“Forbidden Fruit”: Constructions and Representations of Eastern European Homosexuality in the Dutch Gay Paradise

Home Institution

Rice University

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This project investigates the sexual politics of the Dutch gay community through the experiences and representations of self-identified gay men from ‘Eastern’ Europe. The purpose of this research is to examine how the perceptions of class, race, and national origin play into the experiences of non-Dutch gay men who engage with the gay scene in Amsterdam. This work seeks to destabilize notions of gay utopia within the deemed “gay capital” that is Amsterdam by including experiences of individuals that fall outside of the Dutch homonormative identity paradigm. Additionally, my project seeks to locate power acting on and within the LGBTQ community, which creates and legitimizes the characterizations and roles of non-Dutch queers within the dominant gay community. Such characterization includes the hyper-eroticization and criminalization of non-(white)Dutch gay bodies. This research is based on oral history interviews with 5 self-identified gay men from Eastern European countries who are currently residing in the Netherlands. This analysis calls upon post-communist era issues in Europe such as the advancement of neoliberalism, migration from Eastern Europe to Western European countries, and the spread of homonationalist cultural projects.


Community-Based Research | Dutch Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Politics and Social Change | Sociology of Culture

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