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Beyond Equal Rights: LGBTQ+ Advocacy in an Age of Inequality

December 4, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Louis A. Simpson International Building, Room 271

Talk Description:

On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the movement for LGBTQ+ rights has achieved legal rights and social visibility at an astounding speed for a once-vilified minority group. Even in the face of political backlash from a hostile Trump administration, LGBTQ+ advocacy continues to expand as more and more politicians, corporations, and voters provide support and resources for those facing discrimination on the basis of their sexualities or gender identities. During the same period that these victories have been won, the overall LGBTQ+ population has endured the skyrocketing economic inequality that has come to plague the vast majority of people in this country. Today, working people — queer and straight — are poorer, have less control over their conditions at work, and bear exorbitantly higher healthcare costs than they did a generation ago.


In light of this new reality, LGBTQ+ advocates today should address the roots of inequality and exploitation. They should do so in political campaigns and organizations that link the struggle for gender and sexual freedom with programs for robust, inclusive public goods such as healthcare, labor rights, a federal jobs guarantee, and housing. Joanna Wuest makes the case for this program by examining contemporary trends in equal rights and indicators of economic inequality, the history of queers in the labor movement, and transformations in the relationship between social conservative opponents of equal rights and a corporate class that increasingly favors such protections.


Speaker Bio:

Joanna Wuest is a political scientist who studies identity and inequality in American politics. At Princeton University, she holds the Fund for Reunion-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellowship in LGBT Studies in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. Her published work has appeared in Politics & Gender, Jacobin, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her current book project, Born This Way: Science and Citizenship in the American LGBTQ Movement, is a comprehensive account of the “born this way” phenomenon as it has developed within the liberal LGBTQ movement.


December 4, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Louis A. Simpson International Building