Queer Domicide: LGBT Displacement and Home Loss in Natural Disaster Impact, Response, and Recovery


Gorman-Murray, Andrew, Scott McKinnon, and Dale Dominey-Howes. 2014. “Queer Domicide: LGBT Displacement and Home Loss in Natural Disaster Impact, Response, and Recovery.” Home Cultures 11 (2): 237–61. doi:10.2752/175174214X13891916944751.

Authors: Andrew Gorman-Murray, Scott McKinnon, Dale Dominey-Howes


This article examines lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) experiences of displacement, home loss, and rebuilding in the face of natural disasters. LGBT vulnerability and resilience are little studied in disaster research; this article begins to fill this gap, focusing on LGBT domicide—how LGBT homes are “unmade” in disasters. To do this, we critically read a range of non-government, scholarly, and media commentaries on LGBT experiences of natural disasters in various settings over 2004–12, including South Asia, the USA, Haiti, and Japan. Additionally, we utilize preliminary data from pilot work on LGBT experiences of 2011 disasters in Brisbane, Australia, and Christchurch, New Zealand. we find that disaster impacts are the first stage of ongoing problems for sexual and gender minorities. Disaster impacts destroy LGBT residences and neighborhoods, but response and recovery strategies favor assistance for heterosexual nuclear families and elide the concerns and needs of LGBT survivors. Disaster impact, response, and recovery “unmakes” LGBT home and belonging, or inhibits homemaking, at multiple scales, from the residence to the neighborhood. we focus on three scales or sites: first, destruction of individual residences, and problems with displacement and rebuilding; second, concerns about privacy and discrimination for individuals and families in temporary shelters; and third, loss and rebuilding of LGBT neighborhoods and community infrastructure (e.g. leisure venues and organizational facilities).

Keywords: LGBT, disasters, domicide, home, 'courtroom justice', home loss, shelter, rebuilding

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, LGBTQ Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, North America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Oceania Countries: Haiti, Japan, New Zealand, United States of America

Year: 2014

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