A party with politics? (Re) making LGBTQ Pride spaces in Dublin and Brighton
Browne, Kath (2007) A party with politics? (Re) making LGBTQ Pride spaces in Dublin and Brighton Social and Cultural Geography, 8 (1). pp. 63-87. ISSN 1470-1197
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This paper examines the politics of pleasure at the site of the carnival. Carnival spaces have long been celebrated as subversive where both sexualised and gender boundaries are contested and rendered contingent. The place and performance of 'party' in the spaces of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) Prides in Dublin and Brighton and Hove are the focus. Specifically I address the parade through each city and the 'party' after this parade. Drawing on empirical research (221 self-reporting questionnaires undertaken by non-heterosexual women and qualitative research with 49 women) the paper examines the messy (re)constitution of Pride spaces through politics, fun and commercialisation. I argue that the tension between politics, the party and payment offer nuanced conceptualisations of Pride spaces in 'liberal' societies. Hedonistic Pride spaces whilst challenging heteronormativity, are sites of fun. I argue they are best conceptualised as 'parties with politics' once again moving discussions of politics between the politics/party binary. In conclusion, I suggest that, aloingside discussions of discriminations, abuse and prejudices, examinations of 'sexual deviancy' should include fun and partying in the performance of politics. Here, hedonism and enjoyment are read as central to a party with politics and thus the (re)constitution of sexed spaces, bodies and identities.
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