Finding Fascism at the End of the Rainbow
My dissertation project is a historical comparative research project tracking how fascist movements, in both the early 20th Century and today, co-opt and include gay white men within their frameworks.
In an era with rising authoritarian and fascist organizing, in the Trump-era of politics, we are facing a new re-emergence of what was once considered only a historical phenomenon. One of the biggest figures of today’s “alt-right,” a movement composed of a mish mash of white nationalists, misogynists, and trans- and xeno- phobes, is Milo Yiannopoulos – an out white gay man from the UK. Trump himself has leveraged various parts of the queer community, particularly white gay men, to incorporate queer people into his platform. France’s Marine Le Pen is supported by a majority of white gay men in her country, who cite a need to defend themselves from immigrants. Germany’s nationalist party is represented by an out lesbian while espousing an explicitly homophobic and transphobic policy platform.
This question then is urgent, as the category of LGBT is being exported and utilized by various states around the world to justify regulation and rights. This project recognizes that the categories that constitute “LGBT”, have a relationship to whiteness and masculinity. This has implications for the increasingly world-wide spread of the categories “LGBT” as an export of Western culture and the rise of totalitarian and fascistic political organizations.
This research asks what the lines of solidarity look like today within the queer community, and how to avoid the pitfalls of the past in our social organizing. Understanding these historical cycles helps us to understand how to empower various queer communities of color today, and frame activism in ways which combat fascist organizing. How can queer students of color, and their white accomplices, create new forms of organizing that don’t rely on the logics of whiteness and masculinity that seem to lie at the heart of mainstream contemporary organizing?
If you are interested in this project please use the contact box below to reach out to me!