Amazon Gay Prides: Sexual modernity in wilderness?

Manuela L. Picq, professor of International Relations, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

Gay prides and same-sex marriage tend to be perceived as symbols of modernity. The non-modern is in Amazonia, where Indigenous peoples live in a wild Eden untouched by global forces. Yet there are gay prides and same-sex marriages in Amazonia too. There are drag queen contests in old rubber towns. Tikuna women defend homo-affective relationships as part of ancestral rules of the clan. If Amazonia is in fact modern, then what is modernity about and where is it located? Sexuality approaches both debunk the collective imaginary of Amazonia as detached from world politics and disrupts associations of sexual liberation with western modernity. This talk looks at Amazon sexualities to challenge conventional narratives of global modernity.

Manuela L. Picq is a professor of International Relations at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Ecuador. She has held research positions at Freie Universitšt (2015), the Institute for Advanced Study (2013), Amherst College (2011), and the Woodrow Wilson Center (2005). Her work explores Indigeneity, sexuality, and extractivism in Latin America and international relations. Manuela is co-editor of Sexualities in World Politics (with Markus Thiel, Routledge 2015) and Queering Narratives of Modernity (with Maria Amelia Viteri, Peter Lang 2016). She has published in scholarly journals like Latin American Politics and Society, Cahiers du Genre and International Political Science Review. She contributes opinions to media venues worldwide including Al Jazeera English, Folha de S„o Paulo, and International Cry.