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TRACE includes three successive research strands: outlaw; outcast; outlast. Research strands will operate through two simultaneous and complementary scales of micro-level biographical narratives (biographical scale) and macro-level socio-political contexts (political scale).

Research Strand 1:


Biographical scale
Topics: from outlaw to political subject (growing up as LGBTI+ during repressive socio-political regimes; being LGBTQ where you have no rights; self-perception; individual and collective strategies to elude illegality);

Political scale
Topics: from repressive political regimes to political freedom;

Research Strand 2:


Biographical scale
Topics: from political subject to outcast (being LGBTI+ when you have no rights; the category of “risk group” and de facto suspension of rights during the AIDS pandemic; self-perception; individual and collective strategies; literature on pandemics and state of emergency, with spin offs re: the experience of LGBTI+ under COVID-19);

Political scale
Topics: from national identity to European self-perception influenced by EU standards regarding sexual and gender equality;

Research Strand 3:


Biographical scale
Topics: from outcast to outlast (embodying the amount of changes experienced in one’s lifetime; being LGBTI+ having survived all of the previous hardships; self-perception; individual and collective strategies in daily management; getting older as LGBTI+ person in LGBTI+-friendly countries; possible absence of adequate policies intersecting ageing sexualities, related impacts on one’s mental health and well-being);

Political scale
Topics: from a European LGBTI+-friendly project to the rise of extreme-right populism and nationalism affecting in different ways all of participating countries (e.g. anti-gender and anti-LGBTI backlash; attacks on gender and LGBT studies and scholars; cuts in funding regarding STI prevention; attacks to the notion of human rights).

The different research strands and the biographical and political scales they host are not considered expressions of a linear time. The analysis based on the lived experience described through narrative interviewing will ensure the respect for nuances and complexities that turn these time-based divisions into mere conceptual points of departure.