You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: Unpacking the Metaphor of Transgender Mobility

Authored by: Petra Doan

The Routledge Research Companion to Geographies of Sex and Sexualities

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472455482
eBook ISBN: 9781315613000
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043331


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Mobility within the LGBT community has not been well studied. A number of authors have explored lesbian and gay migration as a movement from rural to urban areas (Weston, 1995), as a form of an identity quest situated in the body (Knopp, 2004; Gorman-Murray, 2007), and as a series of movements and returns (Waitt and Gorman-Murray, 2011a; Lewis, 2014a). In addition, Nash and Gorman-Murray (2014) argue that a ‘new mobilities’ approach provides useful new insights about the evolution of LGBT neighbourhoods in Toronto and Sydney. In particular, they suggest that insights into mobility are especially relevant for the analysis of ‘LGBT urban migrations and movements since the second world war that contributed to the formation of gay villages, with their economic, political and social influences’ (Nash and Gorman Murray, 2014, p. 762). Furthermore, they contend that it is important to analyse not just actual movements, but the ways in which these movements are represented and practised (Cresswell, 2010) to understand the dynamic nature of such migration. This chapter extends Nash and Gorman-Murray’s analysis by examining the ways in which transgendered individuals incorporate notions of mobility into their life histories.

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