Urban Studies Senior Seminar Papers

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Herndon, Marco. "Soy Moderno y No Quiero Locas: Queer Citizenship in Lima, Perú." University of Pennsylvania, Urban Studies Program. 2016.


This paper explores the LGBTQ rights movement in Lima, Peru from 1980 to the contemporary period. It uses a historically-based, ethnographic methodology to explore the LGBTQ rights movement and its mediation of transnational and domestic contexts. Particular focus is paid to the Movimiento Homosexual de Lima and the recent Union Civil Ya! campaign. It builds off existing critical scholarship examining how Latin American LGBTQ movements respond to domestic contexts and reconstruct transnational success stories. Its main claim is that although Peru’s gay rights movement initially focused on intellectually-inspired, deep-seated cultural changes toward sexuality, mainstream organizations now construct claims to legitimate citizenship through an internationalist discourse that forms part of Peru’s ongoing project of cultural and economic modernity. The research adds much needed context and insight on the formation of the Peruvian queer movement in an anti-democratic, conservative political context. More broadly, it demonstrates the strategies queer movements resort to in the absence of viable political and institutional alliances. Finally, it also challenges the efficacy of transnational queer collaborations based on shared economic interests and the viability of a “global” gay movement.



Date Posted: 09 June 2016