In the section of her paper “Queering the Diaspora, Diasporicizing the Queer,” she shows us some of the ways the words interact with each other. Puar says “queer” has “presumed that its subjects have a fixed relation of inclusion within the nation-state, one that is rarely interrogated.” Being queer does not bring about questions of whether or not that person is a member of a nation. Diasporas are mobilized spaces of transcendence of the nation-state. People who have moved from one country to another are not fully members of each country. The terms, incorporated together, force particular redefinitions of the originals. Diasporic communities they can also be a source of various support for national movements. The people who have left their home countries still feel like they belong to their home countries and do things to show their belonging.
Puar says she has two main concerns, 1) that constructs of queer diaspora rests on cultural nationalism and 2) that queer diasporic discourses (conversation, discussion) show the West as a site of “sexual liberation, freedom, and visibility,” a place where it is more acceptable to be queer. The first concern is illustrated in Lotus because of the “recovery work.” In Lotus, they try to show that homosexuality is nothing new to India, that it is there in the history. They reduce South Asia down to India, and India becomes Hindu culture and religion. The static Indian heritage they present has a supposed relevance to all South Asian queers without considering the diversity within the group. They “other” Sihks, Muslims and other groups with the focus on Hinduism. Lotus is a collection of coming out stories, and is in itself a coming out, that there are South Asian queers. This is problematic because coming out is a uniquely Western experience. Lotus was published in the United States, and South Asians in the US have a position of relative privilege compared to those of other Western diasporic locations. These coming out stories show India as a place of origin, but the West as a place of sexual freedom. South Asians living in the West sometimes portray India as a place where being queer is not good and that going to a Western country will liberate queers.
Puar is hoping this piece will serve as a counter to an “overabundance of celebratory discourses on queer subjectivities.” She does not mean to demean them, but she wants to caution that things like Lotus, which was done to help, can actually be oppressive through problematic politics. Diaspora may add to queer politics. Diasporic queers have this problem of belonging to a nation without being a part of the nation. It's a paradox highlighted in the problem of visibility where some welcome it and others see it as dangerous. It is important to question how and why certain queer subjectivities are highlighted over others.