Mariangela Veronesi, 14 January 2017

We brainstormed ideas around what an ideal city would correspond to from an

LGBTQ+ perspective, and how this contrasted with how cities are today….

This led to a series of conversations around safe spaces, and whether existing

LGBTQ+ places are safe and inclusive or not, and it seemed like overall they were still

not adequate in many places. Some had too significant entry barriers for certain

groups, some where too based around a drinking culture, some didn't include

non-binary people well enough, etc

We also talked about the need of feeling safe in the street and in public places, and

how nowadays people think acceptance has been achieved and therefore there is

limited need for ‘protection’ and declared gay friendly environments - whereas people

still feel unprotected, or feel that they are attracting too much attention with is quite

awkward, and just generally doesn't make you feel the same as everybody.

Nonetheless, people gravitate towards safe spaces not just because they are seeking

refuge, but also because they want to feel fulfilled, not have to justify themselves, etc

We've talked a lot about inclusion, queerness and representation in the theatre sector

- whether there is enough space for LGBTQ+ people, and whether there is enough

funding and support of queer culture in performing arts. We also discussed whether

the arts and theatre can have an impact on the urban environment, and can be a more

interesting and engaging angle than thinking about policy and design

We also talked about the role of education, and the need of creating dialogue around

LGBTQ issues since an early age. We mentioned class and whether social

acceptance of queerness is class based, and a few examples made us think that it is

less the case nowadays than in the past (generally speaking). Nonetheless, it still

seemed to be recognised that cities where still more of a safe haven and a place of

diversity and LGBTQ community rather than smaller or more rural places, and this had

an impact on the space and support given to queerness in performing arts too.

We started talking about Pride and it's significance as a day where there is an urban

takeover by LGBTQ+ people… but also it's ephemeral nature, despite also having an

important cultural impact. We talked about what is the role of pride - did we fight for

being able to sing and dance around, or is this about deeper issues? we kind of

agreed that, despite the need to still recognise deeper issues, actually we did also

fight for the freedom of being able to be whoever we want to be publicly, including

when joining into the shared experience of signing songs all together!

There will be more work on this project, please follow #MyQueerCity to see how it

progresses, and share your ideas abotu what you'd want your queer city to look like :-)

Tags: place making, Gender, City, Queer, LGBTQ+ LGBT, urbanism, sexuality, gender,

Sexuality, queer, LGBTQ, city, cities