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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter takes up questions of sexual citizenship by examining the desire for and impact of LGBT rights discourses in the Anglophone Caribbean. The chapter works through the difficulties and aspirations of queer politics in the Caribbean to articulate a vision of citizenship and/or freedom that is not overdetermined by white Anglocentric models. Popular measurements of homophobia tell a partial story of queer life and sexual politics in the Caribbean, and this chapter attempts to fill that gap by pointing to the ways that queer people engage, challenge, redefine, and dissociate from laws and policies that mark their sexuality as antagonistic to nationhood. The chapter draws on Rinaldo Walcott’s mobilization of homopoetics to contextualize the political and cultural tensions between LGBT rights organizations in the Global North and organizers in the Caribbean. It offers blacklighting as a way to name the processes by which organizations and governments in the Global North doubly impose LGBT rights frameworks and forward antiblack narratives about Caribbean citizens. In closing, the chapter asks for a return to the question of LGBT rights and its deployment in the Caribbean and proposes a means of engagement that holds blackness alongside sexuality in matters of rights and citizenship.

Keywords: Caribbean, queer, citizenship, sexuality, blackness, blacklighting

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