Most cities have certain quarters and precincts that are in some ways exotic and distinguishable in a characteristic and tangible way,
from each other and from the blandness of suburbia - chinatown in the postcolonial new world cities, 'coolie' parts of Asian and African
cities, or the queer districts: Oxford Street in Sydney, Church Street in Toronto, Christopher Street in New York, Castro Street in San
Francisco, the Hillbrow in Johannesburg, Rue Sainte-Cathérine in Montréal. These places are part of a queer geography and are
known throughout the international networks of queers as queer places. They even have mythological significance: they are represented in queer
literature and even specific bars, like Stonewall, have a historic mythological presence chez gais. Journeys are made to visit and
This essay explores a way to approach the history, or histories, of urban lesbians and gay men through an understanding of the
significance of queer place. The particular framework I am exploring involves establishing histories of any queer collectivity, lesbian, gay,
bisexual or transgender, within social space in relation to defining or appropriating particular place as queer places. First, this particular
framework necessitates exploring and establishing an understanding of queer historiography, and second, exploring the nature and meaning of
place within social space and the urban environment and how the history of queer place(s) contributes to queer history.
I have not attempted to present a full survey of existing queer historiography but to suggest one particular framework, that of place
within social space, and some important considerations for approaching the writing of the history of queer minority/ies. I have identified some
research work that has been done, and selected particular studies, but it is by no means a consolidated list or a selection of the best. In
addition, I have restricted historiographical consideration to this century although there is a well established historiography of
homosexuality for the classical period: Egypt, Greece, Roman times; for mediaeval, renaissance and early modern periods in Europe; and for Asian
antiquity, early modern and contemporary periods.
A more salient reason for restricting consideration to this century is because of the inextricable link between the pursuit of
same-sex sexual activity and queer identity/ies. As one of the foremost gay historians, Jeffrey Weeks, puts it: "we have to distinguish between
homosexual behaviour, which is universal, and a homosexual identity, which is historically specific - and a comparatively recent phenomenon."
It is the politics of being queer and the history of queer expression that I suggest is the most important opening to the charting
and understanding of the history queer place(s) within the queer social space of the city. The history of homo-eroticism is becoming increasingly well documented. There is more to the history of homosexuality in any one place or culture, Australia or elsewhere, than
the claim by Craig Johnston and Robert Johnston in the 1988 anti-bicentenial volume of dissenting history, Staining the Wattle, that homosexual history in Australia is mostly of same-sex
sexual activity. I am not denying the importance of uncovering
historical traces of homoerotic activity, and a lot of time and
effort has been devoted to this pursuit. Queer history is however, more than stories in the past of having sex and being caught. An important
aspect of queer history is the body of (hi)stories of conscious and deliberate appropriation of public space by queers and defiance of the law to create and 'own' queer public places.
The researchers of queer history
Many academics have recognised the recent proliferation of queer historical material in the form of the products of dedicated research
and archaeology. Diaries, journal entries, letters, court records, photographs, graffiti, oral history interviews and other queer historical artefacts have been uncovered, collated, archived, assembled,
digested, reported on, published and presented. Much of the published
work on queer history, or of any history, is place-oriented, as a flick through the contents of collected essays readily shows.
For lesbian and gay researchers uncovering histories and the mere existence of queer space in the past and the appropriation of place by
past queer collectivities is not entirely surprising. This is because these queer researchers are in some ways the descendents and the progeny of previous generations of place-conquering queers in this century and
the last. The contemporary public queer world revolves around queer places: the gay/lesbian bar or club, bookshops, cafés, certain cinemas, the local AIDS council headquarters, certain doctors surgeries,
certain hospital wards. In the past too, space was appropriated, conquered, queer places constructed and invented by gay men, lesbians, transgender individuals and other sexual minorities under bridges and in
railway terminals, in adjacent districts, in the backyards and parklands of, under the very noses of, respectable bourgeois society. What is surprising is the degree to which researchers are uncovering how, in
this century, urban space was systematically and consciously appropriated by the sexual deviants in the very ways that the 'straight' majority feared. The fears that this appropriation of place was
happening were real, and the fears that queers could exert cultural, social and political control were, and are real too. But they are being overcome.
Academics of queer studies, are now familiar with the constructed notion of 'heterosexualisation' of history and with the heterosexualisation of urban space. What we are now coming to grips with, is the re-construction of a past which tells how queers fought
back, and in the more recent times fought to homosexualise space.
Existing scholarship in gay history
There is much scholarship that has been done on the figures of history who were homosexual. Or at least, figures for whom there is some
historical evidence to suggest are, what we have termed 'homosexual' ever since the descriptor was coined in the 1870s. Although, much of the
published material is, to borrow Robert Aldrich's epithet on A.L. Rowse's work, Homosexuals in history, "little more than a compendium of gossip." The temptation to engage in this rather
suspect practice of seeking out and identifying "queers from the past" exemplifies a view of identity, history and sexual politics, as
static. Not only is the evidence scanty but without an environment to construct a truly queer identity, how could the individual have been truly queer? [is there such a thing as a true queer?] This emerges in
the article by Chamberland the Butch/Femme dichotomy as a construct and social necessity in the contested and protected territory of the lesbian bar or lesbian partition of a club. More on constructs of behaviour etc
within a contructed social space later in the piece.
There is also increasingly, work being done on the history of the gay rights movement, from its origins in the 1950s to the importance
and significance of Gay Liberation movements unleashed by the New York Stonewall riots of June 1969.
Queer studies: the coming of age
The establishment of queer studies programs at universities in the English-speaking world has signaled the coming of age of the consideration of 'coming out' as a academic interdisciplinary pursuit.
Lynda Goldstein, in her review of The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader refers to Gay and Lesbian Studies as the newest kid on the interdisciplinary block in search of legitimation "with not a little
attitude." Goldstein refers to the strategic reliance of queer
studies "on a particular kind of identity politics which parallels the instiutional manoeuvering of other 'minority studies' programs." Will Roscoe, reflecting on the future of the study of lesbian and gay
history, makes the same connection between identity construction and the simultaneous search and description of origins: history . He locates the origins of Lesbian and Gay studies in the deliberate
consciousness-raising discussion groups organised by the Mattachine society, 1950-1953.
Senator Joe Macarthy's ultimate 'commie-pinko-fag' nightmare, the Mattachine society was a communist-inspired homosexual conscious-raising
organisation and a homosexual moral support network. It was conceived of as a secret organisation with a structure of cells and hierarchies and its primary vehicle of operation was a network of discussion groups
organised up and down the west coast of the United States. It was shortlived (1950-1953) in the contemporary political climate of cold war and homophobic hysteria of middle america and was quickly emasculated by
reactionary passivist accommodationist elements.
John D'Emilio, writing on gay history as a new field of study, says that "the growth of history and the shaping of its concerns cannot
be separated from the evolution of the gay movement." He says also that the progress of the gay movement has created a space in the
academic environment to undertake gay scholarship. The broader societal context is that queer liberation and agitation for equal rights and
treatment has created a socio-political space within which queers can develop, debate and pronounce upon queer existence. The physical
dimension of this existential activity is the appropriation of the places within which to enact the activities of being queer. This includes, but is not restricted to sex.
Queer identity politics and forging the queer community
The establishment of queer places and queer space has to be understood in terms of collective action, a 'community', operating to subvert the dominant paradigm, the heterosexual male-dominated
environment. The historian of queer place has to come to grips with the notions of community and identity and the meta-narratives of capitalism and marxism in order to understand and chart the history of the
establishment of a queer presence in the urban social space.
First I want to propose a way of understanding 'community' through identity inscription. Then, I will move on to the politics of resistance and collective action and the connection that political
activity has to specific queer-claimed space.
Within existing queer historiography rages the essentialist-constructivist debate over whether same-sex behaviour is instrinsic and embedded in the human animal, and therefore a queer
identity is historically present across all ages, or whether homosexuality is culturally inspired and structured by changing social contexts, and therefore is historically specific.
A very accessible piece of queer historical writing which employs an essentialist theoretical framework is Boswell's best seller Chistianity,
social tolerance and homosexuality. This work incorporates 1400 year body of history of same-sex genital activity and argues for a trans-historical queer identity. Commentators on queer
historiography take this viewpoint in opposition to that of Weeks, quoted above, that the modern notion of homosexuality is historically specific, a product of gay-identified politics . In his treatment of
the history of sexuality, Sexuality and its discontents, Weeks says,"there is no essence of homosexuality whose historical unfolding can be illuminated. There are only changing patterns in the
organisation of desire whose specific configuration can be decoded."
At the same time that Weeks had established the 'social constructionism' viewpoint, Foucault was publishing a similar thesis in his History of sexuality, vols 1-3, and
saw sexuality not as "a stubborn drive," but rather "as an especially dense transfer point for relations of power." In his hands the history of sexuality became nothingless than a history
of the workings of power in the modern West, an entry point for understanding the operations of both power and the will to knowledge.
Writers like D'Emilio and Sedgewick argue against viewing the two
positions as binary opposites and posit that historians can learn much from both viewpoints because these two positions have long histories themselves. D'Emilio argues that it is more interesting to organise
consideration around two other "recurrent themes: 1. the emergence of homosexual identities and subcultures, and 2. patterns of persecution and resistance." These themes fit well in the consideration of the
deliberate social and political actions of queer collectivities to appropriate sites as queer places and occupy them as their own.
The subculture of homosexual activity that has arisen in this century is unlike the subcultures of previous eras because has also been associated with a clear identity politics of difference. This
association has itself given rise to what can be described as an imagined queer community or communities - a collectivity and entity which is
able to mobilise, enact political will with varying degrees of success and failure, resist suppression and still survive battle-worn but completely intact. No amount of repressive tactics have able to
obliterate this minority. Indeed the government apparatus of several states recognises the existence of such a minority and legislate either to protect or oppress the entire collectivity as a recognised legal
class of citizens.
Poststructuralism or postmodernism is a useful theoretical framework for the historian to understand notions of identity and the construction of community. Discourse theory with its emphasis on
historical specifics is a postmodern tool that be used to investigate notions of identity. Robert Reynolds has done an illuminating postmodernist study of queer identity in the Australian context. In
this essay he explains that discourse theory "...destabilises notions of a coherent identity by demonstrating that discourse constitutes our sense of self through multiple and contradictory subject positions....
This is important for understanding gay identities for it illustrates there is no trans-historical homosexual identity." Identity changes
over time. For queers: what is outwardly effeminate male homosexuality in the 1920s is different from the conception of 'camp' in the 1950s, is different from gay masculinist macho in the 1980s. Not only is the queer
identity transitional across historical periods but also constantly in flux from one subject position to another: at any moment I can take up the subject position of any one of a range of contradictory identities.
According to postmodern theory, subjects are constituted through experience, and the community of identity is constituted through historical experience.
The notion of community, though, is problematic. The work of the theorist Benedict Anderson in de-constructing and understanding nationalism is relevant to this discussion. His thesis of imagined
communities claims no 'community' is small enough for face-to-face contact to exist between all of its members. Communities exist and are defined through bonds that are imagined, and "...are to be distinguished
not by their falsity/ genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined." And queers have nothing if not style. Identity is in fact
the ideology through which the community is imagined or constructed by itself. Like all ideologies, it is purposefully limiting and exclusive, imagining the community and its members in a way that constructs its
acceptable subcultures, and in opposition to outsiders. Jeffrey Weeks calls identity imposition "a crude tactic of power". Crude though it
may be, identity imposition is the first determined step towards organised resistance and political action.
In order to produce sense of community of interest for political action and collective endeavour, complex social and political conditions need to exist. According to Weeks, five such conditions seem to be
necessary: "the existence of large numbers in the same situation; geographical concentration; identifiable targets of opposition; sudden events or changes in social position; and an intellectual leadership
with readily understood goals." Why such a community can only be imagined is underlined by the paradox that a true community is small
enough to know all its constituents, yet political communities can only exist where number are large enough in which case knowing all its constituent members is impossible.
From this arises the phenomenon of what has been called the "gay ghetto". This epithet is unjust and historically inaccurate as well
as degrading the experience of European jews up to the liberation of Europe in 1945. It does, however, indicate the recognition of the collocation of a queer community in cities where the five socio-spatial
conditions are met. I will return to the phenomenon of apparent collocation of queers in the urban spatial environment.
D'Emilio identifies the beginnings of queer resistance in the terms of Foucault as "reverse discourse", a discourse of identity stimulated by heterosexist medical models which gave heightened
significance to sexual 'deviancy'. This created and assisted the process whereby sexual orientation came to define the individual. "Homosexuality began to speak in its own behalf, to demand that its legitimacy or
'naturality' be acknowledged, often in the same vocabulary, using the same categories by which it was medically disqualified."
But more important is the consideration of the structural societal possibilities for resistance, even for the existence of social space within which queer identity (homosexuality) could exist. According
to D'Emilio, "the material conditions of gay life until the 1960s were such that most gay men had little opportunity to conceive of themselves as part of a collectivity, as members of an oppressed and mistreated
group." This opens the way for a consideration of the political economy of homosexuality as a means of understanding from the viewpoint
of the histories of family, gender and modes of production, a social opening can come to exist for the development of queer identity and queer community/ies.
Weeks, though, cautions against reducing the history of sexuality, and indeed sexual identity, to analyses merely according the meta-narrative of capitalist social relations. Nevertheless, some
useful work has been done on the structuring of queer identity using marxian tools of analysis, and it is an important part of queer historiography.
Political economy of queer existence
Robert Padgug has written about marxist analysis of sexuality in history, arguing for a dramatic re-thinking of human sexuality based on the dramatic rise of the women's movement and to a lesser degree the gay
movement. These political phenomena have "made it clear that politics without sexuality is doomed to failure or deformation; the strong offensive of the American right-wing, which combines class and sexual
politics, can only reenforce this view." The view I have set out
here, on the social relations of homosexuality to labour and capital, is a fairly unreconstructed Marxist approach to the issue but nevertheless contains what I feel are the important political historiographical
considerations for the writing of queer history.
According to Barry Adams, for gay males,
a distinctive gay world originated at the moment when homosexuality became an organising principle of social
behaviour under which homosexually interested men came in contact with each other because of their homosexuality and not simply as an outgrowth of existing social relations. Men with homosexual interests carved out
semiclandestine places in the public realm - places that inevitably fell under the surveillance of the moral entrepreneurs and police.
The expansion of wage sector labour accompanying the rise of capitalism in the industrial west, affords these opportunities for men to make contacts to such a degree that they can be said to be
constituting a gay world.
For women, their social existence in the Victorian age was mostly outside of the monetary economy. Prior to that women's economic value was as the producers of children, wage earners in agricultural and early
industrial economic modes. Marriage tied women as well as men to the family unit harnessing its productive capacity. The opportunity for women to engage in wage labour, however, and therefore to be free of the
restrictive ties of matrimony and the family did appear briefly. But, by the middle of the nineteenth century, with the Factory Acts in Great Britain, in 1847 and 1850, women were returned to the domestic sphere
and became the domestic and sexual servants of their husbands.
Shirley Fitzgerald, in Rising Damp, writing on women and marriage in the NSW colony, confirms the parallel situation for women in nineteenth century Sydney. In a colony where the dominant industrial
pursuits, sealing and pastoralism, were male-oriented and not conducive to the ideology of the family, formal marriage was falling into decline. But "by the closing decades... marriage, legal and binding had become
hegemonic" - and to paraphrase - it was not only widespread and dominant but accepted and internalised in such a way that most people believed it to be in their own best interests. "The potential for social control
embodied in the institution of marriage was not lost on the early rulers of the colony". For, in the nineteenth century as in most of this
one, the only institutional personal relationships society had were marriage and kinship. Such was the socio-industrial structure that a much narrower control was needed to ensure the kind of economic
prosperity and progress capitalist advancement demanded. As David Halperin points out, the Greco-Roman world had much more . The threat
that queers in this century present is the invention and adoption and institutionalisation of a multiplicity of relationships with clearly marked rights and duties.
As Adams points out though, for women, the network of 'romantic friendships' of the nineteenth century is not to be underestimated. It is at the historical moment when they are able to escape economic
control of the patriarchy and begin to discover financial independence in wage labour that romantic friendship can "divest itself of the constraints of marriage and heterosexuality."
Adams identifies the transition from kinship-oriented production to mobilised labour in an industrialising economy as the point at which kinship is made irrelevant in securing a livelihood . Prior to this
point in industrial development, sexuality is released from the imperative to procreate because no longer is economic survival dependent on the family as the sole economic unit. Individuals are thereby freed
from the constraints of family and kinship which mitigate against any possibility of same-sex bonding. D'Emilio's analysis of the role of capitalism in facilitating the emergence of queer identities,
particularly in relation to the socio-economic history of modern North America, is illuminating. He states, "In divesting the household of its economic independence and fostering the separation of sexuality from
procreation, capitalism has created conditions that allow some men and women to organise a personal life around their erotic/ emotional attraction to their own sex. It has made possible the formation of urban
communities of lesbians and gay men and, more recently, of a politics based on sexual identity."
The irony is that although capitalism has opened new spaces for (homo)sexuality to be lived out in, it still privileges the ideology of the family unit over pursuit of non-procreative homo- and hetero-sexual
activity. On the one hand, any alliance of workers is economically threatening to capital, and on the other hand, the ideology of the family serves a necessary function: the purpose of producing the next
generation of alienated workers.
Several queer historians have remarked on the massive social changes occurring during and after world war II that opened up the social space within which queer subcultures could exist, become visible
and appropriate social power and geographical control. For Sydney, Garry Wotherspoon has written an expansive history of the emergence of the camp and later gay subcultures in King's Cross and Darlinghurst in this
Queer place in urban social space
In the seventies, an american sociological tract on community identity and gayness was able to assert that "the gay community exists within leisure time, since the contexts of stigma and secrecy prevent
its extension into work time... the gay world, then, is a world of leisure time."
The implication was that gay place existed because of gay time which was leisure or 'off-time' for homosexuals who were otherwise ordinary people, and the centrality of gay experience was
played out in the pursuit of leisure/ pleasure. In this last section of my essay, I will first cover the history of the appropriation of urban space for queer leisure and sexual activity, as a pre-cursor to the
living and breathing existence of resident queer communities. Then I will examine briefly the appropriation (so-called ghetto-isation) of the urban space to create distinctive queer place(s).
Returning to Week's five pre-conditions for collective queer action to emerge, geographical collocation is the most significant prerequisite. Only in large cities where the population numbers are
large and the social conditions of labour and economy conducive, can a sizeable subcultures based on certain erotic predilections arise.
The apparent urban grouping of queers has, as I noted above, been referred to as a gay or dyke ghetto. First, though, before queer communities can mobilise enough to be in a position to thumb their noses
at bourgeois respectability by openly co-habiting in predominantly queer neighbourhoods, this ground has to be won in a social and moral battle of wills.
Part of the political success of continued existence of queer communities is how visible they are in a spatial context. Manuel Castells, a leading marxist scholar on urban spatial studies, pioneered
discussion of the spatial dimension of the social construction of gay identity. He talks about the rising consciousness of gay identity, beginning with public gatherings in "coded" meeting places. With rising
strength of identity and community, queer collectivities earmarked places and began to trace boundaries creating their own territories and building autonomous support institutions. This has been referred to
as the ghetto-isation by queer communities, but the term is misleading. These areas are deliberately constructed by the queer community unlike ghettos which are a form of urban emprisonment imposed by the dominant
According to another leading marxist theorist on urban social existence, David Harvey,
the capacity to appropriate space freely has ... been held [to be] an important and vital freedom... Restriction of the freedom to appropriate space through private property rights and
other social forms of domination and control often provokes all manner of social protest movements... The demand to liberate space from this or that form of domination and reconstitute it in a new image, or to
protect privileged spaces from external threat or internal dissolution, lies at the centre of many urban protest movements and community struggles.
The use of physical space is largely a function of social class which determines access to space as well as the kind of activities that can be practised in public or private spaces. The poorer or more working class
an area is, the more likely that the social elements deemed by the dominant orders to be undesirable will be able to muscle in and appropriate the space.
It is not surprising then that there is scant evidence of early co-habitation of queer couples in a way that flagrantly violated the moral principles of the forces of order and society. Only members of the
upper classes and the Bohemian set were able to co-habit with members of the same sex, in large houses and in a way which could put them beyond legal suspicion. For working classes in Australia and North America,
this was not yet a possibility until after the 1950s at least. In Sydney during World War I, a house on Carrington Street, Wynyard Square was raided by police on the neighbour's suspicion that some of its
inhabitants were engaging in cross dressing. Six men lived there, as three couples and were convicted on charges of obscene behaviour. French notes surprisingly that the police did not secure convictions for
the much more serious crime of buggery, and also that the six dared to live together so honestly and openly.
There is a lot more historical evidence about meeting places for queers, especially men, for the period before the 1960s. Young and old men and women with homoerotic inclinations were able to find each other
in the city by creating spaces particular to their tastes. Queer men had always been able to find each other for sex in dark public places. This aspect of gay history has been well documented, mostly because the court
records of proscribed homosexual activity are the most accessible and prolific source of documentation. Public sex is still considered obscene and in almost all countries still considered illegal.
As Weeks puts it, with the expansion of queer subcultures, a most unlikely hero of this growth has been the gay bar. Much work is being done on the historical significance of the queer bars as the unique
expression of queer lifestyle that have "encouraged an identity that [is] both public and collective, and [have] become seed beds for a collective consciousness..." The forerunners to the gay and lesbian
bars of the postwar period were the coffee houses in Europe and the UK which existed from the late nineteenth century. These were places where queer men and women knew where to look for each other's company.
Three studies of the postwar period queer urban places centring on the bar culture of queers in different cities are enlightening: D'Emilio's history of the gay community in San Francisco , an oral history study project of Montréal's lesbian bars from 1955-1975 , and the Wotherspoon history of Sydney, the city of Sodom. What is particularly interesting are the common stages of development of queer urban place in these three different cities. But
what is most interesting is that the rise of urban queer place has been simultaneous with the rise of the ideology of the modern suburb.
In the introduction to Beasts of Suburbia: reinterpreting cultures in Australian Suburbs, the editors point out that, "culture is always lived in place and that cultural systems always involve us being
positioned, and positioning ourselves." The editors refer to the
terms 'suburb' and 'suburbia' as "imagined spaces onto which a vast array of fears, desires, insecurities, obsessions and yearnings have been projected and displaced." Suburbia becomes an ideology, a
counterpoint to the unhealthy slums of the working classes that breed discontent and ferment social and political agitation. Suburbs, unlike the city districts have to be open and let in healthy sunshine and
present vistas for public surveillance if necessary. Suburbia becomes thus an avenue of social control built on the ideology of the family to nurture the continuation of this social unit.
In the three studies, the first common theme is the association of queer space with a Bohemian element arising in pubs and dingy nightclubs in predominantly working class or rough areas of the city.
Expansion of wage labour and the social upheaval caused by war and depression more and more put pressure on the nuclear family unit and freed individuals to pursue pleasure and act on their sexual
inclinations. Places began to cater for this clientèle and these places were located where the social forces of order were either unable to see them or, more likely were, complicit in their continued precarious
operation, thanks to bribery and payoffs. The collusion and corruption of the police is another theme which emerges from these three studies.
Such areas of the city where queers, both men and women, could be together and be visible were lawless areas. Queers along with prostitutes and organised crime lived below the law and were either
persecuted or preyed upon for money by the police, or formed alliances with vice for protection, or established their own strategies and networks for survival. In Montréal, Chamberland notes, two
dominant strategies were employed by lesbians to survive in the rough territory where their bars and clubs could be allowed to exist. One was to form allegiances with organised prostitution. The other was employing
Butch/Femme roles, thereby juggling gender categories in response to double repression of being working class lesbian and being a woman.
In Sydney, Wotherspoon notes, gay venues arose in spite of the proprietors attempts at discouraging the use of their extablishments by the queer subculture. In addition the strict liquor licensing laws
saw a proliferation of sly grog venues in the least desirable parts of town which already had its bohemian element and was doubly inclined to attract a camp crowd.
Eventually by the 1960s numerous businesses and institutions appeared which eventually formed the basis of an economic, social and sexual exchange matrix. In some cities this led to a parallel
concentration of local residents who openly identified themselves as gay, lesbian, queer, transgender. This collocation of queer places and appropriation of urban space has also facilitated the rise of a
corresponding queer political power. The success in Sydney of this rise in the political, social and spatial power is well demonstrated by the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
In a structuralist-oriented study of this event, Kym Seebohm examines the semiology and geographic discourse of the Mardi Gras event, and says
As a significant spatial event, Mardi Gras has playsed the major role in the spatial construction of gay space in inner-city Sydney, creating a territorial and symbolic centre for the
gay community in Sydney. This construction should not be viewed as the gay community concentrating itself into inner-city space for its own protection. Alternatively it acts as a statement of popular culture
acknowledging and tolerating the gay community in spatial terms.
What I have shown in this essay is how the histories of queer place need to fit into and draw from the existing queer historiography.
Queer place must not be assumed nor its present-day existence taken for granted. I have also demonstrated how meta-narratives like marxist theory, as well as postmodern frameworks can be instrumental in assisting the queer historian to achieve an understanding of the historical processes or localised social constructs that have assisted
in the emergence of gay and lesbian space as a late twentieth century phenomenon. The understanding of identity politics and the ideology of identity to forge imagined communities of common queer interest
is particularly relevant to this enterprise. Lastly, I have made reference to some studies in the growing volume of queer historical research, but by no means to all the recent work that has been done.
While in the 1980s much of it was conducted by academics, and only those protected by tenure, now increasingly students and professional historians of queer history are able to be freed to publish their
Abelove, Henry, Barale, Michele Aina, Halperin, David M., Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, Routledge, New York and London, 1993
Adam, Barry D., "Structural foundations of the gay world", Comparative studies in society and history, 27, 4 (1985):658-671
Aldrich, Robert, "Not just a passing fad: Gay Studies comes of age", Aldrich, Robert & Wotherspoon, Garry, Gay perspectives: essays in Australian gay culture, University of Sydney, 1992
Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities, 2nd edition, Verso, London and NY, 1991
Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities, Verso, London and NY, 1983
Boswell, John, Chistianity, social tolerance and homosexuality, University of Chicago Press, 1980
Bravmann, Scott, "Isaac Julien's Looking for Langston: Hughes, Biography and Queer(ed) History", Cultural Studies, 7(2), 1993
Castells, Manuel, The city and the grassroots: a cross cultural theory of urban social movements, Edward Arnold, London, 1983
Chamberland, Line, "Remembering lesbian bars: Montréal, 1955-1975", Journal of Homosexuality, 25, 1/2 (1993)
D'Emilio, John, "Gay politics, gay community: San Francisco's experience", Socialist Review, 55 (1981):77-104
D'Emilio, John, Making Trouble: essays on gay history, politics and the university, Routledge, New York and London, 1992
Duberman, Martin Bauml; Vicinus, Martha; Chauncey, George, "Introduction", Hidden from history: reclaiming the gay and lesbian past, New American Library, New York, 1989
Duggan, Lisa, "History's gay ghetto", Benson, S; Brier, S; Rosenzweig, R, Presenting the past: essays on history and the public, Temple University Press, 1986
Ferber et al, Beasts of suburbia: reinterpreting cultures in Australian Suburbs, Melbourne University Press, 1994
Fitzgerald, Shirley, Rising Damp: Sydney 1870-90, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1987
Foucault, Michel, History of sexuality, vol 1, 1978
French, Robert, Camping by a billabong: gay and lesbian stories from Australian history, Blackwattle Press, 1993
Goldstein, Lynda, "Queer bodies of knowledge: constructing Lesbian and Gay Studies", Postmodern Culture 4, 2 (1994)
Greenberg, David F. The construction of homosexuality, University of Chicago Press, 1988
Halperin, David, "Becoming homosexual: Michel Foucault on the future of gay culture", Conference: Michel Foucault and gay cultural politics, Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research, Sydney, 5 November 1994
Harvey, David, Consciousness and the urban experience, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1985
Interrante, Joseph, "From homosexual to gay to ?: recent work in gay history, Radical America, 15, 6 (1981)
Johnston, Craig; Johnston, Robert, "The making of homosexual men", Burgmann, Verity; Lee, Jenny, Staining the wattle: a people's history of Australia since 1788, Penguin, 1988
Kritzman, Lawrence D, (ed), Michel Foucault: politics, philosophy, culture. Interviews and other writings, 1977-1984, Routledge, New York and London, 1988
Padgug, Robert, "Sexual matters: rethinking sexuality in history", Duberman, Martin Bauml; Vicinus, Martha; Chauncey, George, Hidden from history: reclaiming the gay and lesbian past, New American Library, New York, 1989
Reynolds, Robert, "Postmodernism and gay/queer identities", Aldrich, Robert, Gay perspectives II: more essays in Australian gay culture, Australian Centre for Gay and Lesbian Research, 1994
Roscoe, Will, "History's future: reflections on lesbian and gay history in the community", Journal of Homosexuality, 24, 1/2 (1992)
Sedgewick, Eve Kosofsky, The epistemology of the closet, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1990
Seebohm, Kym, "The nature and meaning of the Sydney Mardi Gras in a landscape of inscribed social relations", Aldrich, Robert, Gay perspectives II: more essays in Australian gay culture, Australian Centre for Gay and Lesbian Research, 1994
Warren, Carol A.B., Identity and community in the gay world, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1974
Weeks, Jeffrey, Coming out: homosexual politics in Britain from the nineteenth century to the present, Quartet Books, London, 1977
Weeks, Jeffrey, Sexuality and its discontents: meanings, myths and modern sexualities, Routledge And Kegan Paul, London And Melbourne, 1985
Wotherspoon, Garry, City of the plain: history of a gay subculture, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1991