Gay Maps, Queer "Reads": Exposing Violence in the Spatial Representation of Gay D.C. in Search of Queer Spatial Potentials
This article exposes the violences encoded within many contemporary, mainstream gay spaces and connects these violences to a wider politics of the modern LGBT movement. No longer are queer places sites of radically disrupting time, space, and social norms, a practice that in some ways were constitutive of Queerness. Instead, many queer spaces have been organized and reorganized to reflect, reinforce, and support the integrationist and assimilationist goals of contemporary gay (white, cisgender, male) liberals and the State and corporate institutions they seek to become or have become a part of. I develop this argument by undertaking Queer readings of three “gay” maps of Washington, D.C. In deconstructing the violences within spatial representations of gay spaces within the nation’s capital, I hope to engage in a broader disruption and subversion of both the cooptation of queer/Queer struggle by State and multinational corporate formations and the assimilationist and (white) nationalist trends within mainstream LGBT politics that allow this to happen. In the “slippage” or “fissure” produced by this disruption, I hope to open a path that allows us to “cruise” ahead towards new thought on what can and should constitute Queer and queer politics and spaces.
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