The main research objective is to move beyond exclusion/inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (LGBTQ) communities in UK and India creating a liveability model that can be adapted globally. Whilst work has been done to explore the implications of Equalities legislation, including contesting the normalisations of neo-liberalisms, there has yet to be an investigation into what might make every day spaces liveable for LGBTQ people. This project addresses social exclusion, not only through identifying exclusions, but also by exploring how life might become liveable in everyday places in two very different contexts.
Achievements of equalities legislation are important but limited
In 2013 the Marriage (Same Sex) Act passed in the UK, and in India the Delhi High Court's reading down Indian Penal Code 377 in 2009 to decriminalize sexual acts between consenting same-sex people was overturned by the Supreme Court. In the UK, the 'gains' have not been felt equally by all LGBTQ people, and organising and activism continues around concerns of LGBTQ people that have not (yet) been adequately addressed, such as ensuring safety from transphobia, biphobia and homophobia. In India, reactions to, and the effects of, the reinstating of penal code 377, both in relation to activist protests and authority crackdowns, have varied widely across the country. These different contexts are being used to explore liveable lives as more than lives that are just 'bearable' and moves beyond norms of happiness and wellbeing.
Liveable Lives: a concept with practical applications?
This project is exploring whether and how ideas about Liveable Lives might advance additional/alternative initiatives to progress positive social change for LGBTQ people. The concept of ‘livable’ lives originates with Judith Butler, a professor at the University of California, a philosopher and gender theorist whose work has influenced political philosophy, ethics and the fields of feminist, queer and literary theory. Judith Butler writes about experiencing living life as ‘livable’, by which she means it is more than bearable. For her, liveability is an important condition of being human, and not everyone’s life is liveable, some lives are about survival. This research is exploring what a liveable life might be when LGBTQ people are thriving and experiencing a life that is like life.
Visit the Liveable Lives project website