For the paper, you should write a 2-3 page paper (2 FULL PAGES MINIMUM REQUIRED) on the Gender Identity and Gender Fluidity readings: Doan (2007) and Rushbrook (2002). Address the following : (1) Using these two readings for context, discuss a and critique a major law, policy, regulations
CITIES, QUEER SPACE, AND THE COSMOPOLITAN TOURIST
In North American and European cities, gay and lesbian residential and com- mercial zones have become increasingly visible to and visited by the public at large. Although this trend could readily be attributed to the success of gay civil rights movements and the recognition of gays as a niche market, it has been accompanied by other forms of urban transformation, notably the commodification of space related to a growth in tourism and a shift toward an entrepreneurial form of urban governance. As secondary U.S. cities such as Austin, Texas; Minneapo- lis, Minnesota; and Portland, Oregon, compete to lure footloose capital in the financial, information, and high-tech industries, they seek to market themselves as centers of culture and consumption. To stake a claim to cosmopolitanism, one of the most desirable forms of contemporary cultural capital, many emphasize their ethnic diversity. In a growing number of instances, “queer space” functions as one form of this ethnic diversity, tentatively promoted by cities both as equivalent to other ethnic neighborhoods and as an independent indicator of cosmopolitanism.1
The popular press reinforces the queer cachet, noting the gay quotient of clubs and neighborhoods in explorations of the “geography of cool.”2 In an article that serves as a tour guide to the international club scene, highlighting places fre- quented by “both gays and straights” in European cities such as Paris, Madrid, and Amsterdam, Roger Cohen writes that in Berlin, “a cooler note” can be found at the Greenwich, where
cowhide adorns the padded walls and a certain animal intensity is defi- nitely in the air as couples, heterosexual and homosexual, admire each other over some of the best martinis and whiskey sours in the city. This establishment, full of Asian-Germans and African-Germans, gives a real sense of the new Berlin, a city whose population is an exotic mix.3
GLQ 8:1– 2
pp. 183 – 206
Copyright © 2002 by Duke University Press
In this instance, racial diversity and sexual diversity highlight the establishment’s sophisticated allure even as nonwhite and/or queer bodies provide a chic stamp of approval recognized by the reader of the New York Times, assumed to be a cos- mopolitan traveler. Although Cohen does not preclude the possibility of queers of color in his description of the nightclub, Asian and African are offered as other, presumably in opposition to whiteness, and homosexual is offered as the other of heterosexual. If bodies are assumed to be heterosexual and white unless other- wise specified, only one axis of difference is presumed, and queers of color are erased from the discourses of cosmopolitanism and globalization, as consumers and commodities.
In clubs such as the Greenwich, queers and queer space are consumed by a broader, non-queer-identified public in ways that shape the evolution of these spaces and affect the everyday lives of the gays who inhabit them (whether as res- idents or as tourists themselves).4 Whether local residents or visitors to the city, empathetic supporters or scandalized voyeurs, tourists read as straight consume the temporary space of queer festivals and parades or the more enduring spaces of queer neighborhoods.5 The presence of such tourists disrupts queer space’s homogeneity, which is only putative because categories of class, race, and gender are frequently not acknowledged in the abstract construct that is queer space. Yet disruptions based solely on a queer/straight binary further entrench the homo- geneous nature of the (white male) queer. This essay explores the history and implications of these disruptions. How has this process of commodification been enabled by changes in the global political economy and in queer space itself? Have tourism and the related commodification of queer space for consumption affected gays who live in and visit these spaces? Might these consumption prac- tices inscribe new or reinforce current exclusionary practices along the lines of race, ethnicity, class, and gender? Finally, are there parallels between the con- temporary consumption of queer space and the long history of tourists traveling in search of the other?
After reviewing earlier instances of urban tourism centered on a quest for a place-based exotic other, I outline the shift toward urban governance that has par- alleled the rise of queer space’s visibility. I then briefly survey the literature that describes the production of different forms of this space. Finally, after examining certain links among the entrepreneurial city, queer space, and tourism, I question the implications of this evolving relationship.
184 GLQ: A JOURNAL OF LESBIAN AND GAY STUDIES
Tourism and Zones of Otherness
The urban landscape has traditionally been characterized by the production of zones of difference that function as what Michel Foucault terms “heterotopias”: places that hold what has been displaced while serving as sites of stability for the displaced. Heterotopias are countersites where other sites in the culture are “rep- resented, contested, and inverted,” although the meanings and functions of these spaces in relation to all other spaces change over time. Foucault notes the bounded and isolated yet permeable nature of these sites, where entry is either compulsory or requires permission; instances in which entry appears open to everyone conceal that “we are, by the very fact that we enter, excluded.”6 Imagining as heterotopic sites zones characterized as queer or ethnic in the popular imagination allows us to understand these identities as geographic. When the normal is white straight- ness, the spatialization of difference or deviation in mutually exclusive, opposi- tional zones in a hierarchy of places reinforces the production of queerness as white; Chinatown is not Harlem is not the Village, and everything — or every body — has its singular place.
Today these zones are sites of a highly commercialized tourism, but this form of travel — of transgressing local boundaries to participate in exotic worlds — is not a new urban phenomenon. The tourist has long consumed the other in mar- ginal districts and liminal spaces, visiting zones of deviance and excess to trans- gress social norms. Peter Stallybrass and Allon White note that “repugnance and fascination are the twin poles of the process in which a political imperative to reject and eliminate the debasing ‘low’ conflicts powerfully and unpredictably with a desire for this Other.” The European and American bourgeoisie “uses the whole world as its theatre in a particularly instrumental fashion, the very subjects which it politically excludes becoming exotic costumes which it assumes in order to play out the disorders of its own identity.”7
By the late 1800s New York’s entrepreneurs took advantage of this bour- geois voyeurism (thus simultaneously reinforcing and constructing it) to offer guided tours of Chinatown, the Lower East Side, the Bowery, and other spaces of exotic and dangerous difference.8 Greenwich Village was a tourist zone for uptown whites who found it an “area of fantasy” in which to partake of a sensuality marked by the presence of gays and lesbians on the streets. In the early 1920s, as the Village became “too touristy” and hence less exotic, Harlem arose as a new sexualized nightlife zone, distant enough to seem dangerous, yet “safe,” given hierarchical race relations and the transitory nature of the visit.9 Whites could travel to Harlem on a vacation from morality, escaping the strictures of respectable
CITIES, QUEER SPACE, AND THE COSMOPOLITAN TOURIST 185
middle-class life, exploring the exotic in their leisure time, and temporarily exploiting the place and its inhabitants for pleasure before returning to their everyday lives.10 As Stallybrass and White note, the “act . . . in which the middle classes excitedly discover their own pleasures and desires under the sign of the Other, in the realm of the Other, is constitutive of the very formation of middle- class identity.”11
Among the first to go “slumming” in Harlem during the 1920s were the bohemians, quickly followed by white, primarily male, homosexuals, who sought to escape stigma and exclusion by briefly inhabiting such vice districts. While whites could enjoy the tolerance of homosexuality that existed in these liminal spaces, blacks were systematically excluded from white homosexual establishments. Even in these zones, however, homosexuals of all races were marginalized. Kevin Mum- ford notes that as “Harlem clubs became more accessible to mainstream visitors, they became more heterosexual and the persistence of cross-dressing spectacles became less a direct expression of a thriving (homosexual) subculture and more a performance for white tourists in search of the exciting and the exotic.”12
The large clubs of 1920s Harlem targeted a white heterosexual audience and presented an entertaining vision of black life that was compatible with what the whites wanted to see, a vision of a cheerful, carefree, and poverty-free life offered in a safe and commodified form. The most popular large clubs strictly enforced the color line. Vowing never to frequent the Cotton Club, Langston Hughes referred to it as a “Jim Crow club . . . not cordial to Negro patronage, unless you were a celebrity.” Lewis A. Erenberg notes that white visitors made the spaces of the clubs uncomfortable for blacks, crowding them out.13 In the white- oriented clubs, blacks were performers and servers rather than consumers. Racist door policies in these clubs put first-time visitors at ease, allowing them to gaze on and consume the manifestations of difference and disorder on display from a dis- tance, without risking contamination. Even in more racially mixed clubs, asym- metries persisted, as evidenced by formal policies that allowed white men to dance with black women while discouraging black men from dancing with white women. As white participation in these leisure zones expanded, urban travelers sought to appropriate “authentic” places, black establishments where whites were less visible, in a continued display of cultural imperialism and sexual racism.14
The tourist was in search of an authentic other, an undiluted place empty of fellow tourists.
These ethnic zones of early-twentieth-century urban America were the result of local policies designed to contain bodies that public health and housing programs designated as deviant. The boundaries of these segregated spaces were
186 GLQ: A JOURNAL OF LESBIAN AND GAY STUDIES
conspicuously and differentially porous, allowing for whites’ consumption of the exotic while ensuring that the bodies that provided their entertainment remained in place. While the local state played a central role in the production of these zones in cities such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, its focus was con- tainment rather than the coordinated production and promotion of the sites as des- tinations for slumming locals and adventurous tourists.15
In contrast, in the postindustrial city targeted by difference-seeking tourists today, state neglect often facilitated gays’ gentrification of central-city neighborhoods. Only after their appearance did opportunistic local governments deploy them in their marketing and development schemes. State containment led to private entrepreneurship, such as guided tours; state neglect led to “private” gentrification, which was then appropriated by the state.
The Entrepreneurial City
The transition from an industrial to a postindustrial era has been associated with the rise of the “growth machine,” of place marketing, of the “entrepreneurial city.”16 Although cities such as Los Angeles had always fit the entrepreneurial model, it now became widespread. The local state, once primarily concerned with the provision of collective goods, was charged with promoting local development, often allying itself with private capital to attract outside investment. This restruc- turing of the state is frequently attributed to the same processes that have enabled the expansion of tourism.
Economic globalization contributed to “glocalization,” an upscaling (to the “global” level) and a downscaling (to the “local” level) of regulation from the national level that made regional and local structures more important. David Har- vey notes that as technological changes have diminished the importance of space, the importance of place has grown.17 The post-Fordist international restructuring concomitant with the globalization of production and increased capital mobility has made urban elites increasingly conscious of the need to distinguish the “social, physical, and cultural character of places.”18 Cities such as Baltimore and Tucson engage in place marketing to an ever greater extent, reimaging themselves to attract external capital. Commodification of the city has made urban cultural landscapes central to strategies of capital accumulation.19 However, Michael Keith and Steven Pile point out how the growth politics of the entrepreneurial city fre- quently excludes groups based on class, race, gender, and sexuality.20 Yet urban regimes often deploy identity-based entertainment zones as a leading part of their symbolic economies. This pattern of exclusion and appropriation is central to the
CITIES, QUEER SPACE, AND THE COSMOPOLITAN TOURIST 187
relationship of urban governments such as Manchester, England, with gay and les- bian places.
Globalization has led to the rise of “world cities,” such as New York, Tokyo, and London, and to the increasing prominence of a handful of centers of technol- ogy and services that coordinate networks of production.21 As these cities have grown in importance, and as manufacturing has declined, secondary cities — “wannabe world cities” such as Chicago, Miami, and Manchester — have engaged in competitive strategies to attract capital, re-creating themselves as places of cul- ture and consumption that meet the desires of the executive and the white-collar worker-consumer. These cities rely heavily on the promotion of cultures and spec- tacles in all their forms. As they market themselves as postindustrial, postmodern places, locations appropriate for the high-tech, financial, and service industries at least momentarily entrenched as leading economic sectors, cities such as Sydney, Vancouver, and Seattle lay claim to a certain cosmopolitanism that labels them participants in the global economy of the new millennium.
One tool that cities use to make this claim in cultural terms might be termed their stock of “ethnic spaces,” appropriately bounded neighborhoods that present an “authentic” other or others in consumable, commodified forms. Over the past decade queer space has functioned increasingly as one of these ethnic spaces in consumer culture, serving as a marker of cosmopolitanism, tolerance, and diversity for the urban tourist. Thus queer and ethnic spaces are offered as equivalent venues for consumption at a cosmopolitan buffet in a manner that erases their individual histories and functions, as well as the differential mobili- ties of the bodies that inhabit them. For instance, the Tourism Toronto Web site lists the city’s “Gay and Lesbian” neighborhood, along with the Italian, Greek- town, and Chinatown areas, and notes that in this “pulsating heart of [Toronto’s] gay community,” “seeing gay men and women chatting in the eclectic mixture of cafes and restaurants or holding hands as they walk down the busy streets, give[s] an indication of the relaxed and open-minded attitude Torontonians have towards the gay and lesbian community.” This presentation leaves it unclear whether the sight for tourists is the hand-holding gay men and women or the open-minded Torontonians. In either case, the gay and lesbian neighborhood is presented as a tourist attraction equivalent to the city’s ethnic zones.22
To be cosmopolitan is to display an openness and curiosity about other cultures, to seek out the different. John Urry describes the cosmopolitan tourist as one who claims the “right to travel anywhere and to consume at least initially all environments.”23 As identity is constituted through consumption, these practices allow for the creation of multiple, shifting identities, of lifestyles that can be tried
188 GLQ: A JOURNAL OF LESBIAN AND GAY STUDIES
on, discarded, and reformulated. Queer space is one more place in which cultural capital can be displayed by the ability to negotiate different identities, to be at ease in multiple milieus, to maneuver in exoticized surroundings. Emphasizing the city’s sexual and racial (but not necessarily class) diversity, Seattle’s tourism bureau boasts of the Capitol Hill area that “no neighborhood in the city has a more active sidewalk scene, day or night” or “a more diverse population. Seattle’s gay community, grunge rockers and twenty-something’s [sic] of many races share the area with longtime residents ensconced in the historic mansions, elegant old homes and classic apartment houses.”24 In this description, multiple forms of dif- ference overlap, safely domesticated by the elegance of longtime residents.
For the entrepreneurial city, cosmopolitan places serve both as destina- tions for local and out-of-town tourists and as markers of tolerance and diversity that enhance the city’s perceived quality of life. The latter function received explicit attention in the wake of a study released by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Public Policy School who found that the best predictor of the presence of high-tech businesses in U.S. cities was the “gay index,” the concentration of unmarried same-sex partners living in metropolitan areas. The gay index was used as a proxy for “cultural and lifestyle diversity,” which focus-group interviews indi- cated was the trait most sought by the high-tech industry’s knowledge workers, “a gigantic global nomadic tribe.” As the Pittsburgh Business Times put it, “Whether it’s geeks or gays or people who dress differently or speak different languages, the cities that rank high on both these lists tend to exhibit tolerance toward every- one.”25 The study provoked soul-searching in Pittsburgh, which ranked low in high-tech employment and diversity despite its concentration of research universi- ties. In an opinion column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Richard Florida noted:
Minneapolis has made immigration a priority, while the state of Iowa seeks to become the Ellis Island of the Midwest. To succeed, we [Pittsburgh] must embrace Indian and Asian students, professionals and workers; encourage the development of a vibrant Hispanic community; and become an open, tolerant and gay-friendly community.26
By contrast, writers in the high-tech hub of Austin celebrated local indica- tors of diversity, noting the city’s concentration of Elvis worshippers. Proclaiming that “where gays go, geeks follow,” Bill Bishop of the Austin American-Statesman wrote that “gay men and lesbians are the canaries in the new-economy coal mine — if gay people can survive in a place, then so will high-tech workers, the people with the ideas that are now making economies grow.”27 As portrayed in this
CITIES, QUEER SPACE, AND THE COSMOPOLITAN TOURIST 189
study and the media’s response to it, gays are more than merely one component of diversity and more than a commodity for direct consumption; they serve as mark- ers of the cosmopolitan nature of the metropolis.
Gays and the Entrepreneurial City
Although the gay zones that signal such diversity are relatively new, “gay spaces” have long existed.28 While subtle signifiers or public cruising can construct tem- porary and invisible networks of queer space on the heterosexual street, the cre- ation of explicitly gay places has been an important part of the evolution of the gay community in the West. For instance, lesbian and gay bars played a crucial role in creating a social community by providing a public space in which political con- sciousness and movements for public recognition could incubate.29 Here expecta- tions were reversed; “anyone who walked into such a bar was presumed to be gay.”30 However, these gay places remained invisible to the population at large.
Commodified zones of gayness arose with the gay male gentrification of urban neighborhoods, one part of a “spatial response to a historically specific form of oppression.”31 As these neighborhoods grew, the seeming invisibility of gay places receded and a new relationship with local governments evolved. The litera- ture has focused primarily on the creation of these urban communities as a phe- nomenon of gay, white males predominantly in the Western, industrialized world. Jean-Ulrick Désert notes the media’s recognition that gays have “stabilized” neighborhoods in cities such as Houston, Seattle, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Miami, and Chicago. Middle- and upper-class gays aided gentrification, which displaced the residents of downtown neighborhoods. Lawrence Knopp observes how these “alternative codings of space” have generally taken place in “racist, sexist and pro-capitalist discourses” that structure the public space in which they are articu- lated. Other scholars focus on the role of consumption and commodification in the construction of the gay community and in the simultaneous (re)development of downtown areas and pink economies around gay and lesbian commercial and entertainment zones in Amsterdam, San Francisco, London, Sydney, and other global cities.32 These zones then become available to cities marketing their dis- tinctiveness to the cosmopolitan tourist.
The literature on the role of queer space in the entrepreneurial city focuses on gay tourists’ attraction to areas such as Soho, in London, or the “gay capital” of Europe, Amsterdam, in addition to the creation of consumption opportunities for the local gay community. Official tourism boards for destinations such as Amster- dam and Philadelphia, as well as those of France, Australia, Quebec, and England,
190 GLQ: A JOURNAL OF LESBIAN AND GAY STUDIES
have actively pursued the gay market, which marketing studies portray as dispro- portionately white, affluent, male, and educated, an image that circulates as the dominant representative of gay ethnicity.33 Gays are also targeted by leisure zones seeking to reduce violence and rowdiness. In Romford, on the eastern edge of London, the police encouraged one club to start a gay night as part of a broad effort to attract a “more sober and ethnically diverse crowd.”34 Similarly, the direc- tor of a British gay tour operator claimed that “hoteliers love the fact that we’re a gay company because they tend not to get their hotel rooms or apartments smashed up, and they tend not to get complaints from other residents about terrible drunken revelry at four o’clock in the morning.”35 Attempts to attract gay tourists often take place hand in hand with major corporations such as British Airways. Although some of these corporations have attempted to use existing gay events, such as Sydney’s Mardi Gras, as building blocks, most localities market them- selves as “gay-friendly” places rather than as explicitly queer spaces, as places in which gays can mingle, shop, dine, and enjoy traditional tourist sights. These con- trast with “gay-created” destinations such as Palm Springs, California; Province- town, Massachusetts; Russian River, California; and Key West, Florida, which originally arose without state support. At these destinations the concentration of queer bodies themselves is the primary attraction.
More interestingly, even as they were targeted as consumers, queers became commodities, when straight spectators began to attend pride events and drag shows. Regular tours of bounded gay neighborhoods, such as San Francisco’s Castro District, became common. The presence of gays and lesbians themselves is an integral part of the construction of these sites, to the extent that customers of Big Onion Walking Tours in New York often demand a homosexual guide for “Before Stonewall: A Gay and Lesbian History Tour.”36 Even when on vacation, gays and lesbians who arrive as consumers are at times consumed themselves. Neville Walker notes that at Gran Canaria, Europe’s biggest gay resort, there is a “shift change” in the bars at 10:30 P.M. as families leave and a gay, “more hedo- nistic crowd — higher spending, better haircuts”— arrives; there is mingling as some straight tourists stay to watch the “safely risqué and . . . not particularly gay” drag performance, a short venture into a queer world.37
Spectacles and places, which play an even more central role in the con- sumption of queerness than in the consumption of “ethnicities,” became market- ing instruments for the same city governments that had only recently engaged in the active repression of these spectacles.38 In 1992 the organizers of the Montreal Pride Parade found themselves embroiled in controversy after issuing prohibi- tions against cross-dressing and “vulgar” or “erotic” displays to avoid offending
CITIES, QUEER SPACE, AND THE COSMOPOLITAN TOURIST 191
straight spectators.39 By the end of the decade gay community organizers had worked with the city’s tourism office to support publicity and planning; what was by then described as the “ambiance, friendliness and open-mindedness” of Mon- treal, in conjunction with the 1999 International Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival, brought over two hundred thousand out-of-town visitors and $12 million into the city.40
The histories of two of the best-known gay events in the world illustrate local governments’ changing relationships to the mainstream commodification of gay neighborhoods and festivals. Toronto’s Pride Week bills itself as the largest in North America; Sydney’s Mardi Gras claims to be the largest outdoor nighttime parade in the world. The two institutions tell similar stories of their evolution. Both started in the post-Stonewall era as protest marches, with activists focused on decriminalization in Toronto and on an end to discrimination and police harass- ment in Sydney. For more than a decade uncertain relationships with city govern- ments led to police responses that alternated between violence and arrests in some years and protection in others. The number of participants fluctuated, never sur- passing five thousand, until the 1980s, when attendance started to rise, buoyed by increased publicity and fund-raising sparked by the growing awareness of the AIDS epidemic.41
Throughout the 1980s the festivals’ size, length, and range of activities grew, as did the associated commercial opportunities. The city governments com- pleted the shift from repression or occasional tolerance to full-fledged promotion and participation. In 2000 Toronto’s Pride Week claimed to be the largest cultural festival in Canada, one in which city officials openly participated. By the 1990s the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras had expanded to include an arts-and- music festival and ties with almost every cultural institution in the city; in 1998 it brought in an estimated $99 million.42 It was such a signature event that the orga- nizers of the 2000 Olympic Games incorporated a drag queen sequence in the closing ceremonies, despite protests that “drag queens do not truly represent Aussie culture at all.”43
Sydney’s Mardi Gras is now so popular that the organizers sell tickets only to members of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Association. Full members can purchase up to three tickets. International and interstate visitors are advised to arrange for tickets before leaving home, as associate and international members may purchase only one ticket and must provide proof of an address at least 150 kilometers from Sydney. Some secondary events marketed in package tours cen- tered on Mardi Gras are listed as “exclusively gay and lesbian.” Knopp claims that the restrictions on ticket sales have been imposed because the increasing popular-
192 GLQ: A JOURNAL OF LESBIAN AND GAY STUDIES
ity (among “non-gay-identified people”) of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Party led the organizers to fear assimilation and the dilution of the event’s queerness.44
Fears of Colonization
Similar concerns have emerged elsewhere as non-gay-identified people’s consump- tion of queer space has grown. In the South Beach neighborhood of Miami, gay local residents and business owners express concern about the “heterosexualiza- tion” of the area.45 Jon Binnie’s discussion of the development of gay space in Soho, along Old Compton Street in London, reflects perceptions of exclusion …
Queers in the American City: Transgendered perceptions
of urban space
PETRA L. DOAN Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Abstract This paper explores the complex relationship between transgendered people and cities in the USA, and, in particular, their relationship with queer spaces within those cities. Some have argued that queer spaces occur at the margins of society and constitute a safe haven for LGBToppressed by the hetero-normative nature of urban areas. Data from a survey of 149 transgendered individuals indicate that although queer spaces provide a measure of protection for gender variant people, the gendered nature of these spaces results in continued high levels of harassment and violence for this population. The author argues that the strongly gendered dimensions of these spaces suggests that a discursive re- visioning of gender is needed to create more transgender friendly urban spaces.
Key Words: Queer space; transgender; gender variant; urban safety
In recent years the term ‘queer’ has been transformed from an epithet to a theoretical construct referring to an anti-normative subject position with respect to sexuality (Jagose, 1996). Butler (1993) suggests that the word, queer, disrupts ‘natural’ dichotomies such as heterosexual/homosexual and gender/sex. Queer has also been adopted by the very people at whom the epithet has been directed as a reflexive strategy to turn away the power of this word to hurt. Furthermore, the intended targets of this word (people whose subject positions are not generally accepted, including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, and others who do not conform to generally accepted practices) have used this labeling to reclaim their identities and to empower their subject positions (Bell & Valentine, 1995). To ‘queer ’ a city therefore means to implicitly recognize the hetero- normative nature of most urban spaces (Bell et al., 1994) and through overt
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