Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit
Uncanny Europe and Protective Europeanness: When European Identity Becomes a Queerly Viable Option
Europe has recently become closely associated with LGBTQ rights. It remains unclear, however, what is the role of this association in everyday European imaginations and identifications. Empirical research on European identity hardly ever discusses the role of LGBTQ rights. Nor do we know much about European identifications of LGBTQ people themselves. In this article. I address those gaps from the perspective of Polish LGBTQs in the UK. Drawing on 30 interviews from a recent two-year research project. I discuss my participants' European imaginations and identifications by developing the concepts of `uncanny Europe' and `protective Europeanness'. I show how my participants tend to view Europe as `diverse', `open' and `tolerant', while attributing those characteristics exclusively to Western Europe. I also demonstrate that they tend to readily identify as European in the context of increasingly hostile national identities, with the increasing anti-Polish xenophobia in the UK and growing anti-LGBTQ discrimination in Poland.
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