(Unsettling) White Queer Complicities: Toward a Practice of Decolonization in Queer Organizations

Cameron David Ian Greensmith


This article expands upon important and growing dialogue around how non-Indigenous peoples can work in solidarity with Indigenous peoples to support their nationhood and sovereignty in the wake of ongoing white settler colonialism in Canada. In particular, this article centralizes queer organizations and implicates their investments in white queerness as sustaining contemporary colonial projects. While queer organizations work toward social change surrounding all things queer and trans, their connections to white supremacy and settler colonialism routinely go unexamined. In an effort to bring light to queer organizations’ and workers’ complicities in white settler colonialism, this paper makes use of the narratives of 41 non-Indigenous lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) service providers who voluntarily participated in in-depth interviews. By paying attention to their stories of deflections of responsibility in ongoing white supremacist and settler colonial projects, this article considers the extent to which white service providers and service providers of colour can address and embed decolonization within queer organizations in Canada. Together, these non-Indigenous LGBTQ service providers, organizers, and activists carry the potential to utilize their own experiences and understandings of complicity to shape their relationships with Indigenous peoples in ways that support their nationhood and sovereignty.


decolonization, complicity, queer organizations, white settler colonialism, Toronto

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