Homeboys: uses of home by gay Australian men

Andrew Gorman-Murray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    89 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Geographic work on gay male spatiality has focused on gay men's uses of public spaces, and on their role in the gentrification of certain neighbourhoods, while largely neglecting the ongoing importance of home to gay men. This paper seeks to address this lacuna by considering how gay Australian men have used homes to constitute and affirm their sexual identities. To do this I draw on Garry Wotherspoon's (1986) "Being Different", a collection of autobiographies written by gay Australian men, constructing four vignettes that illustrate gay men's identity-affirming uses of homes. I find that gay men use 'private' homes in rather 'unhomely' - that is, non-heteronormative - ways, by inviting in 'external' non-normative discourses, bodies and activities in order to 'queer' domestic space and engender non-heteronormative socialization and identity-affirmation. Moreover, I find that through some of these uses, 'private' homes are often made to interact closely with, and reach into, 'public' sites of belonging, such as bars and beats, 'stretching' home, and rendering these public sites 'homelike'. Consequently, gay men's queered homes stretch beyond the physical house, enriching our understanding of how home is simultaneously private and public.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-69
    Number of pages17
    JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Keywords

    • gay men
    • home
    • domestic space
    • public-private divisions
    • sexual identity
    • autobiography

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