To pass without hindrance: citizenship, community, diversity – or death

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers moments of US and UK sexual citizenship, situating these in terms of LGBT campaigning groups’ actions, institutional reactions and broader public relations. Reactions and demands often work to re-create a dominant ‘we’, while the rhetorics of ‘diversity’ and ‘community’ are strategically deployed — implying inclusivity while exercising exclusion. The argument here is discussed in relation to two significant moments of citizenship formations and disruptions: the UK Civil Partnership Act (2004) and the interrelated movement towards demanding ‘safety’, ‘protection’ and an end to homophobia, following the deaths of a number of queer youth in the United States, particularly in relation to the suicide of Tyler Clementi following a suspected act of homophobia. These examples are mapped on to my own research visit in the United States to explore landscapes of ‘sexual citizenship’, almost a year after UK empirical fieldwork was completed for Lesbian and Gay Parents: Securing Social and Educational Capital (Taylor, 2009a). The spatial immediacy of the local, as the fieldwork site and my place of residence ‘then’ (UK), can be compared against my ‘new’ place ‘right now’ (USA). This chapter attempts to make broader resonances rather than to locate homophobia solely within the site, examples, spaces and bodies discussed here, whilst also avoiding talking for ‘everywhere’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSexualities
Subtitle of host publicationPast Reflections, Future Directions
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781349331260
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • gender studies
  • feminism
  • sexual behavior


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