Abstract

Contestations over the rights of sexual minorities and gender-nonconforming people in Africa are profoundly shaped by two discourses that both emerge from polarized domestic political debates in the United States: a human rights–centered discourse of “LGBT*I” identity politics that promotes visibility and equal protections and privileges for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and intersex individuals; and a Christonormative “family values” agenda that promotes the heterosexual nuclear family as the foundation of civilization. Analysis considers these contemporary discourses in relation to entangled colonial constructions of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy used to justify the conquest and exploitation of Africa. This article takes particular interest in the power relations that are (re)constituted through these discourses so as to uncover the underlying interests at stake within them. Through consultation with critiques advanced within critical race and critical queer theory, and critical philosophical arguments on the epistemic dimensions of racialized, sexed, and gendered oppressions, it is argued that these discourses advance U.S. hegemonic interests and reinscribe Western hegemony. It is concluded that struggles for equality among sexual minorities and gender-nonconforming people must be approached as part-and-parcel of decolonial struggles to dismantle white supremacist and Western structures of oppression.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2165-8692
Print ISSN
2165-8684
Pages
pp. 239-262
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-11
Open Access
No
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