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In Search of Queer Space

Mary Holmes

York, England


BA in Architecture


Gender, Queerness, Informality

To search for a queer self is to search for queer spaces. To search for spaces of belonging and possibility, where there is no need to hide ones identity. Such spaces enable understandings of the queer self to be found, they are life-giving. This search is always an active one, laced with joy and labour. It is made possible by having access to places where queer spaces are being or will be created. This is a privilege that not everyone has but does deserve. That is the point of departure of this dissertation.

It begins with a historiographic search for queer space in York, here queer and urban theory are combined to build a situated understanding of queer spatial production. Turning to the present this understanding is used alongside new ethnographic research, produced through mental mapping exercises and interviews, to demonstrate the significance of an emergent space, located in 5 Patrick Pool. Looking to the future, discourse at the intersection of queerness and urban planning then inform a questioning of how local governing bodies should engage with this space, and those like it.

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