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Looking Back Queerly, 1996: Space for Gay Men = Pleasure _or_ Danger

Gavin Brown’s 1996 research on the spaces of gay men found they described and marked their spaces in Tower Hamlets, London, as those of “pleasure” or “danger.”  How far have we come to mind the gap to create spaces in between for gay men, and for all lgbtq people?

My research builds on the pioneering work of early lesbian and gay oral historians, but by attempting to record gay men’s cognitive maps of the area – how we negotiate routes between sites of pleasure and danger and how these have influenced our decisions about where to live, shop and cruise – attempts to chart the changing ways in which we respond to and adapt the urban landscape for our own ends. (Brown 2001, 50)


Brown, G., 2001. Listening to Queer Maps of the City: Gay Men’s Narratives of Pleasure and Danger in London’s East End. Oral History, 29(1),

Looking Back Queerly, 1982: about not being out in the academy, about denying lgbtq people as a study group

The place of lgbtq people and studies in the academy was no different than the other shores of homophobia:

Based on 640 responses, the ASA [American Sociology Association] Task Group concluded: “Sociologists and students who are known as homosexuals or, even more so, as activists, run considerable risk, according to the perceptions of department heads and chairs, of experiencing discrimination in being hired or promoted in a sociology department.  Hence, the vast majority remain closeted within the colleagues [sic].  This, in turn, inhibits them from displaying interest in, and engaging in, research, advising, or teaching courses on, the topic of homosexuality” (Huber et al. 1982: 165). – from Newton (2000, p220)

Less than a decade before, the Gay Academic Union (GAU) was founded in 1973 by a meeting of eight academics in a Manhattan apartment ( 2000), and had made significant headway in visibilizing at least a small presence lgtq …