LGBT Communities, Identities and the Politics of Mobility: Moving from Visibility to Recognition in Contemporary Urban Landscapes

Authored by: Andrew Gorman-Murray , Catherine J. Nash

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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Gay villages materialize residential, commercial and organizational concentrations of LGBT – mostly gay male – communities. They manifest some, not all, forms of gay social, political and economic life, but have nonetheless become markers of gay visibility and associated identity politics in the post-Second World War era, given that they are integral in the downtown fabric of many cities of the Global North, garnering mainstream attention and participation (Florida, 2002; Collins, 2004a). Over the last decade LGBT and mainstream media, politicians and communities have voiced concern over the ‘de-gaying’ of some such villages (M. Brown, 2013). Transformations in urban sexual geographies in the Global North include mainstream incorporation of particular gay and lesbian subjects and households, and the coalescence of alternative neighbourhoods and locations mooring and supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans (LGBT) and queer lives (Collins, 2004a; Ruting, 2008). Sexual and gender identity politics are also entwined with a politics of mobility, which has both physical and social dimensions (Nash and Gorman-Murray, 2014). This entails material, representational and behavioural transformations in mobile lives, interwoven with shifting identities, politics and practices.

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