Homonationalism as a Site of Contestation and Transformation: On Queer Subjectivities and Homotransnationalism across Sinophone Societies

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3 Scopus citations


This chapter applies the critical body of scholarship on homonationalism to Sinophone contexts, and explores unfolding contestation over nation-state boundaries and imaginaries as China (officially People’s Republic of China, PRC) seeks to advance its dominant presence in Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, ROC), Hong Kong, and other Chinese-speaking communities. Different from Western societies where liberal democracy reigns as the predominant governing tenor, legal protection and discursive recognition of queer subjects are limited at the state level in these societies (except in Taiwan, where same-sex marriage has been in place since 2019). For subjugated groups located in and/or coming from these backgrounds, uncritically adopting the framework of homonationalism can create a conceptual conundrum. On the one hand, they are pressured to take a “culturally essentialist approach” that denies the cross-border circuit of Western sexual discourses. On the other, they must wrestle with a “queer vanguardist approach” that views social recognition via a liberalist lens that is not only unnecessary but also pernicious to queer subjects and radical potential of queer movements. In response, we utilize a homotransnational framework to foreground everyday struggles of LGBTQ groups living in Sinophone contexts and unravel the intra-regional dynamics of queer politics and competing nationalisms between the PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This approach complicates Puar’s conception of homonationalism by focusing on emerging challenges that queer subjects are confronted with across national borders. It also helps us delve into the geopolitical struggles that span PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the “liberal” West to develop a new understanding of the relationship between nation-states and gender/sexuality. As our analysis demonstrates, grassroots activists across Sinophone societies are not only able to find resistance space amid rivalries between overpowering imperial forces for survival, but are also able to identify fissures and ruptures afforded by brewing geopolitical competition and turn them into opportunities for concrete change on local levels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHomonationalism, Femonationalism and Ablenationalism
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Pedagogies Contextualised
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000563658
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Angeliki Sifaki, C.L. Quinan and Katarina Lonc?arevic´; individual chapters, the contributors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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