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'Seedy bars and grotty pints' : close encounters in queer leisure spaces

Taylor, Yvette and Falconer, Emily (2015) 'Seedy bars and grotty pints' : close encounters in queer leisure spaces. Social and Cultural Geography, 16 (1). pp. 43-57. ISSN 1470-1197

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This paper is based on the British Academy project ‘Not all bright lights and big city?’ (2008–2010), which explores the diverse and divided lives of lesbians and gay men in the north-east of England. Here, we focus on the ‘close encounters’ between material culture and place, within queer leisure spaces (Binnie, 2014; Binnie & Skeggs, 2004; Brown, 2013; Lim, 2007, 2010; Lim & Fanghanel, 2013; Nash & Gorman-Murray, 2014). We build on existing geographical intersections of class, gender and sexuality (Browne & Bakshi, 2014; Savci, 2013; Taylor, 2007a, 2007b; Tyler, 2013) and incorporate embodied and affectual analysis of ‘things’ (food, drink, décor) as well as sensual and affective articulations of ‘atmosphere’ (light, dark, dirty, ‘seedy’) (Anderson, 2012; Bennett, 2013; Brown, 2008). Considering the potential ‘zero sum’ game of territoriality and identity (Brown, 2013) – as mapped onto scene space – we highlight material cultures and sensual atmospheres that both seduce and disgust bodies, affectively pulling people into and out of place, mattering the ‘changing structurations’ of sexualities and space.