Centre for Feminist Research event explores Hong Kong (LGBTQ) Migrants Pride, March 29

Daniel Conway

The Centre for Feminist Research presents “Contesting Queer Exclusion: Intersectionality and Marginality in Hong Kong (LGBTQI+) Migrants Pride,” a paper by Professor Daniel Conway, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Westminster. The event will take place on March 29 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in 626 Kaneff Tower, Keele Campus. It will be chaired by Professor Amar Wahab, associate professor, School of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies at York University.

Conway’s paper draws from research conducted as part of a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship exploring the contemporary global politics of gay Pride, focusing specifically on the forms of activism and issues raised at Hong Kong Migrants Pride 2018. Migrants Pride was first held in 2015 and is organized by migrant women’s groups in Hong Kong. Held the day after Hong Kong Pride, and separately from the Pink Dot and Pink Season LGBTQ+ festivals, the Migrants Pride Parade weaves through central Hong Kong, past the migrant women workers and their families who sit on cardboard boxes in the shadow of designer shopping malls and HSBC’s headquarters.

In 2018, Migrants Pride was held alongside HSBC’s Community Festival. This highlighted a tense and incongruous relationship between space, place and community making, which underpins the marginality and vulnerability that LGBTQ+ migrant workers face in Hong Kong. Migrants Pride represents domestic workers and sex workers who occupy a precarious and often overlooked place and status in Hong Kong. These workers are excluded from dominant constructs of LGBTQ+ community and broader discourses of rights for privileged expatriate workers in Hong Kong.

Analyzing the queering of space, vulnerability and exclusion by activists, Conway’s paper argues that Migrant Pride articulates intersectional rights and identities, enacting activist practices that engage with migrants’ inequality and precarity, while building solidarity and contesting invisibility and marginality. Combining ethnography, interviews and visual methods, this paper develops feminist and queer international relations theorization of LGBTQ+ and women’s activism in global contexts.

Conway holds the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for his project “The Global Politics of Pride: LGBTQ+ Activism, Assimilation and Resistance.” His work has mainly focused on how modes of privilege – specifically whiteness, masculinity and heterosexuality – are constituted and the moments and possibilities for their contestation and reformulation. His work draws from and contributes to feminist international relations, political sociology and queer theory.

This presentation is co-sponsored by the Centre for Refugee Studies, the York Centre for Asian Studies and the Sexuality Studies program at York University.

All are welcome. RSVP by email to cfr@yorku.ca.