Queer sexuality and exclusion: the advancement of environmental injustice through moral regulation of urban greenspace

Authors: Claire Davis*, Ryerson University
Topics: Sexuality, Social Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: parks, access, equity, sexuality, queer, gender, greenspace, urban, planning, governance, regulation, control, public, marginalization, feminist, morality, violence, policing
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 50
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

There is currently a lack of knowledge on systemic barriers to urban park access experienced by 2SLGBTQ+ communities, including understanding how the threat of violence in greenspace limits social interaction for 2SLGBTQ+ identifying people, in addition to restricting opportunities for receiving the benefits associated with access to natural settings in an urban landscape. Criminalization and violence towards the 2SLGBTQ+ community in parks of the City of Toronto compel a need for examining how normative framings of urban greenspace are reproduced and enforced through management, governance, and regulation. This study draws upon qualitative methods and a social constructionist approach to gain an empirical and conceptual understanding of the implications for the management of parks in Toronto. A media analysis on social practice in greenspace access provides a better understanding of struggles over power, advocacy and agency for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and how this is reflected and reported on in media text. Key informant interviews assist to uncover the views of various stakeholder groups that are involved, including lawyers; park management staff; community care providers; community activists; members of the Toronto Police Services; and politicians at the municipal and provincial levels. The research seeks to provide practical and theoretical benefits through enhancing the visibility of 2SLGBTQ+ communities’ lived experiences, better-establishing greenspace access among marginalized communities as an environmental justice issue, informing current greenspace management practices in ways that allow more equitable outcomes, cultivating collaboration between the 2SLGBTQ+ community and environmental management bodies, and utilizing a novel framework that tests and builds theory.

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