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Placing Historical Lesbian Communities

Authors: Julian Barr*, University of Washington
Topics: Sexuality, Historical Geography, Gender
Keywords: LGBTQ, LGBT, Lesbian, Historical, Historical Geography, Archives, Gender
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


My dissertation attempts to examine the historical geography of lesbian and queer women in mid-Twentieth Century Seattle. Historical narratives about lesbians broadly in the United Sates but few spatially specific case studies dominate the literature and additionally we have many narratives about the LGBTQ community as a whole. However this project argues that we should break away from grand LGBTQ community narratives and begin to better understand lesbian historical geography. Using archival methods, this project will describe the experiences of lesbian and queer women’s lives and places in Seattle in the mid-Twentieth Century. Specifically, I am examining the effect that age, class, and race had on the development of these neighborhoods within the city in creating places for lesbian and queer women. This paper presents some findings and the use of archived oral histories as method.

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