Browsing by Subject "homophobia"

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  • Geyer, Lukas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyz society got entangled in discussions about what it means to be Kyrgyz. Even though Kyrgyzstan has experienced a surge in nationalism over the last decades, it is only since recently that non-heteronormative sexualities are increasingly constructed as a threat to the continued existence of the Kyrgyz nation. Based on five in-depth interviews with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals, I explore how they rationalise the increasing homophobia in Kyrgyz society and what kind of behavioural strategies they adopt to cope with the hostile environment. In particular, I assess whether the discursive exclusion of LGBT individuals from the Kyrgyz nation alters their relationship with the nation and the state. The research participants demonstrate an awareness for the connection between increasing nationalism and worsening attitudes against LGBT people and report corresponding adjustments in their behaviour, ranging from adaptation and hiding strategies to activism and emigration. While all respondents have a negative relationship with the Kyrgyz state, most report a decreasing sense of belonging to the Kyrgyz nation amid growing homophobia as well. These results suggest that the increased emphasis on the purportedly heteronormative nature of the Kyrgyz nation succeeds in redefining individual belonging to the nation and shifting the imagined boundaries of the nation.