Nomadic queer subjects: rethinking queer movement through return journeys to Mardi Gras (14076)
Recent geographic work on queer migration has attempted to rethink movement of sexual dissidents through the body, highlighting how movement of queer bodies through space is a process that is individual, multiscalar and multidirectional - rather than a linear, unidirectional and final rural to urban displacement. There is recognition within this work that queer migration is often underpinned by ‘quests for identity’, which entail displacement, resettlement and identity exploration. This paper seeks to build upon this framework by considering the ‘nomadic queer subject’. To do this I draw on Braidotti’s notion of the ‘nomadic subject’ to construct two vignettes from members of a regional gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, intersex, ally (GLBQTIA) social group, exploring their return journeys from regional Victoria to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. In doing so, I explore the ways group relations became transformed through the spaces and temporalities of the return journey and Mardi Gras Parade, establishing, reinforcing and creating different, more intimate configurations within this queer collective. Moreover, I suggest how the nomadic return journey to Mardi Gras Parade offered a space to perform alternative collective sexual political identities not available in everyday life beyond metropolitan Sydney, enabling continued living in regional Victoria. Consequently, narratives exploring nomadic queer subjects contribute to current geographic discussions of queer migration by further complicating dominate rural to urban queer migration models and problematizing conceptualisations of the rural ‘closet’.