Working Paper

IDS Working Paper;361

Challenging or Reshaping Heteronormativity with Public Policies? A Case Study from Bogotá, Colombia

Published on 1 April 2011

On 28 December 2007 the then Mayor of Bogotá signed a Decree which established the guidelines of the public policy for the full guarantee of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the city. This legal measure was the end point of a long lobbying and advocacy strategy implemented by activists and organisations working on gender and sexual diversity. This Working Paper presents that experience as part of the process in which subordinated social sectors, such as gender diverse and sexually diverse people make themselves political subjects.

In spite of the novelty in Colombia and in Latin America of this kind of public policy targeting LGBT people as subjects of rights, it is also an opportunity for normative systems to readjust and to create new ways to normalise people. The promotion of certain queer people as proper citizens, the regulation of ways to interact with the state, the co-option of social mobilisations and the transformation of grassroots organisations into private service providers, are just some of the risks that a scheme like this faces.

The author was part of the social mobilisation that motivated this particular public policy scheme in the early 2000s and was involved in its design, planning and initial implementation between 2007 and 2010. This paper is situated in a problematic position between political activism, consultancy work and construction of knowledge based on the practice. It is a contribution to the memory of a rich, and in many ways unique, experience.

Publication details

published by
Serrano Amaya, José Fernando
IDS Working Paper, issue 361
978 1 85864 974 9


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