CfP: What happened with the LGBTQI+ "rights revolution" in Latin America?

Call for papers, deadline 11 December 2020



  • Luis Rivera-Vélez (CERI, Sciences Po Paris)
  • Morgane Reina (Instituto de Ciências Sociais, University of Brasilia)


Ten years after Argentina's emblematic "same-sex marriage" law, this issue of Cahiers des Amériques Latines examines the notion of a "rights revolution" [Encarnación, 2016] and takes stock of the situation of sexual and gender minorities in the region. Since the beginning of the 21st century, numerous laws and public policies have been adopted throughout Latin America to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ people. All countries in the region have now decriminalized consensual sex between adults of the same gender. Same-sex marriage is protected by laws and jurisprudence from the highest courts in the region, including the IACHR since 2018. The so-called gender identity laws for trans people in the region are inspiring demands at the international level, and public policies against homophobia or for the protection of intersex people are recognized as innovative. While changes are asymmetrical between countries or regions within countries, the recognition of the rights of LGBTQI+ people has been widespread and sustained, placing the region at the forefront of LGBTQI+ policies around the world.

This institutional context provides a starting point for the analysis of the recognition of the rights and living conditions of sexual and gender minorities in contemporary Latin America. Indeed, these advances for LGBTQI+ populations seem to be questioned today by more conservative governments that have come into office and the increasing power of Evangelical actors in politics. Budget cuts and the consolidation of groups opposed to "gender ideology" appear to threaten the consolidation of human rights movements in general and LGBTQI+ activism in particular. For this reason, three lines of research seem essential to propose a critical reflection on the reality of sexual and gender minorities and to evaluate the LGBTQI+ "rights revolution" in Latin America.


Call for articles

For this issue, we intend to question the notion of the LGBTQI+ "rights revolution" in Latin America. Through a multidisciplinary analysis, we propose three lines of investigation:

a) First of all, the notion of "rights revolution" refers to the study of institutional changes: are LGBTQI+ rights being structurally enshrined in national legislation and jurisprudence? Are these policies attached to incumbent rulers? In fact, it is true that in some countries legal protections against homophobia and transphobia are protected by the Constitution, courts are faithfully following case law and public policies are being put in place to improve the lives of LGBTQI+ populations. However, more recently new political groups (parliamentary fronts, religious lobbies, etc.) or governments opposed to the "rights revolution" are creating barriers to the recognition of LGBTQI+ rights. The first section seeks contributions analyzing how these different actors are using the tools of the law to shape a new institutionality for the rights of sexual and gender minorities.

b) Moreover, the idea of a "rights revolution" implies exploring its spatial and temporal dimension. The history of LGBTQI+ mobilizations is characterized by the construction of identities specific to Latin American populations and their inclusion in a global movement for the acceptance of sexual and gender minorities. For example, the "Nuestro Mundo" collective in Argentina was created in 1967 before becoming the "Homosexual Liberation Front" in 1971, following the western dynamic launched by the Stonewall riots of 1969. More recently, the adoption of "egalitarian marriage" in Spain has strongly influenced the demand for same-sex marriage in Latin America. We will therefore highlight proposals that explore the history of LGBTQI+ mobilizations in Latin America in order to analyze their contemporary repertoires of action. At the same time, contributions will be able to analyse the spatial dimension of these mobilizations in order to understand how space can be at the same time a support, a resource and a stake in the struggle for visibility, public legitimation and the recognition of LGBTQI+ people. What narratives and places are invested in the campaigns for the defense, consolidation, progression or even, for the contestation of LGBTQI+ rights?

c) Finally, in order to be effective, a revolution must go beyond the strictly legal framework of the recognition of rights. Institutional transformation is the result of the construction of identities and acceptance strategies to overturn social imaginaries. The analysis of the way sexual and gender minorities and their opponents think, behave and express themselves makes it possible to question the transformation processes by which Latin American societies accept or reject the LGBTQI+ population. On the one hand, we encourage contributions that question the processes of socialization, identity construction and trajectories of LGBTQI+ people or their opponents. How does one become gay, lesbian or other in a context of legal recognition of rights? Is this process different from the period before recognition? How can we analyse the processes of identity construction of LGBTQI+ rights detractors? On the other hand, other contributions could address how LGBTQI+ people and their opponents are forging alliances or oppositions to respond to the challenges of sectorisation and transversality in contemporary societies. Can oneself be Pentecostal or neo-Pentecostal and mobilize for the recognition of LGBTQI+ rights? What are the links between LGBTQI+ activism and feminist, indigenous or black mobilizations?


Submission Instructions

We expect original and unpublished empirical studies such as case studies or temporal and spatial comparisons that can come from all disciplines of human and social sciences: history, geography, political science, sociology, anthropology, law, etc.

Papers may be submitted in French, Spanish, Portuguese or English. They should contain the following information:

  • surname, first name

  • university and department of affiliation

  • author’s presentation in 3-4 lines: short CV with e-mail address

  • title of the article in 3 languages (French, English, Spanish or Portuguese)

  • the article of 50,000 characters (spaces, notes, bibliography included)

  • the abstract in 3 languages (French, English, Spanish or Portuguese) and 5 keywords (if you are unable to translate into a language, please indicate this in the article)


The editorial committee of the Cahiers des Amériques latines will inform about the acceptance or not of the proposals as soon as possible.

Articles should be sent to the following address:

by December 11, 2020

They will be submitted for double-blind evaluation.

The issue is scheduled for publication in January 2022. Please consult the instructions to the authors:

Papers that do not comply with these instructions may not be considered.

Encarnación Omar (2016), Out in the Periphery. Latin America’s Gay Rights Revolution, Oxford, Oxford University Press.