Whistling in the Dark: Twenty-One Queer Interviews

edited by R Raj Rao, Dibyajyoti Sarma

Whistling in the Dark: Twenty-one Queer Interviews focuses on issues like sexuality, sexual identity, marriage, gay marriage, heteronormativity, gay utopia, gay activism, gay bashing, police atrocities and the laws vis-à-vis these. The interviewees represent a cross section of society ranging from university professors, gay rights activists and students, on the one hand, to working class men such as office boys, auto-rickshaw drivers and even undertrials who have served prison sentences, on the other.

The thought-provoking narratives in this book are the outcome of probing and incisive questions put to the respondents by the editors R. Raj Rao and Dibyajyoti Sarma. Appealing to a wide readership, the narratives go beyond the conventional and provide a rare insight into the private lives of the respondents. Besides being a must read for gay activists and organisations, the book will also be a useful resource for post-graduate students and academics working in the fields of sexuality studies, feminism and alternative literature.

Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession

Providing hard data for trends that many perceive only vaguely and some deny altogether, Designing for Diversity reveals a profession rife with gender and racial discrimination and examines the aspects of architectural practice that hinder or support the full participation of women and persons of color. Drawing on interviews and surveys of hundreds of architects, Kathryn H. Anthony outlines some of the forms of discrimination that recur most frequently in architecture: being offered added responsibility without a commensurate rise in position, salary, or credit; not being allowed to engage in client contact, field experience, or construction supervision; and being confined to certain kinds of positions, typically interior design for women, government work for African Americans, and computer-aided design for Asian American architects.Anthony discusses the profession's attitude toward flexible schedules, part-time contracts, and the demands of family and identifies strategies that have helped underrepresented individuals advance in the profession, especially establishing a strong relationship with a mentor. She also observes a strong tendency for underrepresented architects to leave mainstream practice, either establishing their own firms, going into government or corporate work, or abandoning the field altogether.Given the traditional mismatch between diverse consumers and predominantly white male producers of the built environment, plus the shifting population balance toward communities of color, Anthony contends that the architectural profession staves off true diversity at its own peril. Designing for Diversity argues convincingly that improving the climate for nontraditional architects will do much to strengthen architecture as a profession. Practicing architects, managers of firms, and educators will learn how to create conditions more welcoming to a diversity of users as well as designers of the built environment.

There Goes the Gayborhood?

"More diverse options for how to structure gay and lesbian lives mean not the death of gayborhoods but rather their unexpected growth. Exploring the intimate relationship between sexuality and the city, this cutting-edge book reveals how gayborhoods, like the cities that surround them, are organic and continually evolving places. Gayborhoods have nurtured sexual minorities throughout the twentieth century and, despite the unstoppable forces of flux, will remain resonant and revelatory features of urban life."

Safe Space

Since the 1970s, a key goal of lesbian and gay activists has been protection against street violence, especially in gay neighborhoods. During the same time, policymakers and private developers declared the containment of urban violence to be a top priority. In this important book, Christina B. Hanhardt examines how LGBT calls for "safe space" have been shaped by broader public safety initiatives that have sought solutions in policing and privatization and have had devastating effects along race and class lines.

Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic research in New York City and San Francisco, Hanhardt traces the entwined histories of LGBT activism, urban development, and U.S. policy in relation to poverty and crime over the past fifty years. She highlights the formation of a mainstream LGBT movement, as well as the very different trajectories followed by radical LGBT and queer grassroots organizations. Placing LGBT activism in the context of shifting liberal and neoliberal policies, Safe Space is a groundbreaking exploration of the contradictory legacies of the LGBT struggle for safety in the city.

Planning and LGBTQ Communities: The Need for Inclusive Queer Spaces

Petra L. Doan

Although the last decade has seen steady progress towards wider acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, LGBTQ residential and commercial areas have come under increasing pressure from gentrification and redevelopment initiatives. As a result many of these neighborhoods are losing their special character as safe havens for sexual and gender minorities. Urban planners and municipal officials have sometimes ignored the transformation of these neighborhoods and at other times been complicit in these changes.

Queers in space : communities, public places, sites of resistance

Gordon Brent Ingram, Anne-Marie Bouthillette, Yolanda Retter

Cultural Studies. Gay and Lesbian Studies. Urban Planning. Exploring the interactions between queer identity, experience, and activism and a range of communal and public spaces, QUEERS IN SPACE: COMMUNITIES, PUBLIC PLACES, SITES OF RESISTANCE opens up a new direction in gay and lesbian studies. From gay space in Mexico City to the now legendary baths of New York and San Francisco, QUEERS IN SPACE travels to bars, parks, beaches, neighborhoods, and cities to follow the expansion and transformation of queer communities beyond the gay ghetto. By focusing on the geography of queer social relationships QUEERS IN SPACE raises critical and timely questions about the role of social space in shaping identities, the meaning of communal space for marginalized peoples, and the significance of public spaces for social visibility. Edited by Gordon Brent Ingram, Anne-Marie Bouthillette, and Yolanda Retter.

Queerying Planning: Challenging Heteronormative Assumptions and Reframing Planning Practice

Petra L. Doan

Current planning practices have largely neglected the needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community for safe urban spaces in which to live, work, and play. This volume fills the gap in the literature on the planning and development of queer spaces, and highlights some of the resistance within the planning profession to incorporate gay and lesbian concerns into the planning mainstream. Planning lags behind other disciplines concerned with queer urban issues. In contrast, the field of geography has developed a rich sub-specialty in the geographies of sex and gender that examines spaces and the variety of non-heteronormative populations that inhabit them. This volume brings together both planners and geographers with experience in planning to examine some of the fundamental assumptions of urban planning as they relate to the LGBT community. Lays out possible future directions for the field of planning to create truly inclusive urban areas.

Queering the Interior

Andrew Gorman-Murray, Matt Cook, Rosie Cox, Victor Buchli

Queering the Interior problematizes the familiar space of 'home'. It deploys a queer lens to view domestic interiors and conventions and uncovers some of the complexities of homemaking for queer people.

Each of the book's six sections focuses on a different room or space inside the home. The journey starts with entryways, and continues through kitchens, living spaces, bedrooms, bathrooms, and finally, closets and studies. In each case up to three specialists bring their disciplinary expertise and queer perspectives to bear. The result is a fascinating collection of essays by scholars from literary studies, geography, sociology, anthropology, history and art history. The contributors use historical and sociological case studies; spatial, art and literary analyses; interviews; and experimental visual approaches to deliver fresh, detailed and grounded perspectives on the home and its queer dimensions.

A highly creative approach to the analysis of domestic spaces, Queering the Interior makes an important contribution to the fields of gender studies, social and cultural history, cultural studies, design, architecture, anthropology, sociology, and cultural geography.

Queer Constellations: Subcultural Space in the Wake of the City

"Queer Constellations investigates the dreams and catastrophes of recent urban history viewed through new queer narratives of inner-city life. The "gay village," "gay mecca," ""gai Paris," the "lesbian flaneur," the "lesbian boheme"--these and other urban phantasmagoria feature paradoxically in this volume as figures of revolutionary utopia and commodity spectacle, as fossilized archetypes of social transformation and ruins of haunting cultural potential. Dianne Chisholm introduces readers to new practices of walking, seeing, citing, and remembering the city in works by Neil Bartlett, Samuel Delany, Robert Gluck, Alan Hollinghurst, Gary Indiana, Eileen Myles, Sarah Schulman, Edmund White, and David Wojnarowicz. Reading these authors with reference to the history, sociology, geography, and philosophy of space, particularly to the everyday avant-garde production and practice of urban space, Chisholm reveals how--and how effectively--queer narrative documentary resembles and reassembles Walter Benjamin's constellations of Paris, "capital of the nineteenth century." Considering experimental queer writing in critical conjunction with Benjamin's city writing, the book shows how a queer perspective on inner-city reality exposes contradictions otherwise obscured by mythic narratives of progress. If Benjamin regards the Paris arcade as a microcosm of high capitalism, wherein the (un)making of industrial society is perceived retrospectively, in contemporary queer narrative we see the sexually charged and commodity-entranced space of the gay bathhouse as a microcosm of late capitalism and as an exemplary site for excavating the contradictions of mass sex. In Chisholm's book we discover how,looking back on the ruins of queer mecca, queer authors return to Benjamin to advance his "dialectics of seeing"; how they cruise the paradoxes of market capital, blasting a queer era out of the homogeneous course of history.

Times Square Red, Times Square Blue

If one street in America can claim to be the most infamous, it is surely 42nd Street. Between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, 42nd Street was once known for its peep shows, street corner hustlers and movie houses. Over the last two decades the notion of safety-from safe sex and safe neighborhoods, to safe cities and safe relationships-has overcome 42nd Street, giving rise to a Disney store, a children's theater, and large, neon-lit cafes. 42nd Street has, in effect, become a family tourist attraction for visitors from Berlin, Tokyo, Westchester, and New Jersey's suburbs.

Samuel R. Delany sees a disappearance not only of the old Times Square, but of the complex social relationships that developed there: the points of contact between people of different classes and races in a public space. In Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, Delany tackles the question of why public restrooms, peepshows, and tree-filled parks are necessary to a city's physical and psychological landscape. He argues that starting in 1985, New York City criminalized peep shows and sex movie houses to clear the way for the rebuilding of Times Square. Delany's critique reveals how Times Square is being "renovated" behind the scrim of public safety while the stage is occupied by gentrification.

Times Square Red, Times Square Blue paints a portrait of a society dismantling the institutions that promote communication between classes, and disguising its fears of cross-class contact as "family values." Unless we overcome our fears and claim our "community of contact," it is a picture that will be replayed in cities across America.

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