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Transnational Migration and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Activism in Poland

Publié le 3 mars 2011 Mis à jour le 29 septembre 2023

3 mars

Jon Binnie
(Manchester Metropolitan University)
Salle Henri Janne (15è étage)


This paper, written with Christian Klesse (both at Manchester Metropolitan University), examines the relationship between transnational migration and activism around LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) politics in Poland. EU accession in 2004 led to a significant migration of Poles to EU member states particularly the United Kingdom. At the same time EU accession witnessed an intensification of homophobia in political discourse associated with the neopopulist and nationalist League of Polish Families and Law and Justice political parties, and the banning of, and violent attacks against marches for equality and tolerance. This paper examines the connections between post-EU accession migrant flows from Poland and LGBTQ activism.

It is argued that migration is an essential element of transnational LGBTQ activism. The material processes of activism frequently involve migration. Migration is a significant element of networking and a practice which shapes and enhances forms of activism through inspiration and translation. The discussion draws on material from a research project on transnational dimensions of activism around sexual politics in Poland, which took place between April 2008 and June 2009. The argument shows that there is concern among those engaged in LGBTQ activism in Poland about LGBTQ Poles leaving the country because of the high degree of oppression at home. At the same time there is a (sometimes problematic) investment in transnational migration for the liberalisation of attitudes of heterosexual Poles.


Jon Binnie is Reader in Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests focus on the urban and transnational politics of sexualities. He is the author of The Globalization of Sexuality (Sage) and the co-author of The Sexual Citizen: Queer Politics and Beyond (Polity) and Pleasure Zones: Bodies, Cities, Spaces (Syracuse University Press). He is also the co-editor of Cosmopolitan Urbanism (Routledge) and special issues of Political Geography, Social and Cultural Geography and Environment and Planning A.