Understanding the complexities of transnational queer tourism
Ruelos 1Spencer RuelosDr. K. Berry Understanding the Complexities of Transnational Queer Tourism: An Intersectional Feminist and Post-Colonial Analysis When looking at the emergence of the global queer tourism, I’m sure that many people wouldassume a simplistic and romanticized narrative commenting on the inclusion of gays and lesbian in themainstream consumer market. What this narrative fails to acknowledge are the complexities and inequalitiesthat are inherent in many, if not all, acts of global queer tourism. In order to tend to these complexities aspresented in the literature on transnational queer tourism, I will explore the racialized, gendered, classed, andsexualized effects of gay tourism on specific cultures and transnational spaces in order to illustrate howglobal queer reproduces processes of colonization and systems of inequalities while reifying the neocolonialcategories of race, class, gender, nation, and sexuality. To begin our discussion of the complexities of globalqueer tourism, this paper will begin by historicizing the emergence of the gay and lesbian niche market andexamining how corporations and transnational gay travel guides position specific queer-identified person asactors and objects in this global consumer market. The second section of this essay will then shift toexamining the complexities in the crafting of specific tourist destinations or sexscapes as ‘gay-friendly.’ Inthe third and final section of this literature review, we will explore the complexities and sociocultural effectsof transnational queer tourism in Thailand, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. Throughout the discussion oftransnational queer tourism, I stress the importance of an intersectional feminist analysis and a post-colonialtheoretical lens, ultimately arguing that these two specific frameworks allow us to understand thecomplexities that global queer tourism brings forward.Positioning the Queer Consumer The shift in marketing strategies that target queers as primary consumers is a relatively recentphenomenon. It is generally agreed upon that gay and lesbian marketing segment was particularlygalvanized in the 80s and 90s mostly by AIDS epidemic and the subsequent desire of gays and lesbians tobecome more visible in the mainstream (Puar 2002a:105; Pritchard et al. 1998:274). This desire for visibility,however, has contributed to the colonization of the new gay and lesbian niche market by hetero-patriarchalcapitalism. According to Alexander, “heterosexual capital’s gesture of rolling out the ‘welcome mat’ [to gayand lesbian consumers] has less to do with hospitality than with the creation of a new consumer and a newmarket… both of which must be [colonized]” (Alexander 2005:71). In the mid 1990s, companies beganhiring gays and lesbians in order to help target the interests of this new queer consumer, thereby attemptingto acquire the queer dollar and its ‘untold millions’ (Alexander 2005:73). These desires of neo-imperialcapitalistic expansion and extraction of wealth illustrate the connection between the emergence of the globalqueer tourist market and reproduction of colonial discourses and processes.
Ruelos 2 Despite this seemingly more queer-inclusive shift to marketing strategies, one very specific andidealized queer body—which is simultaneously racialized, nationalized, gendered, and classed—is positionedas the primary queer consumer. Utilizing an intersectional feminist analysis reveals some of the powerdynamics inherent in this representation and positioning of the queer consumer. Alexander provides auseful foundation for our discussion: “[T]he quintessential homosexual consumer within the contemporaryracialized, gendered political economy of the United States is invented and imagined as male and white”(Alexander 2005:72). Building upon Alexander’s discussion, Rushbrook calls attention to the politics ofdifference and the production of racialized Otherness. “When the normal is white straightness, thespatialization of difference or deviation in mutually exclusive, oppositional zones in a hierarchy of placesreinforces the production of queerness as white” (Rushbrook 2002:185). One could also argue that thissame production of difference creates a masculinized homosexual subjectivity as the ideal consumer, onethat Alexander describes as akin to the real Marlboro man (Alexander 2005:72). Alexander and Pritchard,Morgan and Sedgely very briefly mention the positioning of this imagined and idealized gay consumer asable-bodied. Thus the invention of the queer (or, more appropriately, gay) consumer idealizes a gendered,masculinized, racialized, and able capitalist body. Another intersection in the construction of the gay consumer concerns both the subject’s educationand socio-economic class. The development of the new gay and lesbian niche market was rooted in theassumption that gays and lesbians were on average more educated than their heterosexual counterparts,producing an above-average annual household income (Alexander 2005:72; Puar 2002a:109, 2002b:937;Pritchard et al. 1998:275). However, Puar and Pritchard Morgan, and Sedgely challenge the homogenousassertions of these statistics by arguing that because of gender discrimination in the work place, lesbiancouples in fact earn on average lower incomes than those of gay male couples (Pritchard et al. 1998: 275)and possibly even less than heterosexual couples (Puar 2002a: 110, 2002b: 938). Companies within the gayand lesbian travel industry also position queer couples (and especially gay couples) as hyper-consumers,taking this increased dual income and the absence of children as fact for all queer consumers (Puar 2002b:937). Because of these frightful assumptions, however, many queer bodies—i.e. lesbians, queers of color,working class and poor queers, queer with disabilities, and (as we will soon talk about) Third World queersand trans-identified queers—are rendered invisible through this normalization of the queer tourist as awhite, middle-class, well-educated gay man. Exploring the level of analysis that both Alexander and Puar provide allows us to understand howthe gay travel guides and websites reproduce neocolonial narratives and perpetuate this idealized queerconsumer. In her analysis of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and Spartacusgay travel guides, Alexander presents several ways in which these media replicate colonial tendencies: o the reproduction of boundaries of colonial geography;
Ruelos 3 o the positioning of the writer, imagined reader, and targeted tourist as white and Western; o the nativist discourse which construct the ‘character’ of Third Word people, for example as ‘friendly’, ‘exotic’, and ‘primitive;’ o and the paradisiacal framework of the geography which reifies the construction of the exotified Third World Other.Drawing upon Gita Patel’s notion of the nativization of fetishes, Alexander discusses that this Third Worldqueer body only exists within the colonial narrative and in “the authentic local geography” in order to fitinto the “colonialist fantasy” (Alexander 2005: 85). Because of this, autochthonous and Third World queerpersons are not positioned as travelers, but rather only as sexual and commoditized queer bodies to beexperienced and consumed by the idealized Euro-American gay tourist. While acknowledging theconsumption and commoditization of the fetishized and Third World/native queer body, Puar in contrastfocuses her analytical framework around the images of the positioned European queer nationals. Sheultimately argues that by juxtaposing white, middle-class gay men against rainbow colors and nationalmonuments and flags, gay travel industries invent and imagine gay (and lesbian) inclusion and authenticity inthe nation state (Puar 2002a: 113). This discursive construction of European queer nationals typifiesAlexander’s claim that the writer and reader are positioned white, Western gay men. Puar also presents a listof countries which guides have positioned as “homophobic sites”, all of which happen to be “non-Western”countries (e.g. Peru, Colombia, Afghanistan, and Bavaria). In doing so, the guides situate the West withcolonial assumptions of progress and liberation, whereas these Third World countries embody intolerantand uncivilized ideologies. Both Alexander and Puar provide key analytical frameworks to understandinghow gay travel guides create both an imagined gay tourist and an imagined, nativized queer Other, therebyillustrating several ways in which global queer tourism employs neocolonial discourses.Spatial Construction of a Transnational Queer Sexscape In addition to the positioning of an ideal queer consumer, understanding the discursive constructionof a queer travel destination also sheds light in the neocolonial processes of global queer tourism. Severalauthors explore how the label ‘gay-friendly’ is used to craft that which Murray calls queer tourist sexscape, aterm used to describe a designated queer space which he adapts from Arjun Appadurai’s terminologyregarding transnationalism and global cultural flows (Murray 2007: 58). Through an examination of theliterature, three dominant characteristics emerge which construct a transnational queer tourist sexscape: theexistence of a well-known gay population, the creation of queer festivals and events, and the positive statusof LGBT rights. However, retaining our post-colonial and intersectional feminist analytical frameworkscomplicate the construction of ‘gay-friendly’ queer sexscapes by bringing forward a discussion ofneocolonial redeployments and systems of inequalities.
Ruelos 4 Pritchard, Morgan, and Sedgely (1998) describe the first dominant characteristic of ‘gay-friendly’sexscapes as gay infrastructure, i.e. the existence of a core gay population. In their analysis, they discuss howthe European and American cities—specifically Amsterdam, Manchester, and San Francisco (more on SanFrancisco, see also Boyd 2008)—have become prime sites for gay tourism because of their large, establishedconcentrations of gay residents. However, looking back at Alexander’s analysis extends this claim to ThirdWorld locales as well; for example, the colonialist and nativist discourses of travel guides conceptualizeBurundi as traditionally bisexual (Alexander 2005: 84-5). Closely tethered to this is the construction of a“tradition of tolerance,” where travel companies position both specific Western countries (e.g. theNetherlands and France) and non-Western locales (e.g. Indonesia) as free of homophobia (Pritchard et al.1998: 278, Puar 2002a: 113, Alexander 2005: 83). Thus, the presentation of an established gay populationand the assumed lack of homophobia provide a relatively convincing construction of a ‘gay-friendly’ touristdestination. Equally important to note is how a sense of homotemporality—or queer time—actively shapes theembodiment of a queer tourist sexscape. Pritchard, Morgan and Sedgely (1998) stress the crucial role thatevents like gay pride parades, the Gay Games, and Mardi Gras festivals have played on promoting globalgay-friendly tourist destinations. In his own research on gay and lesbian tourism, Markwell illustrates howSydney’s Mardi Gras has created a sense of gay place and time, while simultaneously positioning Sydney asan international gay and lesbian city. Surveying the literature himself, Markwell argues that events like MardiGras contribute to the imagined postmodern city as a site for pleasure, fun, and consumption (Markwell2002: 87). Whereas Pritchard, Morgan, and Sedgely emphasize the importance of gay places, Markwellexamines the implications of homotemporality (what he terms “gay times”) on the construction oftransnational queer tourist sexscapes. Mardi Gras provides an example of this homotemporality, when onemonth out of the year has an increased focus on gay and lesbian issues (Markwell 2002: 89). Markwellargues that while this does have positive implications for the queer community, there is a risk that gay andlesbian socio-political issues are ignored outside of the Mardi Gras gay time (“the danger of ‘temporalcontainment’” [Markwell 2002: 89]). However, because of the increased success of its Mardi Gras festival,Sydney has become known as an international gay and lesbian city, where cosmopolitan queer consumersare called forth in order to participate in queer celebratory events during the month of February. In doingso, Sydney’s Mardi Gras as an event provides a critical discussion of place and time in the spatialconstruction of a queer tourist sexscape. While both the existence of a gay population and creation of gay events are crucial to theconstruction of a transnational queer tourist sexscape, Boyd (2008) argues that the status of LGBT/queerrights plays the most important role in the construction of a ‘gay-friendly’ tourist destination. Specifically,he argues that the US-based gay marriage movement has contributed to the growth of the global gay tourist
Ruelos 5economy, while simultaneously disciplining consumers by producing homonormativity—that is, a normalizedset of ideologies and behaviors that asserts citizenship rights for gays and lesbians via neoliberal politics andconspicuous consumption. The creation of the gay and lesbian niche market, as I have touched upon,contextualizes queer consumption as a vehicle for both visibility and civil rights, where neocolonialdiscourses also equate spending with citizenship rights. Because of this, same-sex marriage has become atourist attraction in which same-sex couples can participate and get married, thereby demonstrating theircitizenship rights through both the act of getting married and the participation in consumer culture. Gaymarriage and gay tourism together thus create “a new kind of queer consumer [who is taught to be a goodcitizen through the participation] of civic life via the social rituals of marriage and the commercial rituals ofconspicuous consumption” (Boyd 2008: 228). However, Boyd does point out that with the spread of thegay marriage movement internationally, a new global queer citizen/consumer assumes the “modern queersexuality” which emphasizes neocolonial messages about Western sexual liberation and freedom throughcitizenship, civil rights, and ‘out’ visibility. Hence, the placement of LGBT rights in the forefront of theconstruction of a queer sexscape is rendered problematic through a post-colonial theoretical lens. Making use of our post-colonial and intersectional feminist analytical frameworks also complicatesthe production of transnational “gay-friendly” tourist sexscapes as a whole. Firstly, several authors discusshow the promotion of a tourist destination with an established and popularized queer community andevents can lead to a commoditization of queer identities by (cis-gendered) heterosexual travelers andultimately a de-gaying of queer sexscapes (Pritchard et al. 1998: 279, Rushbrook 2002: 191). For example,queer commodities can become commodities for heterosexual spectators at gay pride events and dragshows. The influx of heterosexual tourists to Manchester has also been known to cause local queer residentsto feel unsafe and not welcome within their own gay space. Targeted as a sexually Otherized body, somelocal and non-local queers can become neocolonial spectacles for white, neocolonizing heterosexuals.Secondly, the economic incentive in positioning of a queer sexscape allow (often) heterosexual capitalists,nationals, and organizations access to an increasingly developing consumer market, illustrative of theinsatiable neoimperial capitalist desire to generate revenue. Finally, the construction of a queer sexscapethrough both gay events and LGBT rights lead to the romanticization of geographies, assuming that allqueer spaces are without inequalities. As many of the authors I examined point out, this claiming of a queersexscape forefronts sexuality and sexual identity, which simultaneously erases and renders other categoriesof difference—like race, class, gender, nation, ability, and sexual identities different from gay, lesbian orstraight—invisible (Rushbrook 2002: 184, Puar 2002a: 112, Puar 2002b: 936, Pritchard et al. 1998: 274). Asa result, the normalization of the sexual and idealized queer consumer reproduces systems of inequalitiesbased on categorical differences and the neocolonial politics of representation. Overall, the label “gay-
Ruelos 6friendly” may not be as all-inclusive as it may seem; the crafting of a transnational queer sexscape as a touristdestination continues to draw upon neocolonial tendencies that perpetuate systems of equality.Exploring Queer Tourism through Case Studies In this final section of the paper, we will explore the ways in global queer tourism have affected thespecific global locales of Thailand, Mexico, and the Czech Republic with the reproduction of colonialdiscourses and systems of inequality. By building upon the previously discussed theoretical frameworks thatwe have explored, we will understand how neocolonial processes of global queer tourism have specificallyshaped the experience of tourists and local peoples within each of specific locations.Trans Medical Tourism in Thailand As I briefly mentioned earlier, trans tourism has almost always been absent in the travel guides andliterature on global queer tourism. Despite its absence, however, it seems that medical tourism sought afterby trans-identified individuals is still mediated through neocolonial processes, the exotification of ThirdWorld cultures, and global neoliberal politics. Aizura, one of the lone authors who has examined transmedical tourism, illustrates this in his research on gender reassignment surgical (GRS) tourism in Thailand. In the first section of his article, Aizura explains how Thailand in part functions as a transnationaltrans sexscape. “Medical travel to Thailand has become a large industry since 2000, facilitated by governmentseager to find a new source of international revenue in the wake of the 1997 Asian economic crisis…”(Aizura 2010: 5). Consequently, Thai surgeons have crafted a trans “sexscape” in a sense through theposition of Thailand as the “’Mecca’ of transsexual body modification” (Aizura 2010: 2). Because of thisincrease in foreign travelers to Thailand for GRS, the once domestic market for reassignment surgery hasshifted directly because of the globalization of the economy to a transnational luxury service. As we haveseen before, the existence of a Thai gender variant also helps position Thailand as a trans sexscape. SeveralThai trans clinics even market themselves within these tourism discourses by providing four-star hotelaccommodation and classes, excursions and activities during convalescence. Through these somewhatfamiliar processes we can begin see how Thailand is positioned as a trans sexscape. After elaborating on the construction of Thailand as a medical tourist travel destination, Aizuradescribes the experience of two trans women to illustrate the complexities of cultural appropriation and theincorporation of “Thainess” into these women’s experience. During Melanie’s trip to Thailand to meet withher surgeon about completing her GRS surgery in 2007, she bought a painting of a Thai goddess who shedescribed as “Kinnaree…it’s the representation of a goddess of earth. Feminine grace, beauty” (Aizura2010: 9). Unknown to her, Melanie had actually confused the goddess Kinnaree with the goddess Mae PhraThoranee. After eventually returning to America, Melanie got a tattoo of Kinnaree on her shoulder andwould begin describing this goddess with characteristics of Mae Phra Thoranee. According to Aizura post-colonial theorists have critiqued these forms of cultural appropriation of “exotic” and “primitive” tattooing,
Ruelos 7which is seen as an ethnicized commoditization of the cultural Other (Aizura 2010: 10). A similardiscussion of appropriation can be seen with Elizabeth, an Australian trans woman who set ablaze herremoved testicles and presented them as an offering in the fishpond of a Theravada Buddhist temple. Whileboth women could be seen as appropriators who participate in practices which construct Thailand as anexotic and ethnicized Third World country, Aizura argues these practices cannot be strictly seen asneocolonial and orientalist appropriations: They need to be read as an effect of Melanie and Elizabeth gaining the space to perform their own feminine genders in relative, and temporary, freedom [which] enables both individuals to imagine rituals marking the event of gender reassignment, incorporating something of the geocultural location in which they feel so respected and recognized. (Aizura 2010: 16)Thus this supplementing of femininity through tattooing and the incorporation of Buddhist beliefs in a self-designed ritual complicate the neocolonial context of such practices. While these practices are disciplinaryin the creation of an orientalist and exotified Other, they are emancipatory in that they allow these womento carve out spaces where they can freely negotiate their own gender identities.Mexican Sexual Colonization and Liberation Continuing the this discussion of disciplinary and emancipatory effects of global gay tourism, Cantúargues that in order to understand the complexities of American gay tourism in Mexico one mustunderstand the processes of sexual colonization and liberation at work. To foreground this complexity,Cantú discusses the historical and economic relationship between the US and Mexico. The economic tiesbetween Mexico and the US have been particularly developed through Mexico’s membership in the WTO,GATT, and NAFTA, stimulating both social and cultural ties between the two countries (Cantú 2002: 143).One of these ties has created a movement of peoples across the borders both from the north to the southand both legally and illegally; unfortunately, however, crossing the border has proven to be more difficultfor Mexicans who might be branded as homosexuals. It is because of this that the globalization of economyin Mexico through its relationships with the US has lead to the migrations of Mexican queer men andwomen to urban areas for better economic alternatives. With the development of tourism industry in the1960s, the migrations of both Mexican queers and American tourists to Mexican urban centers have lead tothe development and commodification of Mexican gay culture through transnational gay tourism (Cantú2002: 144). Consequently, according to Cantú, this has sparked the new emerging Western gay identity forboth men and women and the overshadowing of the previous ambiente identity. Since this development of transnational gay tourism, new guidebooks on Mexican gay travel haveemerged which depict the workings of sexual conquest through the redeployment of colonial process ofsexual exotification. These guides, following the same methods that the previous guides we have discussed
Ruelos 8have, focus on sexuality and target an American male audience. Firstly, in the covers of the guides thatCantú provides all the Mexican men are at least shirtless, symbolizing their sexual readiness and availability.Secondly, the representations of Mexico in these guidebooks are twofold: one depiction of Mexico as “justlike home” and a second as an exotic, Third World country which tempts the colonialists desire to beexplored and conquered. Yet for queer tourism there also exists a “border” tension between the lure of an exotic paradise and the dangers of homophobia in foreign lands. Here Mexico seems to represent a homosexual paradise free of the pressures of a modern ‘gay life style,’ where sexuality exists in its ‘raw’ form yet where the dangers of an uncivilized heterosexual authority also threaten. (Cantú 2002: 148)It is easy to see how these guides do embody the discourses of sexual conquest and neocolonialrepresentations of Third World locations and peoples by crafting a sexual and racialized Other as acommodity for American gay tourists. While it’s clear to see that the guides present a problematic framework and representation,transnational gay tourism has complex implications on the lives of Mexican gay men and women which canbe seen as both disciplinary and liberatory. As Cantú illustrates the emergence of the gay and lesbian touristmarket in Europe created the foundations for the development of the gay and lesbian movement in Mexico(Cantú 2002: 155). Tourism has also sparked the migration of same-sex sexual couples to the States, whichitself can be seen as liberatory and disciplinary. In many instances, same-sex sexual couples decide totraverse the US-Mexico border in order to create better opportunities for themselves and their families.However, often when same-sex sexual couples from Mexico do arrive in the US they are faced withhomophobia and racism, despite the claim that the “modern” US is more liberal than developing countrieslike Mexico (Cantú 2002: 155, 157). Another beneficial factor that global gay tourism has brought toMexico have been tools for combating HIV/AIDS, ultimately providing condoms, lubricants, medications,and literature to promote HIV/AIDS activism. One of the more or less shocking influences on Mexicangay men’s lives has been the embodiment of colonialist desires for conquest in elite Mexican men. Forexample, upper-class Mexican man named Franco describes his tourism in Cuba: “‘the men in Cuba arefantastic. I always take some extra things like cologne and clothes. Cuban men will fuck you for a Nikebaseball cap’” (Cantú 2002: 156). Through this description, we see how Franco embodies a (neo)colonizer’ssubjectivity by seeking sexual conquest in the exotified Cuba and by creating a colonial knowledge about thesexuality of Cuban men. These are some of the diverse impacts on Mexican gay men and women’s livesthat situate global gay tourism in Mexico within a disciplinary, yet concurrently liberatory framework.European Otherness: Colonial Knowledge Production of Czech ‘Boys’ in Prague
Ruelos 9 One final case study that provides some distinctive insights into the effects of transnational queertourism concerns the relationship between Czech bodies in Prague and the neocolonial desires of Austriangay male tourists. In his essay, Bunzl follows Pratt’s analytical framework by arguing that Prague’s gay scenecan be envisioned as a “contact zone:” a neocolonial location which reifies a Western/Eastern Europeandichotomy and where the relation between Czech ‘boys’ and Austrian ‘men’ is predicated on sexual,racial/ethnic, geocultural, and socioeconomic systems of inequalities (Bunzl 2000: 71). At this neocolonialcontact zone, Austrian (Western) gay male tourists live out their neocolonial fantasies to have sexualencounters with Czech (Eastern) gay male bodies. It is important to note that transnational tourismperpetuates these racial/ethnic/geographic categories of difference between Eastern and Western Europedespite the “Eastern transition” into a new Europe through the membership of the European Union.Because of these imagined categories of difference, Austrian gay tourists constantly position Prague’s gayscene as a site for Eastern (same-sex) sexual Otherness. By focusing his ethnographic work on the experience of Austrian gay male tourists, Bunzl illustratesthe ways in which transnational gay tourism of Austrian men operates under the neocolonial production ofknowledge about Czech same-sex sexual culture and sexuality (Bunzl 2000: 82). In parallel to the sense ofdanger that Cantú describes in Mexico, Bunzl portrays many Austrian men’s initial experience as fearful ofthe perils of traveling to an unknown environment (illustrative of Prague as a neocolonial contact zone). Inthis sense, Prague can be seen as a “heart of darkness,” which must be explored by the Western gay maletourist in order to demystify and familiarize oneself with the Eastern sexual Other. This neocolonial desirefor knowledge production justifies the subjectification (and consequently objectification) of Czech same-sexsexuality. Bunzl also comments of the effects of socioeconomic class and age in the positioning of Czechsame-sex sexuality. He depicts how Austrians produce knowledge of about Czech sexuality through theconstant description of Czech gay men as ‘boys.’ While bringing to the forefront a racialized age as aneocolonial category of difference, Austrian positioning of Czech boys simultaneously superimposes thedependency of Eastern bodies on class-privileged Western tourists. This also continues to justify the desireof Austrian men to travel and explore Czech sexual Otherness. A third and final example of the neocolonial production of knowledge of Czech same-sex sexualityfocuses on the colonial trope of sexual availability through the stressing of a distinct Czech same-sex sexualidentity. Similar to the assumptions of sexual identity that we have seen in various gay travel guides,Austrians position Czech ‘boys’ as in a constant state of sexual readiness. One dominant paradigm of thissexual readiness characterizes all Czech ‘boys’ as bisexual or pansexual. One informant describes sexualityin Prague: [T]hings are totally different. They are just so openly bisexual. Just about all the boys I’ve had sex with there had girlfriends, but they were into having sex with men as well. […] I
Ruelos 10 really think they just like to have sex—boys, men, women—it just doesn’t matter. They’re just not afraid of their sexuality, and so I’ve always gotten what I’ve wanted. (Bunzl 2000: 86–7)Another positioning of sexual availability and readiness, as Bunzl also points out, concerns Austrian gaymale tourist discursively creating a sense of Czech ‘boys’ desirability to service men. “’I had never seenanything like that at home. He didn’t have his own agenda, but was totally attentive to me. We couldn’treally communicate, of course, but somehow he could feel what it was I wanted. And he just did that’”(Bunzl 2000: 85). In sum, very similar to positioning a commodified Third World sexual Otherness (as wehave seen multiple times above), this production of knowledge of Czech ‘boys’ sexuality through thedescription of sexual availability creates an embodied Eastern sexual Otherness constructed throughneocolonial tropes and desires which serve the purpose of reproducing the categories of racial, sexual, class,and national difference.Conclusion After reviewing much of the literature on transnational queer tourism can we the importance ofunderstanding the complexities that this relatively recent form of tourism provides. Some of thesecomplexities are embodied in the rendering invisible of certain categories of difference which normalize theprimary queer consumer as a white, middle-class, Western, cis-gendered gay male. Some can also be seen inthe complex social framework which allows us to see queer tourism as both emancipatory and disciplinary.Others require to look at the reproduction of colonial processes of exotification in specific ‘gay-friendly’queer sexscapes such as Thailand, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. As we have seen through thisexamination of global queer tourism, both an intersectional feminist analysis and a post-colonial studiesframework allow us to delve into many of these complexities which are often overshadowed and ignored.Thus through attempting to explore some of the complexities of transnational queer tourism through theseanalytical and theoretical lenses can we begin see the ways in which global queer tourism reproduce bothneocolonial power relations and systems of inequality through the categories of race, class, gender, nation,and sexuality.
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