Queer Solidarities: New Activisms Erupting at the Intersection of Structural Precarity and Radical Misrecognition


  • Michelle Fine
  • María Elena Torre
  • David M. Frost
  • Allison L. Cabana


This article investigates the relationship between exposure to structural injustice, experiences of social discrimination, psychological well being, physical health, and engagement in activist solidarities for a large, racially diverse and inclusive sample of 5,860 LGBTQ/Gender Expansive youth in the United States. Through a participatory action research design and a national survey created by an intergenerational research collective, the “What’s Your Issue?” survey data are used to explore the relationships between injustice, discrimination and activism; to develop an analysis of how race and gender affect young people’s vulnerabilities to State violence (in housing, schools and by the police), and their trajectories to activism, and to amplify a range of “intimate activisms” engaged by LGBTQ/GE youth with powerful adults outside their community, and with often marginalized peers within. The essay ends with a theoretical appreciation of misrecognition as structural violence; activism as a racialized and gendered response to injustice, and an elaborated archive of “intimate activisms” engaged with dominant actors and within community, by LGBTQ/GE youth who have been exiled from home, school, state protection and/or community and embody, nevertheless, “willful subjectivities”.