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Border PoliticsSocial Movements, Collective Identities, and Globalization$
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Nancy A. Naples and Jennifer Bickham Mendez

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479898992

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479898992.001.0001

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Challenging Borders, Imagining Europe

Challenging Borders, Imagining Europe

Transnational LGBT Activism in a New Europe

(p.230) 9 Challenging Borders, Imagining Europe
Border Politics

Phillip M. Ayoub

David Paternotte

NYU Press

This chapter discusses transnational lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activism at the international European level and on the ground in Central and Eastern Europe. LGBT activists have imagined a new sociopolitical European community, challenging the frontiers of exclusion and the modes of belonging of the liberal nation-state. These activists are not simply extending a liberal notion of rights to an unrecognized group. By imagining Europe as, in part, defined by the inclusion of LGBT people, they are redefining “rights” and forms of citizenship that transcend the bounded nation-state. LGBT activism in Central and Eastern Europe, then, contributes to rebuilding the meaning of Europe from the ground up. Yet, borders remain when these efforts created new hierarchies among activists and paradoxically reinforced a distinction between the “modern West” and the “homophobic East.” This underscores the importance of bringing together the analysis of internal and external dynamics of border construction and resistance to develop more comprehensive understandings of material and symbolic border politics.

Keywords:   LGBT activism, transnational activism, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender activists, national borders, citizenship

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