Feminist, Queer and Trans Geographies

Mapping lesbian and queer lines of desire: Constellations of queer urban space

The path to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) liberation has been narrated through a claim to long-term, propertied territory in the form of urban neighborhoods and bars. However, lesbians and queers fail to retain these spaces over generations, often due to their lesser political and economic power. What then is the lesbian–queer production of urban space in their own words? Drawing on interviews with and archival research about lesbians and queers who lived in New York City from 1983 to 2008, my participants queered the fixed, property-driven neighborhood models of LGBTQ space in producing what I call constellations. Like stars in the sky, contemporary urban lesbians and queers often create and rely on fragmented and fleeting experiences in lesbian–queer places, evoking patterns based on generational, racialized, and classed identities. They are connected by overlapping, embodied paths and stories that bind them over generations and across many identities, like drawing lines between the stars in the sky. This queer feminist contribution to critical urban theory adds to the models of queering and producing urban space–time.

more articles from

Volume 38 Issue 5

Explore our Topics

Though not an exhaustive list, these are many of the main areas we cover.