ALMN aims to advance scholarship on all facets of LGBTQI+ migration. We bring together scholars, researchers, practitioners, activists and service providers to spark critical conversations, promote knowledge exchange, support evidence-based policy responses, and initiate effective and ethical collaborations.
ALMN recognises that LGBTQI+ migration does not simply happen from the African continent, but also within and across (imposed) national borders. We are committed to both reorienting LGBTQI+ migration scholarship towards the Global South, and promoting knowledge produced within the Global South in order to challenge systemic inequality within the global academy.
As a decidedly interdisciplinary network, we welcome members from diverse backgrounds, locations and practices, as well as those working in less traditional research fields. We are particularly keen to spotlight research that looks beyond legal frameworks. While both necessary and valuable, legal research only speaks to one dimension of migration and can (unintentionally) draw attention away from other significant challenges facing LGBTIQ+ folk on the move.
Epistemic, theoretical and political orientation
As a network situated within the Global South, ALMN is acutely aware of the harmful ways in which the global academy is structured and operates. Thus we believe it critical to foreground our epistemic, theoretical and political orientations, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Borders – both physical and socio-cultural – are constructed and regulated in ways that benefit particular bodies.
- Scholarship on LGBTQI+ migration tends to reinforce racist tropes about Africa and promotes notions of ‘liberation’ and ‘freedom’ that implicitly endorse contemporary geopolitical relations.
- University practices and policies often exploit colleagues in the Global South and contribute to ongoing – albeit less obvious – modes of colonisation.
- Current funding models prioritise scholars/institutions in the Global North and force those working in the South into unequal and often detrimental partnerships.
A note on terminology
ALMN recognises the power of language and the murky relationship between particular terms – many of which have themselves traversed the globe – and oppressive regulatory regimes, including international immigration systems. While we use the Euro-American acronym ‘LGBTQI+’ to situate the network, we recognise the polemics inherent in this terminology and, in particular, its colonial dimensions. Furthermore, we acknowledge that the acronym doesn’t capture the dynamic ways in which gender and sexuality are experienced, expressed and described on the continent. Our use of this terminology is not intended to be restrictive or imposing, but rather driven by the possibility of broad recognition and legibility. We do so with full sight of the importance of ongoing critique and reflexivity.
We also recognise the silencing of particular identities and expressions that accompanies the use of the LGBTQI+ acronym. While these categories work in relation to one another and occasionally speak to shared realities, they are not the same. We thus urge members to avoid negating significant differences in experience by conflating individual components of the acronym. This tendency is most evident in the absence of trans and intersex voices within ‘LGBTQI+ research’.
The quote, submitted by Ivy Gatibaru, translates to ‘My love is valid.’