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Third World ProtestBetween Home and the World$
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Rahul Rao

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560370.001.0001

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Queer in the Time of Terror

Queer in the Time of Terror

Chapter:
(p.173) 6 Queer in the Time of Terror
Source:
Third World Protest
Author(s):

Rahul Rao (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560370.003.0007

Third World queer activists are increasingly caught between two discourses that challenge their self‐assertion: first, an occasionally orientalist cosmopolitan discourse of ‘LGBT rights’ that regards such rights as a marker of modernity and portrays societies that fail to respect them as backward; second, homophobic communitarian discourses of authenticity that contest queer self‐assertion with the claim that homosexuality is a Western vice. This chapter attempts to criticize power hierarchies within cosmopolitan LGBT solidarity, without downplaying the oppressiveness of communitarian homophobia against which such solidarity is directed. To do this, it disaggregates Western activist responses to cases of alleged persecution of homosexuals in Iran, bringing to light distinct manifestations of a gay rescue narrative. While some activists capitalized on the resonance between apparent queer rights abuses in Iran and the security preoccupations of Western states in the ongoing ‘war on terror’ to further their own domestic agendas of assimilation, others were wary of participating in such a politics.

Keywords:   queer, gay, LGBT, rights, rescue, authenticity, cosmopolitan, communitarian, Iran, orientalism, war on terror

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