Power, panics, and pronouns
The information politics of transnational LGBT NGOs
Linguistic and anthropological analyses of the globalization of sexual frameworks typically emphasize how putatively global models remain disjunctive with localized understandings. Few scholars have examined how NGOs in the Global North compile the information needed to advocate for LGBT rights, much of which is generated by activists in the Global South. In this paper, I draw on fieldwork at a Northern-based LGBT human rights NGO to explore how brokers produce and circulate knowledge amidst the complex challenges of information politics. As brokers of information, activists face structural, linguistic, and technological impediments that complicate their work. They also grapple with doubts about facticity, motives, and potential repercussions that affect whether information is deemed “good enough” for advocacy. Understanding how activists practically navigate these challenges is critical as linguists and anthropologists move beyond reductive global-local dichotomies and advocates seek to do solidarity work as effectively and responsibly as possible.