The event will be held on Sun, 17 November 2019 from 6 to 7:30pm at The Glory on the Kingsland Road in London. 

Consequences of gentrification for LGBTQ+ communities explored at London event

The increasing gentrification of urban areas is leading to a loss of queer spaces across the world. Now the impact of the “disappearing city” on LGBTQ+ communities will be highlighted at a unique event which will show how it has made dating and sex increasingly secretive.

Historical evidence and information collected this year in London, Berlin, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be revealed at the performance lecture. During the event experts and the audience will explore how cities have allowed queer communities to explore sex, intimacy and belonging, and organise themselves politically.

Rising costs of living in cities such as London, New York and San Francisco, and loss of buildings which were previously gay bars to property speculators, has limited opportunities to experiment with queer forms of sociability and world-making, according to Dr João Florêncio, from the University of Exeter, who is leading the event.

There will be readings, including texts by early Gay Liberation and AIDS activists, and from fieldwork notes made by Dr Florêncio in gay clubs and darkrooms in Berlin.

Spaces such as gay bars and clubs were important places for the community to meet, socialise and also organise themselves politically. The LGBTQ+ community now increasingly meets online, or in private houses. There are concerns this makes it is harder for people to get access to a supportive community. The audience will be asked to discuss how new generations of LGBTQ+ communities can now discover intimacy and community.

Dr Florêncio said: “Secrecy was hated by early Gay Liberation activists. They wanted their lives, and those of others in their community, to be in the open. Their activism was conducted via written theory and on public platforms. This meant sex, being social and activism was mixed. A conversation at the sauna or the bar might have led to an essay on beauty in gay life, later printed in a magazine next to an advertisement for a leather sex club.

“The AIDS epidemic and the loss of LGBTQ+ venues to gentrification means there are now less spaces for serious conversations about ideas, sex and politics, and for practices of queer solidarity.”

Dr Florêncio will be performing with Ben Miller from Freie Universität, Berlin and Liam Byrne from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

The event will be held on Sun, 17 November 2019 from 6 to 7:30pm at The Glory on the Kingsland Road in London. To book go to https://beinghumanfestival.org/event/gay-sex-and-the-disappearing-city/

Date: 6 November 2019

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