However this creates antonymic thinking and false binaries. Gay and Muslim become antonyms and queer and western seem to fit happily. Homonationalism is often casually used now to describe how many politically right, and often conservative groups co-opt queer groups into their ideologies e.g. ‘Twinks 4 Trump’.
While this is real, homonationalism, as Jasbir Puar intends it, is not an ideology that you can believe, or not believe in, but more an analysis of global politics through which we can see the world and the systems that take place – a criticism. “How ‘acceptance’ and ‘tolerance’ for gay and lesbian subjects have become a barometer by which the right to capacity for national sovereignty is evaluated.” This means that it is not about when LGBT people and racism visibly join forces but a critique which argues that all liberal lesbian and gay rights movements hold certain ideas of social progress and modernity. LGBT equality movements rest on the basic assumption that the western nation state is capable of including all oppressed peoples and that it can be a benefactor to all its subjects.
Puar argues this assumption is not true as it always affords some populations full legal and cultural citizenship at the expense of others – specifically racially others. The main example of this is the example of ‘marriage equality’. Marriage being seen as the pinnacle of participation in civil life. But this also upholds an institution which entrenches western sexual and family norms as supreme in comparison to those of other cultures.
Marriage also uphold the nation state as the main arbiter of human sexuality, in a way which sometimes allows some citizens within the institution rights to remain or rights to citizenship, where those outside the institution are not afforded these rewards. A modern example would be transgender rights. Where, as part of the social and legal process of transitioning within a nation state, a trans person may apply to obtain a gender updated passport. While this is often considered a success story within the modern trans rights movement, and is an example of the western excellence of a liberal nation state, allowing its trans citizens full participation in national life, the very existence of passports still upholds the sovereignty of a nation state to defend their borders and to arrest, detain, and deport those who do not hold the appropriate documentation. And its role in using the passport system as surveillance and monitoring of racial minorities as part of anti-terrorism efforts, as well as all of the capitalistic exclusions that come with non-citizenship. Although this does not mean that trans people should not apply and obtain passports, this is what is meant by the true meaning behind homonationalism. A lens to view queer politics through, rather than a bad political philosophy you can simply disavow. Homonationalism invites us to harshly critique our own role in global politics, despite having to partake in the system we critique.