Drawing on interviews with self-identified LGBTQ migrants, lawyers and immigration consultants conducted in Toronto in 2008–09 and 2013, this article explores the affective economies of queer migration governance in the transnational Canadian context. With a specific focus on the extensive paper files queer family class migrants and refugees must produce as part of the application process, the article theorizes these carefully curated documents as archives of intimacy and trauma respectively. These archives of intimacy and trauma are technologies of mobility—not only moving migrants across borders, but also moving emotions between migrants and immigration bureaucrats. In aiming to render their subjects intelligible—and intelligibly desirable—to the state, these curations of ephemeral queer intimacies and trauma simultaneously serve as archives of “affective governance,” powerfully illuminating the affective modes through which bureaucracy, calculability, and biopolitics take hold.

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