Queery-ing policy studies: using insights from LGBT service users to advance our understanding

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

In most minority-world countries enormous advances have been made over the past 20 years in achieving greater legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In many areas of life LGBT people are now legally protected from discrimination. However, this seminar will argue that further progress needs to be made to achieve equality, particularly in public policy and policy implementation. Drawing on insights from queer theory and feminist theory that seek to deconstruct taken-for-granted heteronormativity in a patriarchal world, and drawing on research with LGBT people accessing housing and homeless services in Scotland, it will make three contributions. Firstly, it will argue that the pervasiveness of heteronormativity impacts on service delivery and interactions with LGBT service users to their detriment; secondly, now that most legal impediments for LGBT people have been removed attention must be focused on public policy and service delivery to achieve equality; and finally that policy studies needs to be queer-ied itself. The seminar will also include a personal reflection on the current equal marriage debate in Australia.

Dr Peter Matthews is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology/Social Policy and Criminology, at the University of Stirling. He has a particular focus on urban policy and planning and related areas. After completing an undergraduate history degree at the University of Cambridge, focusing on urban socio-economic history, he studied the MSc in Urban and Regional Planning at Heriot-Watt University before completing my doctorate, on Scottish urban regeneration policy between 1989 and 2008, at Urban Studies, University of Glasgow.

His current research is looking at LGBT+ experiences of homelessness, housing provision and experiences of residence. His previous research, published as Ladders to the Cloud, used data from a Facebook page to explore place-attachment and social class in an Edinburgh neighbourhood.

This event is presented by ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and the ANU Gender Institute.