We are here to Party? Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans leisurescapes beyond commercial gay scenes
Browne, K. and Bakshi, L. (2011) We are here to Party? Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans leisurescapes beyond commercial gay scenes Leisure Studies, 30 (2). pp. 179-196. ISSN 0261-4367
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Gay spaces in particular cities have been the focus of studies of sexualities in leisure studies and geographies. However, with the British cultural development toward increasing acceptance of particular gay (and lesbian) lives, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) leisurescapes can no longer be confined to gay space/times or discussed solely in terms of exclusion. Conversely, the view that all other spaces are heterosexualised and therefore dangerous also needs critical reconsideration. Drawing on data from the 'Count Me In Too' project, a Brighton & Hove based participatory action research project, we find that LGBT people socialise beyond the 'gay ghetto', and whilst certain 'straight' leisure spaces are still hostile, generic social space is not necessarily unwelcoming to some LGBT people. We contend that space can be simultaneously gay and straight, yet gender and sexual identities, mediated through other social differences, continue to be important in understanding LGBT experiences. However, LGBT socialising (and to a larger extent leisure activity) does not occur predominantly in commercial leisure spaces (whether these be understood as gay or straight). Understanding the breadth of LGBT socialising and the transgression of gay/straight divides enables an engagement with everyday space that does not presume it is heterosexual waiting to be 'queered'.
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