Choosing to be LGBT: Gender and Sexuality Activism in Contemporary Myanmar
Thant, Aye Min
In recent years, a unique queer identity has emerged in Myanmar. Just as locally informed as it is globally influenced, queer identity and activism in Myanmar is the result of the confluence of historically Burmese gender and sexual practices, the discourse of universal human rights, the flow and direction of international aid, money, and attention, and local activist’s interpretations and reactions to the preceding three factors. This thesis examines how new identities can emerge through the practice of activism and the factors that influence this emergence. Based on original fieldwork involving participation in queer events in Yangon and conversations with activists and community members, as well as a review of the print literature and digital and social media output of LGBT organizations in Myanmar, this thesis demonstrates that queer activism can create sexual identities in the process of defending them.
Asian studies; Activism; Burma; Myanmar; Queer; Sexuality; LGBTQ studies; Gender
M.A., Asian Studies
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis