Modern Reactionaries, Mainstream Racisms: How Far-Right Actors Navigate Post-Homophobic Europe

Modern Reactionaries, Mainstream Racisms: How Far-Right Actors Navigate Post-Homophobic Europe
Radboud University

March 13th, 2023


When an openly lesbian politician was elected as the leader of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), many critics tried to make sense of what seemed like an oxymoron. However, Alice Weidel has repeatedly claimed that she is not a member of the AfD despite her homosexuality but because of it. Openly gay figures in far-right, heteroactivist movements or institutions seem out of place as the provision of gender and sexual equalities continues to be a longstanding site of contestation for far-Right actors across Europe. 


In the age of sexual rights, far-right actors in western Europe have been identified to disguise their hetero-patriarchal agenda behind a new rhetoric that denies its positions as discriminatory or homophobic (Nash and Browne 2020). This paper explores how far-right parties in Germany and Switzerland navigate sexual modernity, which is epitomised by the idea that homophobia has structurally been overcome. Dissecting the racial underpinnings of post-homophobic imaginaries in both contexts, the paper examines how mainstream debates around “migrant homophobia” have created a vehicle for far-right actors to distance themselves from homophobia while maintaining their commitments to hetero-patriarchal politics


Stefanie Boulila is a lecturer and head of research at the Institute of Sociocultural Community Development at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) and a member of the Swiss Young Academy. She is co-investigator on the Horizon Europe project “RESIST - Fostering Queer Feminist Intersectional Resistances against Transnational Anti-Gender Politics”. Her transdisciplinary work has engaged with race and racism in Europe, cultural politics, intersectionality, gender and LGBTIQ equalities beyond liberal rights. In 2019, Stefanie published her monograph ‘Race in Post-racial Europe: An Intersectional Analysis’ (Rowman & Littlefield International). In 2021, Stefanie received an Emma Goldman Award for her contribution to feminist research in Europe.