‘They look at you like an insect that wants to be squashed’: an ethnographic account of the racialized sexual spaces of Manchester’s Gay Village

Held, Nina (2017) ‘They look at you like an insect that wants to be squashed’: an ethnographic account of the racialized sexual spaces of Manchester’s Gay Village. Sexualities, 20 (5-6). pp. 535-557. ISSN 1363-4607

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Abstract

This article explores the interactive relationship between sexuality, ‘race’ and space. By drawing on ethnographic research with bisexual and lesbian women, it looks at the lived experiences of the intersections of sexuality and ‘race’ in a particular sexualized space, namely Manchester’s Gay Village. The article argues that this ‘primarily’ sexualized night-time leisure space is simultaneously racialized through the ways in which it is structured around whiteness, which is perpetuated through a somatic norm that operates in different ways. It explores perceptions of the Gay Village as a ‘racially neutral’ space, exclusionary practices such as door policies, practices of looking and touching, and expressions of sexual desire, all of which racialize bodies and spaces. Examining ways in which ‘race’ and sexuality work together to constitute space and how sexualized space that is inherently racialized constitutes racial-sexual subjectivities, the article demonstrates the significance of the spatial dimension of everyday intersectional experience and therefore calls for researchers to pay more attention to ‘space’ as a concept when researching intersectionalities.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Intersectionality, lesbian spaces, ‘race’, sexuality, whiteness
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Nina Held
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2016 09:36
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 20:56
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/65766

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