chapter  10
Liveable lives
A transnational queer-feminist reflection on sexuality, development and governance
By Niharika Banerjea , Kath Browne
Pages 11

This chapter undertakes a queer-feminist interrogation of the progress/backwardness binary that can frame engagements with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people. International development discourses continue to label some nations as forward and others as backward on the basis of laws that have been legislated around the rights of LGBTQ persons. Women’s empowerment and poverty reduction programs – emerging within political economies of funding – privilege heteronormative pairing between a man and a woman a result of which little or no attention is paid to the health and livelihood concerns of LGBTQ persons. Further, intervention around HIV/AIDS has been modeled on idealized moral representations of sexuality, perpetuating myths and completely missing the mark. Against this context, this chapter explores the value of everyday living, practices and desires, drawing upon our project, “Making Liveable Lives: Rethinking Social Exclusion”, a transnational academic-activist research study between University of Brighton, Ambedkar University, Delhi and Sappho for Equality, Kolkata. We deploy a transnational queer-feminist critique to understand sexuality through the frame of liveability that may help address the problematic linkage between national development and progress. We argue that a lens of liveability has the potential to create a counter-narrative to the sexual other that can resignify our politics to address heteronationalist frames.