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Queering Paradigms IV

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms

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Edited By Elizabeth Sara Lewis, Rodrigo Borba, Branca Falabella Fabrício and Diana de Souza Pinto

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms is composed of research presented at the fourth international Queering Paradigms Conference (QP4), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In line with the QP project ethos of bringing together diverse epistemological and geographical allegiances, this volume intends to contribute to building a queer postcolonial critique of the current politics of queer activism and of queer knowledge production and circulation. However, rather than perpetuating the North-South dichotomy, the papers gathered here are an effort to establish global dialogues that crisscross those axes, as well as attempts at queering epistemologies, socio-political bonds, and bodies, embodiments and identities. They endeavour to trouble unequal geographies of knowledge – namely the North as an exporter of theories and the South as their importer; the North as a producer of knowledge and the South as its object of study – hosting enormous potential for reinvention.

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The Legal Debate on Same-sex Civil Unions in Brazil: The Construction of Equal Citizenship within a Socio-cultural Context of Heterosexism and Homophobia

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← 186 | 187 → CHRIS H. REINTGES AND JOÃO DE DEUS GOMES DA SILVA

Brazil is often overly stereotyped and clichéd as tropically sensual and sexually permissive. Bohemian stereotypes aside, the country does indeed deserve its reputation of having one of the best-organized gay rights movements on the planet. São Paulo’s gay pride parade is the largest in the world, with almost four million people participating in its last edition. An event of such magnitude would not be possible without strong local community and government support. The collaborative relationship between the Brazilian gay and lesbian movement and state institutions has deep historical roots, with the legal arena deserving special mention. Juan Pereira Marsiaj concludes that “[t]he development of the politics of sexual diversity in Brazil cannot be properly understood without consideration of the impact the state has had on the mobilization of gays, lesbians, bisexuals[, transsexuals] and travestis” (2011: 57).

And yet, Brazil is also a country where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and travesti (a Latin American identity category used by certain female-identified transgendered individuals who modify their bodies but choose not to undergo genital surgery) people (LGBT, henceforth) are subjected to disproportionate discrimination and great violence, with an alarming increase in homicidal hate crimes. Osvaldo Fernández (2011: 23) highlights the deplorable absence of a centralized monitoring system for hate crimes and an effective politics of security for members of the LGBT ← 187 | 188 → community. At present, the only existing organization that monitors...

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