Sex and money in West Africa

The “money” problem in West African sexual diversity politics

Authored by: Matthew Thomann , Ashley Currier

Routledge Handbook of Queer African Studies

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138503472
eBook ISBN: 9781351141963
Adobe ISBN:


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Recent scholarship on African sexual diversity has demonstrated a persistent, discursive association between non-normative sexualities and money in politics, media, and social life. In his work on same-sex sexualities in Mali, Christophe Broqua has argued that “a widespread conception of homosexuality in many African countries is that they are essentially motivated by the quest for money” (2009, 60). These discursive links perpetuate stigma against same-sex sexual identities and behaviors by suggesting that they are rooted in corruption and white foreigners’ influence. These discursive associations become more complex and often volatile when countries in the global North offer ideological and financial support to sexual and gender minority organizations on the continent. In this chapter, we explore the dimensions of the assumed links between money and sexual minority identities and politics in West Africa. The region is an interesting place in which to parse these associations, given its varied colonial past and recent North American and Western European efforts to intervene in African sexual and gender minority health and rights.

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