The contemporary welfare regime in the United States is predicated on neoliberal logics of productivity, efficiency and employment rooted in heteronormative family relations. In achieving these logics, federal and state governments frequently outsource their responsibility to provision material needs to private groups, many of which are Christian-inspired (Goode, 2006). However, these institutions have a long history marginalizing so-called ‘deviant’ populations and specifically, LGBTQ people. As such, it is informative to direct attention to LGBTQ individuals interacting with Christian-inspired care throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Utilizing reflexive, oral historical methods, this project reveals how LGBTQ people rely on their own experiences of vulnerability (Butler, 2016) from their family, communities and the conservative Christian-inspired, neoliberal welfare regime more broadly, to exert their agency and ensure social reproduction for marginalized groups. In addition to subverting this regime’s logics through forms of material provisioning that question dominant binaries in private social reproduction and public, paid employment, these narratives also reveal their efforts to prioritize affective forms of care through their work. As such and in further disrupting the binary between paid employment and social reproduction, they also challenge how the welfare regime constructs employment as a natural, necessary and even moral part of life. Far from only being theoretically useful to discussions on social reproduction, care, work and advocacy these narratives also provide insight into the ways in which care and relationality form the building blocks of long-term and accountable efforts to advocate against structures of LGBTQ exclusion and economic precarity.

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Helena Perez Nino
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Daniel Robert Soucy. (2022, December 16). ‘Care-fully’ queering advocacy: LGBTQ interactions with Christian-inspired provisioning in Philadelphia as alternative approaches to social-reproduction, work and advocacy. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from