Inspired by a prior research collaboration between New York University and the Global Network for Women Peacebuilders highlighting the experiences of young women in official Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) programming, Dennis Aveta focused his master’s thesis on the engagement (or lack thereof) of LGBTQ+ peacebuilders and communities in YPS spaces.
The research project sought to fill the gap in peace and security literature focused on queering such spaces with the hope of illuminating the current state of inclusion of LGBTQ+ peacebuilders as well as the substantive engagement of their priorities and concerns in foundational YPS resolutions and subsequent programming.
Drawing on the experiences and expertise of LGBTQ+ academics, peace and security professionals, as well as queer youth activists, the research begins by outlining some of the most pressing peacebuilding priorities and security concerns of LGBTQ+ youth communities. Moving on, it examines the experiences of queer peacebuilders in Woman, Peace and Security (WPS) spaces before shedding light on the inclusion of young LGBTQ+ peacebuilders in YPS.
Thanks to many of the interviewees having worked in both the WPS and YPS movements, there was a particular opportunity to directly compare the progress that each agenda has made towards substantively embracing LGBTQ+ communities and their issues.
This policy brief serves as a foundational resource for civil society actors to expand their understanding and knowledge regarding the experiences of young LGBTQ+ peacebuilders. Working alongside similar research and data collection efforts currently (and/or recently) taking place focusing on LGBTQ+ communities in the context of peace and security, it also serves to state proudly and loudly that LGBTQ+ peacebuilders exist now, have always existed in these spaces before, and will continue to be a part of and lead struggles for peace moving forward.
Concluding with highlighted areas for action, this brief provides recommendations for how CSOs can take substantive steps towards better supporting LGBTQ+ peacebuilders and creating a truly intersectional movement for peace.
You can find the full policy brief as the first in our Queering Peace and Security Policy Brief Series here.