Sexuality, space and migration: South Asian gay men in Australia

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Abstract:

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between migration, private space and sexual expression for South Asian gay men who have relocated to Melbourne, Australia. Little is known about South Asian gay men who have moved to Australia, or the role of mobility and spatial setting in constituting their sexualities. To tackle this gap, 23 South Asian gay men (21–50 years old) living in Melbourne were interviewed. This paper discusses emergent themes on the contribution of migration and private space to constituting sexual identities. Cultural expectations for marriage, social stigma about homosexuality and a lack of private spaces for sexual exploration, constrained the participants' sexual expression in South Asia. These factors underpinned some men's migration decisions. But while living away from family and country of origin provide private spaces and greater freedom, ‘coming out’ and expressing homosexual interests within private domestic space in Australia is not always easy or possible.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7939.2012.01229.x

Affiliations: Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, 215 Franklin Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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