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BelMix seminar series 2023-2024 - Socio-Economic Inequalities, Intimacy and Homosexuality: Insights from Sex Work in Paris and Transnational Relationships in Haiti

Publié le 18 décembre 2023 Mis à jour le 27 février 2024


Carlo Handy Charles, “The economic, social, and political impacts of same-sex intimate transnational relationships among men in Haiti and their migrant partners in the Haitian diaspora”

Presentation Summary:

Situated at the intersection of transnationalism and sexuality, my research offers a framework to examine the ways in which transnationalism and socioeconomic inequality intersect with homosexuality to shape the transnational process of negotiating economic, social, and political remittances in cross-border relationships among gay Haitian men. Second, it provides a lens to study how the transnational process of negotiating migrant remittances in the Haitian context shapes, in turn, the dynamics of intimate transnational relationships that gay men in Haiti develop and maintain with their migrant partners across the Haitian diaspora. In doing so, this research innovates existing transnationalism and sexuality scholarship that focuses mainly on the relationships that heterosexual couples and families maintain across international borders (Portes et al. 1999; Mazzucato and Schans 2011; Mackenzie and Menjívar 2011; Carling and Menjívar 2012; McLeod and Burrows 2014; Baldassar and Merla 2014; Baldassar et al. 2016) by adding a much-needed analysis of how homosexuality shapes transnational relationships among gay migrants and non-migrants.


Dr. Carlo Handy Charles (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Windsor (Canada). He is a former Vanier Scholar and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholar and a Fellow at the Institut Convergences Migrations at the CNRS and Collège de France in Paris. His current research examines how socio-economic inequalities, sexuality, and space shape transnational same-sex intimate relationships among Haitian men in Haiti, the United States, Canada, France, Brazil, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology at McMaster University and a Ph.D. in Geography at the Université des Antilles in 2023. Prior to joining the University of Windsor, he taught Sociology at McMaster University and French at L'Alliance Française de Toronto and L'Alliance Française de Caracas (Venezuela).

Kostia Lennes, “Moral and Economic Arrangements: Money and Value Among Male Sex Workers and their Clients (Paris, France)”

Presentation Summary:

This paper focuses on the exchanges between male sex workers and their clients. Considering these links as sexual and intimate as well as social and economic, the participants interviewed value these relationships in two ways. Firstly, escorting enables them to provide moral value to relationships usually stigmatized because they are associated with prostitution. By distancing themselves from the nexus between sex and money (which is typical of prostitution), both providers and customers add moral value to their relationships. However, as this moral value depends on minimizing the role of money, it comes into conflict with the economic value of these transactions. This paper explores these tensions in the context of male escorting.


Kostia Lennes is a PhD candidate in Anthropology (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Sociology (Université Paris Cité). He was a fellow of the FNRS (2018-2022). Kostia has previously conducted fieldwork in Mexico on queer migrants returning from the US. In 2018, he started his doctoral research on escort-client relationships in the context of male-for-male Internet escorting in Paris (France). Beyond gender and sexuality studies, his main research interests include online ethnography, intimacy, economic sociology/anthropology and mobility studies. 

Le 4 mars 2024

de 11h à 13h


ULB - Campus Solbosch

Building S

Room S15.215 (15th floor)

Rue Jeanne, 44

1050 - Bruxelles