Document Type

Journal Article


Discussions of the intranational migration of sexual dissidents have focused on rural-to-urban movement, and have largely conceptualized 'queer migration' through a symbolic rural-urban binary, consequently normalizing rural-to-urban displacement while eliding the real diversity of queer relocations. There is also a strong suggestion of teleological and ontological finality in the normalization of rural-to-urban relocation narratives, intimating a once-and-for-all emergence from the rural 'closet'. To elicit greater complexity, I suggest that the explanatory scale of queer migration should be downsized from fixed rural-urban contrasts to the actual movement of the queer body through space. To this end I rethink 'queer migration' as an 'embodied queer identity quest', suggesting that while 'coming out' often underpins relocation decisions, the personal, embodied and individualistic nature of this experience generates movement on a variety of paths and scales. Arguably most important among these are peripatetic migrations, which most tellingly counter the teleology of rural-to-urban models. Moreover, in evoking embodied displacements predicated on 'coming out', I seek to contemplate the possible affects of bodily sexual desires in shaping the contours of queer migration.