One place that it is clear to see the tenets of being a citizen as inflected by sex is in the role that sex acts have in determining who crosses borders when, and if they are allowed to stay. In this context, “sexuality and sexual identities, practices, and desires may be pivotal forces for migration” (Manalansan 2006, 225). This is the case as many states permit (and have elaborate rule structures around) marital and/or partner migration, and many states accept refugees on the basis of sexual and/or gender identity. These rules, however, often rely on ‘proving’ the legitimacy of relationships and/or the authenticity of identities to the state. Both in marriage/partner migration regulation and in the adjudication of sexual and gender identity asylum claims, many state authorities require production of evidence of the performance of sex acts, and rely on that evidence to judge the ‘genuineness’ of either interpersonal relationships or claims to a particular gender or sexual identity. This creates a matrix of epistemological questions that must be answered about sexual practices, with “two intersecting themes: a) authenticity and who has the authority to know sexuality; and b) how sexuality in the form of intimate pleasure, preferences, practices, desires, etc., is to be knowable and translated into the ‘objective standards’ required by law” (Giametta 2017, 91; citing McGhee 2000, 30).
|Publication status||In preparation - 2023|