chapter  12
15 Pages

The End of Queer Urban History?

ByKwame Holmes

By examining three periods across the twentieth century, this essay argues that we are at the “end of queer urban history” that centers only on those easily identified as “LGBT.” To continue to speak to our present and future, queer urban history moving forward must incorporate all those straining against the city’s normative forces of sexuality and gender in their time and place. While the primary metaphors for “normal” and “deviant” are drawn from sexual and reproductive imagery, many intersecting forces of meaning-making, such as racialization, socio-economic expectations of properly classed activities and appearance, and adherence to or deviance from “good” urban citizenship, hold sway. A more expansive understanding of queer opens up the past to provide powerful conceptualizations that link urban history to contemporary urban political and economic formations.