The revolutionary prospect of socialism inspired homosexual emancipation and the growth of toleration toward same-sex relations in the first quarter of the twentieth century in many countries, including the UK, US, Hungary, and USSR. However, the development of LGBTQ+ rights within socialism was never linear and even.
The conference seeks to address those discrepancies and the reasoning behind them. It aims to discuss the LGBTQ+ experience and its political, social, and cultural implications under state socialism from a global perspective. What was the place of queerness under socialism? Was socialist ideology generally more responsive to queer people’s agenda and empathic towards them? How did legislation relate to same-sex activity change over time in socialist countries? How did the Cold War and geopolitical tensions between socialist and capitalist counties influence and inform sexual politics toward queer people and their perception? Why did some socialist countries, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the GDR decriminalize homosexuality as early as the 1960s and the Polish People’s Republic never criminalize it? What strategies of networking and concealment did sexual and gender non-conformists adopt in the socialist countries where homosexuality was still illegal, such as Soviet Republics, China, and Cuba? What was the attitude towards gender and sexual dissidents among the left-leaning movements in capitalist countries? Why decriminalization of homosexuality and homosexual emancipation that followed it was subsequently cut off in some post-socialist countries such as Russia?
The main goal of the symposium is to reflect on the broad spectrum of topics related to the conjunction of queer and socialist ideology from a global and comparative perspective. The symposium aims at the broader public, including students, scholars, and activists.