How homonationalism works:

1) The Inclusion Argument: Sexual minorities should call for inclusion in the state through liberal rights of the individual (e.g. gay marriage). The struggle for individual rights replaces the struggle for collective rights, collective resistance, or the transformation of asymmetrical power formations.

2) Good vs. Bad Queers: The call for inclusion is predicated on making the distinction between good queers and bad queers. These appeals argue that most sexual minorities are no different than members of dominant society, and thus that these queers deserve to be recognized as part of the mainstream. Here, bad queers are offered as the undesirable other to help sell the good queers to Canadian society, since bad queers are dangers to society or drains on state resources. They include racialized queers, people who are HIV-positive, poor and homeless queers, drug users, non-status queer migrants, etc.

3) Reinforcing the Social Order: Once the right kind of queers are welcomed into the state, these institutions can use the newly admitted ‘good queers’ as evidence that symmetry has been achieved, effectively dismissing larger concerns over the rights of those who remain marginalized and subjugated. Further, the inclusion of sexual minorities under the terms of individual rights is then used in propaganda by the state to demonstrate how civilized, modern, liberal, and democratic the West is, particularly in opposition to backward, pre-modern, and non-democratic states (such as in the Middle East) – a tactic rooted in Orientalism.

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