Project members Annukka Lahti and Marjo Kolehmainen will introduce their ongoing collaboration in the 14th ESA conference to be held in Manchester, 20-23 August 2019. Please find the abstract of their presentation below:
LGBTIQ break-ups in Finland
In this presentation, we explore relationship break-ups of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer people in Finland. Demographic research indicates that separation and divorce rates are even higher among same-sex couples than among other-sex couples in Western countries. The long battle for equal rights has placed LGBTIQ people’s relationships under a lot of pressure to succeed. Many partners in LGBTIQ relationships try to pass as ordinary and happy as possible and choose to remain silent of the challenges they face in their intimate relationships. Consequently, they may miss the opportunities to receive institutional and familial support. There is also a paucity of research on the separation experiences of LGBTIQ people.
In this presentation we seek to fill this gap and explore the break-up experiences of Finnish LGBTIQ people. Our data consists of ethnographic observations of relationship seminars, including events targeted at the recently separated; survey data; and interviews of LGBTIQ people, who have experienced a recent relationship-break up. In our analysis, we further combine queer theoretical, psychosocial and affect theoretical perspectives in our analysis. In particular, we seek to grasp the affective, lively and often messy realities of relationship break-ups in a way that does not straightforwardly renew dichotomic understandings of sexuality or gender or draw upon pre-defined identities.