MIGRANT SEXUALITIES: A GLOBAL STUDY OF WESTERN LGBTQ EDUCATORS WORKING IN NON-WESTERN SPACES Robert Mizzi; Clea Schmidt; Gustavo Moura (University of Manitoba, Canada)
ABSTRACT This presentation shares findings from a research study that investigated 22 LGBTQ Western educators working at international schools in 12 non-Western nations. LGBTQ international educators as a case example allowed us to: (1) analyze the articulation of sexual identities through heterosexist and Western frameworks, (2) inquire into LGBTQ international educators as sustaining colonial power relations or becoming agents of resistance, and (3) consider geopolitical implications of sexual and gender identity-categorizations with reference to intersectionality and inequity. Through data collection that contained an interview, a collection of photographs taken by the participant („photovoice“), and a reflection session, this project offers postcolonial critique by analyzing the relationship sexuality has with geopolitics and nationalism and engages the role that sexuality plays in globalization and neoliberalism. The findings suggest prevailing legal and social controls, which allows us to critique how these controls narrowly reduce sexuality to a sexual practice, without considering the social, political, and relational attributes to sexuality. This discussion brings attention to how non-Western cultures have proposed other ways of expressing and articulating sexuality and sexual identity and that study participants come into contact with and learn how to balance their Western/non-Western contexts through a queer lens. By virtue of their behaviours and personal and professional relationships, it became clear that study participants interact with sexuality, gender, ethnicity, community, and nationality on multiple fronts, which includes identity shifts, activism, and community engagement. Presenters will elaborate on their findings and present stories and photographs shared by the participants. Keywords: migrant educators; transnational sexuality; international schools; globalization; activism.