QUEERING FRANCE SINCE THE BELLE ÉPOQUE: Between Emancipation and Repression

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 1791, during the French Revolution, France became the first European country to decriminalize sodomy. In 2013, France legalized homosexual marriage. These two events alone support France’s reputation as a country tolerant of queer desires. And yet from the Ancien Régime through the present, people who engage in same-sex activity in France have been the target of persecution and prejudice. This chapter examines the tension between emancipation and repression that has marked the history of queer sexualities in France since the Belle Époque. It argues that while LGBTQ populations now exercise greater freedoms in France than ever before, these advances have come at a cost. That cost is revelatory of the intransigence of patriarchal and republican universalist attitudes toward the family, gender, and national identity in modern French society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of French History
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781003823971
ISBN (Print)9780367406820
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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