Exploring LGBT Spaces and Communities
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Exploring LGBT Spaces and Communities : Contrasting Identities, Belongings and Wellbeing

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Description

The phrase `LGBT community' is often used by policy-makers, service providers, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people themselves, but what does it mean? What understandings and experiences does that term suggest, and ignore? Based on a UK-wide study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, this book explores these questions from the perspectives of over 600 research participants. Examining ideas about community `ownership'; `difference' and diversity; relational practices within and beyond physical spaces; imagined communities and belongings; the importance of `ritual' spaces and symbols, and consequences for wellbeing, the book foregrounds the lived experience of LGBT people to offer a broad analysis of commonalities and divergences in relation to LGBT identities. Drawing on an interdisciplinary perspective grounded in international social science research, the book will appeal to students and scholars with interests in sexual and/or gender identities in the fields of community studies, cultural studies, gender studies, geography, leisure studies, politics, psychology, sexuality studies, social policy, social work, socio-legal studies, and sociology. The book also offers implications for practice, suitable for policy-maker, practitioner, and activist audiences, as well as those with a more personal interest.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 19.05mm | 453.59g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138814008
  • 9781138814004

Review quote

This important work, critically approaches a vexed topic that of `community' in an informed, innovative and rigorous way.ã Its cross disciplinary approach and clear writing style means that it will be of interest to all who are interested and work with not only lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities, but also those who are interested in social cohesion, identities, exclusions and marginalisations.ã This is also a must read for policy makers and the LGBT community and voluntary sector. Katherine Browne, Professor Human Geography at University of Brighton, UK Exploring LGBT Spaces and Communities interrogates the complexities that lurk behind the deceptively simple idea of "community." Page after page, Eleanor Formby shatters the stereotype of singularity and shows us the manifold experiences of communities-in the plural-for LGBT people. This book is sure to poke and provoke as it traverses tensions between sameness and difference, hostility from the outside and safe spaces within, forced labels that misalign with lived experiences, on-line and offline encounters, cynicism and celebration about membership, demanding conformity or celebrating individuality, and in broad strokes, whether sexuality is primary or peripheral in our lives. Amin Ghaziani, University of British Columbia, Canada This book will be a valuable addition to any undergraduate or postgraduate course of study that includes issues of sexuality, identity, community, (mental) health and wellbeing. It makes no apology about the complexities that the data unfolds and provides meticulous attention to the detail of people's experiences and intersectional identities. Overall, the book explores the many ways in which `LGBT community' - awkward, inadequate, limited, sometimes oppressive, discriminatory, hostile and exclusive - is aspired to (and is often a [temporary] reality). Catherine Donovan, University of Sunderland, UKshow more

About Eleanor Formby

Eleanor Formby is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.show more

Table of contents

Introduction Spatial communities and `gay ghettos' Cultural communities and practices Imagined communities and the `gay imaginary' Friendships and personal communities Virtual communities and cyberian mailways Community is here to stay? The research The book References 2. `Owning' and questioning LGBT communities Introduction The acronym that `lumps together' `Managing' the acronym Ambivalence Commonality Agency Chapter summary References 3. Diversity, inequality and prejudice amongst LGBT people Introduction Overview of existing literature Diversity and inequality Identity-based prejudice Faith and religion Parenting (Non)conformity Chapter summary References 4. Lived experience and `doing' community Introduction Overview of existing literature Socialising, friendship and seeking intimacy Friendship families Safety in numbers Accessing `safe' spaces Self-censorship Activism Lived experience across the life course Chapter summary References 5. Relationships to, within and beyond physical spaces Introduction Overview of existing literature Physical space and geographical areas Relocation Rural living Travel and tourism Groups and services Online spaces and virtual communities Chapter summary References 6. The pleasures and pains of scene spaces Introduction Overview of existing literature The scene as `community' Positive experiences Scene exclusions Invasion, choice and ownership Chapter summary References 7. Pride spaces, rituals and symbols Introduction Overview of existing literature Creating communities? Safety and freedom Celebration Protest Partying with politics Commercialism Alcohol at Pride events Exclusion `Excess' and `extreme' displays of pride Chapter summary References 8. Imagined communities and a sense of belonging Introduction Overview of existing literature Belonging and connection Commonalities, similarities, and mutual understanding Differences and values Shared experiences and the `bond' of discrimination? Chapter summary References 9. Consequences for wellbeing Introduction Overview of existing literature Impacts on physical and mental health Seeking support Friendships, confidence and self-esteem Finding people `like me' Alcohol, drugs and sex on the scene Paradoxical spaces Chapter summary References 10. Conclusions and implications References Appendix: Research methods and participants Research process and recruitment Online survey Interviews and group discussions Participants Referencesshow more