Making LGBT Rights into Human Rights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter commences by examining the status LGBT rights have achieved within the United Nations (UN) human rights system and reviews some key aspects of their trajecto­ry. It considers how best to interpret the varying roles LGBT rights can play in the inter­national system, given their new status, with a critical reading of Hillary Clinton’s famous and much lauded “gay rights are human rights” speech to the UN General Assembly in 2011. It then moves on to what LGBT rights as human rights might mean in those parts of the world where this status receives little if any formal institutional recognition, using the case of the Southeast Asian region, where a new human rights regime has been estab­lished but where non-normative sexuality and gender have been willfully excluded from its remit. The chapter considers what the politics of human rights mean for sexuality and gender-diverse people in this region with reference to two senses in which human rights claims are political: (1) activists and advocates push against the status quo to have sexu­ality and gender issues included in the human rights discussion and (2) resistance to this inclusion is often played out by a politicization of sexuality and gender that obscures oth­er pressing issues. This chapter demonstrates both the profound and important advances that have been made for LGBT individuals and communities and the ways in which these successes generate political dynamics of their own, which must be carefully navigated in order to sustain the emancipatory potential of the movement
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics
EditorsMichael J Bosia, Sandra M McEvoy, Momin Rahman
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780190673741
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2019


  • Human rights
  • LGBT
  • United Nations
  • sexuality
  • homonormativity


Dive into the research topics of 'Making LGBT Rights into Human Rights'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this