Nationalism and homophobic discourses in Albania. A case study analysis


  • Armela Xhaho Specialist, Ministry of Energy



This research critically examines the homophobic reactions and discourses of a group of young men protesting against the first public admitted case of a male homosexuality in Albania. The aim of this study is to show how Albanian nationalism fits with the heterosexist ideology and how national belonging is questioned if hegemonic masculinity is threatened. In this paper, I use discourse analysis as qualitative research method to analyse homophobic written and verbal discourses, through media and social network pages. In addressing these issues, the paper begins with an overview of public assaults and anti-gay rhetoric by a group of protesters rebelling against the first public admitted case of an Albanian gay man. Further, it provides an historical background related to the institutional representation of homosexuality in Albania focussing on same-sex relationships during communism and democracy. Heterosexist ideology is used to reinforce the strong connection between homophobia and Albanian nationalism. In conclusion, it argues that attitudes of Albanian men towards homosexuals are based on misogynistic, homophobic and heterosexist national values that place heterosexuals and heteronormative men, as the only dominant norm of the society by legitimizing in this way discrimination against sexual minorities.


Keywords: homophobia, heterosexist ideology, nationhood, same–sex relationship, hegemonic masculinity.


Author Biography

Armela Xhaho, Specialist, Ministry of Energy

Armela Xhaho

MA Gender Studies , Central European University

Main research interests:

Gender & Feminist Studies, Queer Theory, Gender and Nationalism, LGBT Rights, Domestic Violence and Honor Crimes, Child and Development Psychology, Abnormal Behaviour, Psychoanalytic/Cognitive Behaviour theory & therapy, Psychodrama