The impact of family ties on the mobility decisions of gay men and lesbians
2016 (English)In: Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, ISSN 0966-369X, E-ISSN 1360-0524, Vol. 23, no 5, 659-676 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In the twenty-first century, life paths are becoming ever more unpredictable and unstandardised as lives are lived in more diverse ways. Theories of individualisation suggest that this is a sign of an increased focus on the individual and the weakening family ties. Gay and lesbian migration studies that have focused on the importance of individual identity and coming out fit well into this narrative. However, as most of these studies have been conducted in the West, less is known of the lives of gay men and lesbians in other contexts. This study examines how a non-Western context differs from the Western experience through a case study involving interviews with gay and lesbian individuals in Izmir, Turkey. The results of the interviews highlight four themes: (1) the importance of the family as both constraining and supportive, (2) the emergence of gay and lesbian identities in Turkey leading to different cohort experiences, (3) the significance of emotional ties and intergenerational living and (4) empowering educational and work trajectories. It is argued that gay and lesbian migration must be reconceptualised beyond the view of the family as an entity to escape from. Rather, the study highlights the significance of the family and demonstrates that while individuals are becoming more independent, family ties are not necessarily weakening. Instead other trajectories, such as education and employment function as empowering paths in order to support and sustain identities. Thus, in contexts where the act of coming out is challenging, the potential for other life course trajectories should be considered.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 23, no 5, 659-676 p.
life course, gay and lesbian, migration, queer, family, Turkey
Research subject Human Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102891DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2015.1034246ISI: 000371600500005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102891DiVA: diva2:713892