The definition of the word ‘place’ can be based on a relationship between the personal and a location: ‘He put me in my place’; ‘She walked to her place at the table’; ‘we danced at Dave’s place all night’. Each example hints at a person, or thing belonging to a particular spot or point in a space – which is usually designated by the word place.
Both anthropologist Marc Auge 1 and geographer Tim Criswell 2 allude to this idea in their writings on space and place. Each suggests that in order for meaning to be associated with a space, there must be a sense of relation and an aspect of personal belonging associated to it.
My interests lie in understanding this moment when and the reasons why a particular space can become a place to those that used it. When I consider the role of LGBTQ spaces throughout history I think about the effect they had on people’s everyday lives. By doing this I can start to understand why they became places that were familiar, comfortable, and safe. Continue reading »