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date: 27 September 2023

Transnational Queer Translationslocked

Transnational Queer Translationslocked

  • Ahmet AtayAhmet AtayCommunication Studies, The College of Wooster


One of the arguments that queer color of critique makes is that queer theory and queer studies and their applications in communication studies are not intersectional. This criticism also includes the dominance of White voices, perspectives, and methodologies. Hence, some scholars argue that although queer theory and queer studies promise inclusion, they are not inclusive enough. Following this criticism, in this essay I claim that in addition to the dominance of White perspectives and the hegemony of English, queer studies in the communication discipline is U.S.-centric. Therefore, I argue that to fully understand queer experiences, as communication scholars we must take intersectional and transnational perspectives to make sense of queer lives. In this article, the author offers transnational queer slippages and translations as a perspective to examine diasporic and transnational queer experiences. Here, I argue that diasporic and transnational individuals often live in multiple cultures and different nation-states and speak more than one language. Hence, they constantly maneuver between cultures and nation-states and often translate from one experience to another. Sometimes, due to linguistic limitations, such as the lack of a word to mirror their experience, they fail to translate. Moreover, diasporic and transnational queer individuals often experience different layers of cultural maneuvering because they also have to negotiate their queerness. They translate their experiences from mainstream culture to queer culture, from the mainstream queer culture to their individualized diasporic and queer experiences. Thus, they often experience constant translations. When they fail to translate, they begin to experience slippages. I refer to these slippages as queer slippages because they do not only translate between nation-states, cultures, and languages, but they also translate between mainstream queer culture and diasporic or transnational queer experiences. These slippages can be liberatory because they offer possibilities, but they can also be very challenging for those who are stuck in those slippages.


  • Gender (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies)

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