The Gay and Lesbian Community in the North-West of England
Chapter 3 Place, Space and Locality
The research for this book was carried out in the geographical area of the north-west of England, with its focus on the two cities of Manchester and Liverpool. In the previous chapter a number of respondents indicated that location makes a crucial difference both to the initial gaining of gay or lesbian identity and to the way that identity is expressed and experienced. So where he or she lives can affect whether or not a person ‘comes out’, and how they choose to do it. Similarly, the incorporation of people into gay community groupings, or even the practical ability to meet other gay people, can be radically affected by geographical setting. A rural village in Scotland clearly offers fewer opportunities simply because of lack of critical mass; even the maximum number of possibly gay individuals, using the most optimistic estimates, would be relatively small in actual numerical terms, and the evidence already presented from Cant (ed.) (1997) indicates the existence of migratory patterns which concentrate gay and lesbian people within particular urban centres. To build upon the study of gay identity and its impact upon the experience of gay and lesbian community, I intend to look at the question of location: place, space and its influence. Gay public space in the north-west of England Within the mainstream, the term ‘gay community’ often incorporates an assumption of ‘gay space’; with the commercial ‘scene’ of pubs, clubs and commercial spaces being used as a synonymous term for ‘community’. If there is no...
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