Insider activists: the fraught possibilities of LGBT activisms from within

Katherine Browne, Leela Bakshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Legislative shifts in the first decade of the 21st Century altered the rights and protections for lesbians, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in England in disparate and uneven ways that have yet to be fully investigated. This paper explores the possibilities and pitfalls for LGBT insider activists- LGBT people who undertake LGBT activism and work with/for state institutions (such as local government). Using interviews and other community engagements that were part of the Count Me In Too research, this paper explores the political activisms of public sector workers in ‘gay Brighton’. We find them placed at the interface of LGBT community based-activism and state sponsored work. This was productive for some, but also created a messy, and at times painful, between-ness for those on the front line. Rather than solely addressing these activists as assimilationist (which they sometimes are), conformist (which they undoubtedly are) or simple ‘selling out’, we critically consider activisms from within institutions that support LGBT equalities agendas and the importance of space in creating these activisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geoforum. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geoforum, 49, 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.10.013


  • Sexuality
  • Gender identities
  • Activism
  • Partnership working
  • Social policy
  • Queer
  • Urban


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