Toward a Politics of Municipal Homonationalism in Brampton, Ontario
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The politics of homonationalism play a significant role in 2SLGBTQ+ community formation. Homonormative figurations of white, middle-class gays shape the terms of belonging and engagement in both sanctioned and grassroots discourses. Discursive homonormative formations create greater impacts felt beyond citizenship. Emplaced within suburban municipalities such as Brampton, specific impacts register in urban policy, urban planning practice, and public participation. Municipally sanctioned discourses and subsequent governance practices manage diversity as an abstract concept in ways that limit how diversity can be expressed. Queer and trans communities of colour in Brampton have felt the impact of this limited articulation of their intersections most presciently. Limiting the authorship of diversity to selected groups enacts a prioritization that can be interpreted as an expression of white supremacy when the organizations given special license to develop 2SLGBTQ+ diversity are homonormative, white, middle-class gays. Analyzing the municipal discourses that prefigured this arrangement in Brampton, as well as the discourses of resistance to homonormative politics allows this paper to explore the antecedent politics of homonationalism, and the queer and trans communities of colour resisting its persistence into the future. I argue that through a series of urban policies, planning documents, and the use of diversity as an economic development imperative, the City of Brampton has facilitated community development that foregrounds homonational subjectivities. I also argue that QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) have resisted these subjectivities through a practice of care that illuminates how 2SLGBTQ+ community can thrive.