Border (In)Securities: Normative and Differential Belonging in LGBTQ and Immigrant Rights Discourse
This essay demonstrates the ways in which some lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) rights and immigrant rights organizations enact a form of cultural citizenship that relies upon normative belonging with their depiction of LGBTQ and immigrant rights. It also shows how other groups engender what Aimee Carrillo Rowe refers to as “differential belonging,” by directly confronting normative and exclusionary discourses. This paper first justifies linking these two issues by establishing the notion of the “stranger” as a way to describe how both migrants and queers threaten the way the nation state sees itself. It then unpacks both the normative and differential discourses of belonging in relation to two prominent neoliberal values: family values and good citizenship. Finally, this essay considers the implications of differential belonging as a strategy of cultural citizenship that may confront the exclusions that currently constitute the way the US nation-state imagines belonging.
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