Authority Belonging, Intersectionality and Gendered Rights: Lgbttiq Police Officers Between Executing Power, Right Claims and Discriminations

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Verena MOLITOR, Bielefeld University, Germany
Since some decades LGBTTIQ police officers in different countries are organised in unions, fighting discrimination and changing the image of police as a homophobic institution. Research so far has been concentrating on the questions of discrimination, diversity management, perceptions of gender within the “police culture”, the expectations and exclusions LGBTTIQ-officers are confronted with.

The paper focuses on LGBTTIQ police officers in order to demonstrate, how sexual and gendered identities influence not only the working conditions of this group, but make them a specific minority. The presentation asks, whether LGBTTIQ police officers be considered a marginalised group, claiming specific rights, relevant for their profession?

Being part of the executive power, their exclusion experiences become less visible, the fight for their rights seems to be less dramatic, compared to many other groups (for example LGBTTIQ refugees, suffering intersectional exclusions). Can this specific privileged position, which makes them invisible in their discrimination experiences, be considered from the standing point of the intersectionality? For example, gender/sexual identity combined with identity as police officer produce specific intersectional constellations: because of the gender stereotypes lesbian women are partly less discriminated at the working place, comparing to heterosexual woman, while gay man and transsexual persons are being discriminated and excluded. Another example of intersectionality would be that LGBTTIQ-officers fight for their rights goes beyond the non-discrimination at the working place; earlier research demonstrated that homophobia at the military and police professions might cause life-threatening situations, as LGBTTIQ officers might be less covered by the colleagues in conflict situations. In this sense the belonging to authority might be considered dangerous for the representatives of sexual minorities, and make them to specific group.