Queering Belfast: Some thoughts on the sexing of space
In this paper we use data from interviews and focus groups with gay men, lesbians and bisexuals living in Belfast to provide a queer reading of the city. Drawing on the work of queer theory, we argue, contrary to much of the literature on sexuality and space, that space is neither purely encoded as ‘heterosexual’ or ‘gay’. Instead we posit that all space is queered, that the sexing of space is always partial and contested, always in a process of becoming; that heterosexist spatiality, for example, is profoundly unstable, continuously engaged in the process of reproducing itself. Reconceptualising socio-spatial relations in this way, we contend, allows for a more nuanced and differentiated, geographical reading of sexual dissidence, one that acknowledges the fluidity and complexity of individuals’ self-identifications with regard to sexual-orientation and their diverse spatialities, as evidenced in our interviews.
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