Homonationalism, LGBT desaparecidos, and the politics of queer memory in Argentina

Santiago Joaquín Insausti*, Pablo Ben

*Corresponding author for this work

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Although homonationalism is a fundamental category in queer studies, it has never been used to understand the history of the Argentine lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender movement and the emergence of a hegemonic queer memory based on the self-representation of Argentina as a “European-like” and “white” nation that often claims to be different from “the rest” of Latin America. This article examines the history of the Argentine construction of whiteness to understand hegemonic queer memory today and analyze why the 1976–1983 dictatorship has been hyper-memorialized, while state violence against queer people in democratic times is downplayed. We also refer to homonationalism to understand the success of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights revolution and present a discussion of the relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender politics and the construction of queer memory. As homonationalism shaped the formation of a hegemonic queer memory in the twenty-first century, alternative memories of police harassment of travestis and homosexual men after and before the dictatorship have been hidden in plain sight through reframing, displacement, temporal transpositions, and other forms of scripting.

Translated title of the contributionHomonacionalismo, desaparecidos LGBT y la política de la memoria queer en Argentina
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-84
Number of pages19
JournalMemory Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023


  • Argentine dictatorships
  • Cold War
  • LGBT history
  • clandestine detention centers
  • desaparecidos
  • dirty war
  • homonationalism
  • homosexuality
  • human rights
  • police harassment
  • queer memory
  • state violence
  • transgender and travesti identity


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