Policing Visible Sexual/Gender Diversity as a Program of Governance

Angela Dwyer


Abstract


Using interview data on LGBT young people’s policing experiences, I argue policing and security works as a program of government (Dean 1999; Foucault 1991; Rose 1999) that constrains the visibilities of diverse sexuality and gender in public spaces. While young people narrated police actions as discriminatory, the interactions were complex and multi-faceted with police and security working to subtly constrain the public visibilities of ‘queerness’. Same sex affection, for instance, was visibly yet unverifiably (Mason 2002) regulated by police as a method of governing the boundaries of proper gender and sexuality in public. The paper concludes by noting how the visibility of police interactions with LGBT young people demonstrates to the public that public spaces are, and should remain, heterosexual spaces.

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