By Tunay Altay

Abstract: The COVID-19 has provided a pretext for the Turkish government to intensify its attacks on digital and material possibilities for LGBTQ visibility and to induce West-skepticism while spreading homophobia in Turkey. This article begins by reflecting on the Turkish government’s attacks on cross-border and transnational digital platforms over LGBTQ visibility and builds on the ethnographic study of the emerging LGBTQ digital spaces during the COVID-19.

In conclusion, I suggest that digitalization contributed to forms of resilience and the growing regional and trans-local awareness despite the symbolic boundaries imposed by local and global actors.

Keywords: LGBTQ, digital, sexual citizenship, Turkey, COVID-19

Tunay Altay is a PhD candidate in Humboldt University’s Department of Diversity and Social Conflict. His research and teaching focuses on citizenship, migration and sexuality. As part of his cumulative dissertation, Tunay is investigating the historical, socio-economic, and institutional factors that affect the lives of marginalized people and how they respond to discrimination, stigmatization, and racism in Germany. His previous work involved qualitative studies of the experiences of queer people of color and Bulgarian sex workers in Berlin. His research has been supported by the DeZIM (Deutsche Zentrum für Integrations- und Migrationsforschung), the DAAD and Institute for Social Sciences, among others.

In addition, Tunay writes cultural commentaries about politics, popular culture, and activism in Germany and Turkey. He is a board member of the European Network for Queer Anthropology (ENQA) and one of the organizers of SVR Gender Studies at Humboldt University. Tunay is also involved in community-organizing for migrants and LGBTQ groups in Berlin. –