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ECPR Journals Virtual Special Issue

LGBTQI Police Officers Going Public? An Interplay of Gender Regimes, LGBTQI Identities, Authority Belonging and Activism

Civil Society
Political Participation
Verena Molitor
University of Bielefeld
Tatjana Zimenkova
Technische Universität Dortmund
Verena Molitor
University of Bielefeld
Tatjana Zimenkova
Technische Universität Dortmund

Sexual citizenship and its articulations are framed by gender regimes as well as by multiple belongings of sexual citizens.
As an empirical example from our research we take the LGBTQI police officers in Germany. Members of this group identify as non-hetero or non-cis and are affected in their sexual and gender identity by their profession and their conception of sexual citizenship as framed by being state officials. The negotiations of private/public boundaries are related to their gender, sexual and professional identities as well as forms of political action as sexual citizens (or restraining from political participation) result from the self-positioning within the respective occupations.
Activities of some LGBTQI police officers are political activities of sexual citizens for they promote rights and protect themself as minority. These activities are political in the sense of influencing power relations in the society, and hence they are an articulation of state-individual relationship, the citizenship. Simultaneously, they are part of an executive authority, and the work of the LGBTQI officers confronts them as authority members with the problems and conflicts they as sexual citizens try to solve.
Concentrating on this case of sexual citizens and considering theories of participation, sexual citizenship and belonging as well as elaborating on gender regimes we want to reflect how professional paths and belonging to state authorities affect the switch between public and private in gender and sexual identity. We aim to show, under which conditions the switching between public and private results in political activism (of sexual citizens).
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