ways of understanding the place of sexuality
in dening who we are, or in other words, the role of sexuality in dening our
identity both personal and social and our conception of bodies and bodily life.
Identities Still at Stake?
In fact, this rst humanist version of universalist ideals proper to mainstream
LGBTglobal politics has been under criticismfor some time now. This critique has
complicated the panorama. However, I contend that the progressive critique of
humanism does not go far enough. One of the main arguments against humanist
positions is that the universalization of sexual rights that they mobilize is based on
the naturalization of a Western and modern mode of conceiving homosexuality. In
this context, in a multiculturalist or sometimes pluralist fashion, one response to
humanist discourses has been to point to the different ways of being gay, lesbian,
trans, or a sexual Other more broadly.
The BBC programme under discussion is a case in point. It subscribes to this
progressive trend. Highlighting the fact that this universalized way of conceiving
homosexuality is indebted to a Western, modern tradition, after the Egyptian
sequence, the presenter of Out in the World reminds us that the key problem here
is that the word homosexuality and the concept that goes with it goes back only a
hundred years or so, as we will discover, and it is very much a Western idea. By
interviewing a number of scholars, he explains that we can nd this critical
approach in Michel Foucault, and points out the crucial difference between what
were understood as mere different sexual behaviours, and their later recongura-
tion as markers of different sexual types or species. Coles warns us that using
homosexuality to refer to the ancients or to cultures contemporary with but
different from our own is tricky. The provisional solution to this problem con-
cerned with categorization might be to look for more inclusive categories: same-
sex relationships or practices, forms of homoeroticism, etc. And yet, the problem
with this approach is that it does not question the need for a universal category
capable of totalizing every sexual experience, but rather conrms it.
We can also nd other attempts to question the universal naturalness of these types
by pointing to the different ways in which sexual dissidence is enacted as well as to
different forms of sexual subjectivation. In some of these cases, terms other than gay,
lesbian, or trans are used. In the Spanish-speaking context, we may nd, for instance,
an extended political use of terms such as tortilleras, bollos, maricas, locas, etc.
These terms represent an attempt to dispute the hegemony of those normative ways
of being a sexual Other, which, not surprisingly, coincide with those of the global
North. In an interview in Peridico VAS Buenos Aires in November 2012, Marlene
Wayar, a well-known Argentinian scholar and trans activist, defended the travesti
category as addressing a particular position not covered by the terms transgender or
transsexual. Asked about the latter, Wayar (2012) stated:
They are expressions that escape the territorial and communitarian dimen-
sion to become universalist terms. In such cases, all the cultural specic
Leticia Sabsay: Queering the Politics of Global Sexual Rights?
background is lost. The problem is that hegemonic discourses enabled by
that universal position embrace a hygenicist notion of human categories.
This critical move is certainly important to question the presumptions and erasures
entailed by such universalist approaches. However, disputing categories in terms
of identity risks of reproducing the logic of inclusion and falls short of questioning
the inclusive framework itself. Bringing the particularity of an identity as a means
for putting in motion the very process of questioning the universality of another
identity would not necessarily work. This is precisely the case when a particular
identity is understood as just an expression of cultural diversity, which, in turn,
amounts to arguments for the universal to be more inclusive. When reduced to
cultural difference, the resulting proliferation of categories could then end up
being reabsorbed within one hegemonic category, which, in turn will become more
inclusive, encompassing different ways of being homosexual, trans, or bisexual. In
this scenario, the pluralization of categories would result in the conrmation rather
than the disruption of either the universality of a hegemonic position or the
universality of the hegemonic eld that gives meaning and value to the positions at
In these cases, we are not just confronted with the universalism of certain
subject positions or identities, but also and more signicantly, with the universali-
zation of the eld in which cultural diversity in relation to matters sexual becomes
intelligible. What remains naturalized within this multiculturalist framework is the
eld within which all these identities both Western and hegemonic as well as
subordinate and local might make sense. This is the sort of translation that
Massad would describe as a form of assimilation. According to Massad, this is the
kernel of the assimilationist logic of Western sexual epistemology: by reducing
difference to the diverse ways in which sexuality can be lived, it elevates sexual-
ity to the status of an ontological category.
When diversity is limited to an account of how different cultures or eras
experience their sexuality, sexuality is conrmed as an inalienable fact. The result
is that pluralist versions of sexual progressivism reinforce sexuality as an onto-
logical reality in a way that is not so different from humanist positions. Both
approaches forget that sexuality, far from being an ontological reality, is the effect
of an episteme that is, a particular conguration of power/knowledge (Foucault
1990 [1976]). When Coles aptly draws our attention on the historicity of gayness
and homosexuality, the over-determination of sexuality for giving meaning to
these categories is put at stake, and yet, by replacing these terms in search of more
inclusive ones (such as same-sex desire), this sexual epistemic over-determination
is not questioned.
The sexual epistemology that denes sexuality as an ontological reality able to
dene who we are and determine our concept of bodily life refers to very specic
ways of understanding the relationship of the subject with pleasure and desire.
Therefore, it is not enough to show how sexual diversity is also culturally different
if this intervention is not able to contest the fundamental categories on which this
sexual epistemology is based. But from which perspective should one be able to
embark on such a task? Does the queer perspective allow us to contest the
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013
universalization of the sexual? If so, which kinds of queer perspectives would be
best placed to achieve such a goal? Which role would this approach have in a
decolonized version of the queer?
Queer as a Migrant Signier
The rst question that needs to be addressed concerns the origin of queer per-
spectives. Does a queer perspective, which originated in the United States and
has now spread across the globe, allow for an effective contestation of current
Western hegemonies? Does it really make sense to use such a framework to
provincialize the West or the global North? Would this not be, in fact, a con-
tinuation of the Western self-critical endeavour? At the closing panel of the
conference on Queer Sexualities, Nationalism and Racism in the New Europe
organized by the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research,
Jeffrey Weeks,
director of the centre, answered this question with a categorical no. Weeks stated
that the human, read from poststructuralism and queer theory, became the
colonial man, leading to the possibility of exploring other subjectivities that
could be understood as post-human (in the sense of post-humanist). However,
he continued, to have broken with the humanist tradition of Western modernity
through anti-humanist or post-humanist perspectives (i.e. post-structuralist),
which also arise from the hegemonic centres of knowledge, does not imply a real
break with the hegemony of the West, and therefore does not take us any further
towards a decolonial critique.
For Weeks, this fact would conrm the failure to which the critique of Western
modernity is exposed. But such questioning is misleading; given our postcolonial
reality, we should ask a different question. Maybe it is the strict differentiation
between the West and its Other that does not allowus to take into account howboth
worlds are mutually entangled and are constitutive of each other. This entangle-
ment, of course, gave rise to different histories and positions, but then the question
is: which perspectives allowfor a better critique of the rearticulation of hegemonic
positions in our contemporary postcolonial conditions?
Originally, a queer position indicated a contestation of fundamental Western
binaries (Anzalda 1987) and a call for alliances and coalitions based on common
interests rather than on identity-based demands. However, there are also exclu-
sionary versions of the queer. And when the queer functions as another identity-
based position, it loses all its original critical potential. Today, the signier queer
may evoke and be an extension of LGBT contemporary politics. The slippery
meaning of the term, which is not due to ambiguous or careless usage, draws
attention to the fact that the eld of meanings of the signier queer has been
marked by the alignment of the queer in this context understood as queer
community with LGBT collectives. Obviously, this has been a contested terrain
for many years now. (In the early 1990s many prominent gures Judith Butler,
Eve Sedgwick, and Teresa de Lauretis among them were already disputing the
normalization of the queer.) And yet, as queer has become increasingly identi-
tarian and institutionalized, it has emerged popularly as synonymous with gay and
Leticia Sabsay: Queering the Politics of Global Sexual Rights?
An example from the NewYorker in February 2012 is illustrative. In a review of
a new dance performance titled Armed Guard Garden, the New Yorker con-
sciously changed the phrase queer bodies included in the original press release,
for gay bodies. When Cassie Peterson, one of the collaborators of the dance
project, wrote to the editor of the magazine asking for the change to be amended,
because queer in the context was being used to contest the normalized version of
gayness, the editor apologized, but still refused to change the words back to the
original version (Cordes 2012).
Politically biased though it may be, this homologation of the terms has its
reasons. Many associations have added the letter Q to their branding in order to
include in their community all those others that are not represented by the other
letters. Although still distinguished from other positions, with the addition of the
Q, all queers are aligned or conceived as part of the same movement, as if they
were adhering and supporting its demands and politics. So the question remains
open: what are the implications of adding the Q to the LGBT conglomerate? Is it
not the case that this tendency betrays, in certain ways, the original building of
commonalities through alliances instead of identity grouping? After all, the queer
movement emerges essentially as an alternative aimed at countering gay and
lesbian identitarian minority politics (as well as radical feminist positions), and
against the normalization of sexual dissidence that was increasingly developing as
a consequence of the politics of inclusion promoted by these gay and lesbian
politics of identity (Warner 1993).
The clear alternatives to this, of course, are forms of queer activism that
explicitly challenge the new exclusionary or neoliberal versions of queerness
(Engel 2011). The political stakes in this context are multiple and complex. In
parallel to this hegemonic trend, there are other positions that also claim the name
queer; many different groups of queer activists and scholars of colour have
developed what could be identied as a (North)Euro-American queer of colour
critique. And yet, there are other queer groups outside this geopolitical location
that do not construct their politics primarily around the current entanglement of
sexual progressivism rhetoric with the demarcation and segregation of the
Others marked by racial or cultural differences. There are many other queer
movements across the globe for whomthe struggle against homonationalismis not
seen as an issue of their concern even when distancing themselves from LGBT
politics and adhering to antiracist viewpoints (see Castro Varela and Dhawan
In part as a response to these processes, the term queer is sometimes rejected
altogether, either as an Anglo-American importation or as an insufciently radical
term, or both. Maybe partly due to the institutionalization of the queer, the Spanish
activists who were involved in radical groups self-identied as queer throughout
the 1990s (Trujillo Barbadillo 2008) today adhere to what, in that context, is called
transfeminism. Illustrative of these political moves is the fact that the most active
queer group honouring the politics of coalition that emerged during the 2011
Indignados demonstrations in Spain preferred to call itself Asamblea Trans-
Marica-Bollo de Plaza del Sol, which could be translated as Trans-Fag-Dyke
Assembly of the Plaza del Sol. In the meantime, in Argentina, for instance,
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013
Travesti movements are challenging the normalized version of queerness that is
obscuring the effectiveness of sexual dissidence and re-inscribing them in hege-
monic LGBT terms. Unlike the groups of queers of colour of the global North, it
is not racialized differences that travestis denounce. What is at stake for them is
rather the homonormative trend by which they are normalized.
Given the controversial character of these congurations, it is undeniable that
the multiple agendas and battles facing different queer movements in different
locations pose some difculties for articulating coalitions beyond local or national
borders. And the same could be said for different queer groups within the same
geopolitical context. Indeed, to identify queer with support for any one specic
political project would be overstating the case. In light of these transformations
and displacements, the migrating character of what it means to assume a politically
queer position and the possibility of alliances in translation is signicant.
This scenario leads us to think about the tensions and possibilities of the
emblematic queer politics of coalitions through the lens of the cultural translations
of the queer. It is from this perspective that we can see that the current forms of
homonationalism that are serving racist, colonial, imperialist, and orientalist
purposes are inconceivable without the normalization of the queer and the conse-
quent conversion of the queer into another identity-based community within a
pluralist liberal framework. The sexual epistemology that has been spreading
across the globe is certainly a normalized identity-based one.
In fact, the current sexualization of Western modernity against its Others, and
the denition of national frontiers in sexual terms, constitutively requires the
disciplining of sexuality according to its own liberal, multiculturalist, or pluralist
terms. It is in light of this intersection, then, that in order to contest these cultural
and geopolitical borders, the coalition of queer struggles against this disciplined
version of sexual freedom and justice, with the struggles of queers of colour
against the imperial impulses of sexual democracy, becomes not only possible but
also fundamentally necessary.
In this essay I have offered a brief reection on the relationship between queer
politics, the politics of sexual rights, and the strategies for countering sexualized
forms of cultural imperialism. I addressed some of the implications of thinking of
sexual freedom and justice in terms of rights. With Massad, I argued that both the
humanist universal discourse of human rights and a sexual multicultural discourse
that focuses on the pluralization of different cultural forms of being sexual,
reinforce the hegemony of Western sexual epistemology. In the latter case, this is
made possible in as much as culturalized versions of sexual diversity still leave
aside questions about the sexual when conceived as an individual entitlement (and
hence, as a liberal right). Following Massad, again, I pointed out that the reinforce-
ment of such hegemony is due to the fact that this sexual epistemology naturalizes
sexuality as an ontological, and consequently universal, reality.
I then turned my attention to the development of different queer perspectives
and asked whether a queer approach could overcome these universalizing trends.
Leticia Sabsay: Queering the Politics of Global Sexual Rights?
At this point I briey exposed some of the multiple meanings the queer might
assume as a signier that has travelled across different contexts, and indicated the
possibilities offered by the cultural translations of the queer. On a political level,
given the entanglement between the normalization of sexual dissidence and the
colonization of sexuality, I pointed to the alliances between queers against differ-
ent forms of sexual normativity, and queers against neocolonialist logic. If the
queer were the site of hybrid formations, it would enable forms of solidarity
capable of moving away from and criticizing paternalistic global sexual politics.
This political stance is based on the possibility of contesting the paradigm of
diversity (both cultural and sexual) and following the classic queer tradition
reconsidering the elds of intelligibility of the norms of gender, citizenship, and
sexuality. Such a queer perspective would allow us to question the terms that
condition the ways in which we can become recognizable as sexual or political
subjects, or even subjects at all.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European
Research Council under the European Unions Seventh Framework Programme
(FP7/20072013)/ERC grant agreement no. 249379.
Out in the World: A Global Gay History, Episode 1, Sunday Feature, Radio, BBC3, 18
September 2011, 21:30. Further quotations of the programme throughout the essay also
correspond to the rst episode.
The special issue of Social Text dedicated to a critical review of global queer politics,
edited by David Eng, Judith Halberstam, and Jos Esteban Muoz (2005); Out of Place:
Interrogating Silences in Queerness/Raciality, a collection edited by Adi Kuntsman and
Esperanza Miyake (2008); the special issue of Feminist Legal Studies on the intersection
between queer and antiracist critique, edited by Stacy Douglas, Suhraiya Jivraj, and Sarah
Lamble (2011) on the occasion of the controversy and further discontinuation of the re-print
of Out of Place; and the special section on Womens Rights, Gay Rights and Anti-Muslim
Racism in Europe, included in two issues of the European Journal of Womens Studies
(Bracke 2012; El-Tayeb 2012; Haritaworn 2012; Petzen 2012), among many other publica-
tions, give account to the relevance of this eld of inquiry.
My translation. The original text states: Son expresiones que se escapan de lo territorial,
de lo comunitario, para convertirse en universalistas. Y en ese sentido se pierde todo el
bagaje cultural. El problema es que los discursos hegemnicos que vienen desde esa
universalidad adoptan un concepto higienista de las categoras humanas.
The Queer Sexualities, Nationalism and Racism in the New Europe conference, organ-
ized by the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, took place at London South Bank
University on 19 October 2012.
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Leticia Sabsay: Queering the Politics of Global Sexual Rights?