Queer, Muslim, and Maghrebi: Intersectional Analysis of Immigrant Women in Contemporary France

Trinidad Lara, Dr. Yasemin Ipek, Global Affairs Program, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030

My research investigates the ways in which queer Muslim women with origins from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) negotiate belonging and notions of selfhood in France. Through an 8-week long critical media analysis, discursive analysis of social media as well as scholarship available on the subject, I employ an intersectional approach to explore the juxtaposition of ‘Muslim’ and ‘lesbian/ bisexual’ identities and focus on the nexus of gender, religion, and immigration. Furthermore, I use existing media resources and scholarship from Britain to supplement my understanding of the case in France and seek to answer the following question: how do queer Muslim immigrant women negotiate and conceptualize their identities in contemporary France? As a marginalized group within a marginalized minority of immigrants from the MENA region, queer Muslim immigrant women in the West have been overlooked within scholarship, public discourses, politics, and LGBTQ+ spaces due to taboo understandings of homosexuality within Islam. My research fills in this gap by voicing the identity-related struggles of queer Muslim immigrant women in France. Based on my findings, I argue that queer immigrant Muslim women in France negotiate their identities through reconfiguring ‘secular’ and ‘Muslim’ identities and queering religious texts. This negotiation takes place through using social media to connect with others who share similar conceptualizations of their identities within the digital space. However, some queer Muslim women do not seek to reconfigure their religious and gender identities and choose one category over the other or embody both while maintaining traditional understandings of homosexuality within Islam. My findings and discussion contribute to studies on gender, Muslim subjectivities, and immigration by examining the lived realities of Muslim queer women in France and their understandings of 'self.'

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Trinidad Lara

Institution: George Mason University

Type: Poster

Subject: Anthropology & Archeology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2034