Queer space, after Orlando

After 49 people were killed at a gay club in Orlando this past weekend, in the midst of grief and confusion, I've been considering the preciousness of queer spaces in diverse, safe cities. In part to deal with the grief, and in part to encourage constructive dialogue, we want to bring this consideration to Archinect Sessions.

Next week, we'll be discussing the significance of queer spaces and accompanying issues of preservation/recognition, particularly in regards to the gay bar as a "third space".

Before then, we want to hear your stories of how gay bars/clubs, as a space of acceptance and openness, positively affected you in some way – whether through personal experience, or a friend's, academically, historically, however.

Feel free to post here, or message me directly. Thanks!

Jun 15, 16 9:07 pm
Non Sequitur
We don't need to identify "safe" spaces for anything. Every space should be free at all times for anyone.
Jun 15, 16 9:19 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

on "gay bar as a "third space"."

I'm sure I've noted this before in some story here somewhere, but I thought this was interesting architecturally, related, and worth repeating. 

In a bar in Chelsea (NYC) was hanging with my friends up from Florida.  At some point I had to go bathroom and asked, where the Men's bathroom was.

Everyone pointed in different directions.  So I waited until I saw a guy go towards a door that was a presumed a bathroom entry. It was opposite of another presumed bathroom entry.

I walked in, turned the corner and found the Urinal wall and noted it went through to what was spatially assumed the Women's side.  I decided to exit that way.  It was a U plan of bathrooms. There really was no women's or men's bathroom.

Here is an image of the concept.

Jun 15, 16 9:31 pm

We don't need to identify "safe" spaces for anything.

I disagree with this. I'm working on an article that explains why... I'll post it here (or somewhere on Architect) when it's finished.

At first blush, though, I question whether someone who claims we don't need safe spaces has ever felt truly threatened in public spaces.

Jun 15, 16 11:39 pm

I suggest a lengthy thread that quickly devolves into hostile name-calling.

Jun 16, 16 1:22 am
chatter of clouds

I would not necessarily qualify gay bars and clubs as all about acceptance and openness. I am not saying that some can't be but it would be a leap of faith to assume that they de facto are and to thusly idealize them. When you delve into it, much of the scene centres very much about body image and looks. You will find there prejudice against large bodies, racism, ageism....

Yes, as a gay person, there is less risk that this aspect of you would conflict with those who share that space with you (although that certainly dépends on where you live - it is pretty normal for gay people to hold hands here and kiss in -non gay-public space where I live), but this does not necessarily lead to lovey dovey acceptance all around. Plus, I do not understand why so many, so many gay clubs play the most godawful music there is.

I think there certainly is a direct correlation between the degree of homophobia and the communal spirit of these places. In cities and countries where there is a higher degree of homophobia, these spaces are more treasured as shelters. Where there is less homophobia and where the city does not apply repressive heterocentric measures on gay people - in addition to the fact that gay applications and websites have basically taken over the role of putting gay people in "intimate" contact with each other, these shelter spaces have witnessed a decline.

Jun 16, 16 1:26 am
chatter of clouds

witnessed a decline in utility. Although, yes, gay/bi people still like to go out and check out other gay/bi people. Straight people, from that point of view, wouldn't be of much use (although yes there are are many gay men who have a fetish towards straight men; to my mind, it seems to smack of masculine chauvinism - but that is another subject)

Jun 16, 16 1:35 am

Gun free zones are safe spaces for killers

Jun 16, 16 4:35 am
Non Sequitur
^idiot. Keep it to the dumpster fire thread.

Perhaps my initial post was too terse. I meant, I see the creation of "safe zones" as an acceptance of bigotry. Let's all just round up those who a small uneducated portion of the population do not accept and place them in this corner. Great, now everybody go about your business.

Seems counter productive.
Jun 16, 16 6:48 am

You are assuming one part of the LGBTQ group won't go off on the others. That's a pretty big assumption. In Orlando it appears the shooter may have been a closet member of the group.

Jun 16, 16 6:56 am
Olaf Design Ninja_

chatter in the clouds i disagree, the techno is always a solid mix, no bubble gum pop shit. i always complain to my wife in jest - half naked dudes serve you beer and the music is good - why can't I get the same treatment in a straight bar? (i believe that is called a strip club technically, half naked women serving you drinks and I am ignoring the fact Billy Idol's White Wedding is played like every 4 songs but otherwise decent music at strip clubs, no?)

Jun 16, 16 7:08 am
Non Sequitur
Olaf, i've been to a dive strip Colin once where the girl dance to Manson's sweet dreams. Relevant to this thread? perhaps not.

I have seen u-shape publi bathrooms before but since this was in Europe, they were for all genders. Urinals to one side, stalls on the back, sinks across. The middle of the room would have made a great dance floor.

How's the beer selection normally in gay clubs?
Jun 16, 16 7:44 am
Olaf Design Ninja_

NS, usually when my friends come up to NYC they invite me out for one night. its starts in what I call low key watering holes with non-descript labelings of the place. in other words, you have yo know about the place. sometimes straight bars, but usually just understood gay bars. in one instance a bar understood as an "old" man bar. That place had a good variety. those places usually had the typical Blue Moon/Stella lineup with the occasional seasonal on tap or a Belgium bottle option. Then my friends usually downgrade after dinner to some club/bar that has more like the Budweiser/Michelob Shock Top selection, Stella would be high class there. The places have signs on them and rainbow flags out front or indicators of where you are going. The crowd though is still very mixed. Last, my que to go home, the place is either underground with fancy lines or tinted windows and less descript club and the first thing you see are multiple dudes in speedos dancing on stages, bar, whatever- can't say I tried the beer selection at those year I got in an entertaining shouting match (like a pro wrestler) with a 6'-6" cross dressing queen, he was serving shots and that place had really good i would say beer selection ran parrallel with straight bar club scene. the more bar and more beards (old man bar) the better the beer. the more club and the more slick people in speedos the less likey you will find anything other than Heineken.

Jun 16, 16 8:02 am
Non Sequitur

I see... I was expecting at least better than Heineken.

I had my first Delirium Tremens at what I think was a cheap pizza/bar in NY.

Jun 16, 16 8:17 am

Gay men self segregate into their own niche bars and clubs to a surprising degree. Bears, Fetish Prepy Muscle sports types, in some places straights or non fetish tribe people are openly denied entry and many fetish bars have layers of access to filter out straights and tourist.  Hooking up with random people is not as much of a necessity for the gay bar but the social aspect and being among your kind is still a major function. 

Gay communities are also being shifted or displaced by gentrification, and as us gays can go out to almost any bar now and feel safe the need for a segregated safe space is greatly reduced. Also is is hard for exclusively gay bars to stay in business once the neighborhood is diluted of the gays with hipsters and yuppies. If they only want to cater to LGBT people, In our widening array of options the gay par often has a hard time staying open. The ghetto boundaries are more fluid and the exclusivity of specific bars is declining, except for the fetish bars. It is rare that a straight couple will have the appropriate gear to get into the main/ back room of a gay fetish bar.

Some people don't mind the mainstreaming of the gay community and others especially in the fetish kink side are actively resisting it.

A good resource for the forthcoming article is the Leather Archives and Museum here in Chicago. also interesting would be a map in the major cities plotting the movement of gay communities over the years in major cities by tracking the locations of gay bars and community centers.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Jun 16, 16 9:27 am
Olaf Design Ninja_

Peter that explains one clubbing incident in Germany. some Irish guys and my roomate from the states got into the first part of a club but then were denied another more secret looking part. We dared one of the Irish guys to get access who was being hit on by a leather wearing German guy. he claimed it was all very dark and what he could see were chains and cuffs. when he returned they asked us to leave the club.

Jun 16, 16 9:58 am

I am so curious what this is doing to society. Safe spaces for LGBT? Why do we need to further separate people and make them feel alienated? I think we are putting so much investment into things that don't need it. The community has been fine before, and will continue to be fine....

Just as those who are transgender are now saying they want a third bathroom. Why, you're either a guy or girl. Whomever you identify yourself with. This is a world that needs to fucking understand if we don't start including everyone and stop putting anyone on a pedestal, we might as well all Jonestown ourselves. 

Jun 16, 16 10:21 am

What if a gay shoots up a straight strip club? Is the OP going to start a "Safeties for Pasties" program?

Jun 16, 16 10:27 am
A safe space emerges in the public realm when people with common interests come together. That can be for one hour or a year. Safe space can emerge in dangerous places too.

The world can be scary and dangerous. But with some personal self confidence and a supportive community you can go anywhere and be safe.
Jun 16, 16 10:27 am
chatter of clouds

some people just need to chew the cud , however ignorant they are of the topic . and beneath one can easily detect aggressive callousness

no_form is absolutely on point. and it also exceeds phyiscal safety; such a space, couched within a larger space that expels, you,  allows you to safeguard your identity as a gay person and to nourish it. for a tentantive excluded individual to learn how to be more confident about herself or himself, to come to terms with their sexuality as a normal facet of their being. In fact, in such a context, you go there in order to 'practice' your identity, to define it, fortify it  so that you are able to address the larger society. not simply your identity as a gay person but as an equal, not as a battered downtrodden demi-individual. it does the opposite of what Black ORchid mentions below.

Black Orchid: Why do we need to further separate people and make them feel alienated?

1- who is we? and how are you positing this "we" against the people you don't want to seperate?  Places rise out of necessity and need of these people themselves; perhaps the problem lies with your "we" . Which brings me to..

2-The seperation certainly happens well before the gay bars and the clubs and the latter arise as a consequence.

Black ORchid's approach is very similar to those who approach the issue of race from a racially-blind perspective; the topic is rendered out of its context and history, out of a chain of causes and accumulated effects.

Black Orchid, these spaces naturally start to become less important as the larger society becomes less homophobic. therein your "we".

i have much criticism against many of these places, as above,  and what many drag into them in terms of other préjudices (and they are not all the same), so I completely contest the proposition that these are inherently all inclusive spaces and so on. But that is in no way to criticize their need to exist.

Amelia  I've been considering the preciousness of queer spaces in diverse, safe cities

 Orlando is not a safe city for gay people. I would ask that you question that last part of your sentence and what it means.


this is from one of the people who frequent Pulse (the facebook post was made public in order to share, therefore this is not impinging on their rights)

Johann Koehle

13 June at 12:45 ·

I am not Orlando.

In Orlando, it was a felony to have gay sex until 1971 and a misdemeanor until 2003. The law, while unenforceable, is still on the books.

In O...rlando, it was not legal for gay couples to adopt children until last year.

In Orlando, it is legal to pay someone to kidnap your child and torture them until they stop identifying as LGBT.

In Orlando, the people who have been outed when they were shot in a gay night club can, when they get out of the hospital, be legally fired.

If they get out of the hospital at all, since Orlando affirms doctors' "right" to refuse to treat them at all.

In Orlando, a hate crime against me doesn't count.

I am not Orlando. Orlando was not the target. Orlando was the shooter. Orlando is what 49 people like me could not survive. ‪#‎IamPulse

Jun 16, 16 10:58 am

"  But with some personal self confidence and a supportive community you can go anywhere and be safe."

This is nonsense; the two-year old at Disney World had personal self confidence and a supportive community.

Jun 16, 16 10:59 am

chatter of clouds, I think you're over running yourself. By "we" I am referring to humanity.

"Black ORchid's approach is very similar to those who approach the issue of race from a racially-blind perspective"

"we" (humanity, more specifically people living in the US) can take this case back to the fact us "residents of the US" are not from this country. We (non Native Americans) are not indigenous people. This is not our land. It may be owned by the government, but this is inherently not ours. So, before you go attempting to point out similarities between my argument and those who are "racially blind", take a step back. This has nothing to do with race, and never has. You are part of the problem of those driving a wedge...#idontevenknowwhatpulseis,but'llgoogleit

Jun 16, 16 11:15 am

citizen I LOL'd: I suggest a lengthy thread that quickly devolves into hostile name-calling.

I will hope that people don't get too hung up on the phrase "safe space". It can be far more generic than how it is being wielded in cultural wars around college campuses, especially, right now. 

In my mind, when I get together in the private living room of a mom-friend with a group of other mom-friends, without our kids and husbands, and proceed to drink wine and bitch about our kids and husbands, that's a "safe space" for that kind of conversation.   If I'm a creative writer and get together with other writers to read aloud and critique one anothers' work, even within a public place like a cafe or the food court at the mall, that's a "safe space" for sharing the work. It's not about separating from others, it's about sharing certain aspects of oneself with others who are likely to be supportive because they share those aspects.

One topic we want to talk about is specifically how those kinds of supportive communities use architectural space, and how that changes as the communities disperse, and the value of saving/recognizing them as physical monuments, as we do with the homes of authors where they wrote a famous book or the like.

I guess I'm asking people to frame their comments here architecturally, rather than based on the newsmedia hottake topic du jour.

Jun 16, 16 11:26 am

As a young straight woman, I used to frequent gay bars (neighborhood type bars, not night clubs) because I was far less likely to get hit on. I used to go with a straight male friend of mine. I felt very accepted there and made lots of friends, both gay and straight who are still acquaintances many years later. Ah, the formative years. It was the alternative to the only other types of bars which were either sports bars with Budweiser drinkers or dive bars with old men regulars. Small city. Not much going on. 

Jun 16, 16 11:32 am
Lauf, I still like your work.
Jun 16, 16 11:52 am
chatter of clouds

Amelia: After 49 people were killed at a gay club in Orlando this past weekend

Donna:  I guess I'm asking people to frame their comments here architecturally, rather than based on the newsmedia hottake topic du jour.

Maybe you should then talk between you two and sort it out.

Donna, if you pay more attention to the posts, you'll see that there are points being made. It certainly is not your right to dictate to us what and how we approach the subject . I may be just as intrusive as you and point out how you are  unlikely to contribute substantial insight (remember, I have been reading your posts for years) and that, in effect, the absence of your intrusion might  be a welcome positive contribution on your part.

You might well profit from picking up on material here and there if you like but,   ..gurl, who died and made you queen?

Jun 16, 16 11:54 am

Let's all just round up those who a small uneducated portion of the population do not accept and place them in this corner. Great, now everybody go about your business. 

This (and other posts in this thread) really has the history backwards. "We" aren't rounding up anybody, gay bars were (in some cases still are) places for the community to go to avoid the violence "we" have been subjecting them to for basically their entire lives. Contrary to the "what is this *doing* to society?" cries, as gay rights in America become mainstream, gay bars are increasingly having trouble staying in business. It's an interesting bittersweet victory / loss, especially for the older gay community who see massive sentimental value in the history of these spaces. As their group becomes accepted, the need for close community support wanes. (Here's an interesting take on this trend that I read recently)

I think there certainly is a direct correlation between the degree of homophobia and the communal spirit of these places. In cities and countries where there is a higher degree of homophobia, these spaces are more treasured as shelters.

This is spot on. Shelter is a perfect word for the gay bars of old.

Jun 16, 16 11:59 am

I wrote a comment but it disappeared...

EDIT: oh hey there it is. Disregard this.

Jun 16, 16 11:59 am

chatter, I hear you. I'm just fearful of this turning into a gun rights argument or some equally unproductive train wreck - as citizen hilariously alluded in his post.

Jun 16, 16 12:15 pm
Stephen, I love your books, especially the bibliography.
Jun 16, 16 12:27 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

on peters bit, which was architectural, there was a French movie worth watchingn, I think "Irreversible".....thats what happens when you date older women when you are 20, you get tofu and french movies forced on you

Jun 16, 16 12:33 pm

There's a documentary called 'small town gay bar' worth watching. Formal concerns are, mostly, the least interesting component of gay safe spaces (ironic, no?). Historically its been about using whats available and turning it out (the paradise garage in NYC is an incredibly significant queer music & culture space that was, yes, a parking garage).

queer bars/clubs are meant to be safe spaces away from from straight people - for the most part, they accomplish that. But as others have said, other biases creep in and create problems - this cannot be denied as it is another form of erasure for the weak messaging of a false political monolith. People 'fall into' these categories and are subjected to the social consequences - that is not without baggage that renders these safe spaces truly welcoming for all.

Example - the Castro is a 'gay safe space' extending well beyond the dimensions of a bar or club, but has a truly deplorable history of racist exclusion. (Tongues Untied, Marlon Riggs).

There are instances of architecturally straight-forward conditions that feel rather lame to talk about relative to the socio-political nature of a defined and occupied space (design = rhetoric = intent = politics = ideology etc). For example, also in the Castro - Twin Peaks is generally acknowledged as the first gay bar to install full height plate glass windows, where as most previous bars were necessarily like bunkers.

If formal considerations are important, then context is important. These safe spaces are a people placing themselves out of the way of violent normativity. In NYC clubs and bars force congestion, adjacency and intimacy - this tends to keep out the haters. In orlando, clubs have space, indoor and out door, which lets gays people relax and socialize in ways The Straights just take for granted. Not all clubs/bars are directly politicized with the intent to formalize what a safe space is - its really less intentional than that. By default it is expected to be a safe space.

They are mostly 'safe spaces' because we do not have to fight against erasure, or the exhausting hypervigilance of self policing. To say again what has been said before, within these safe spaces, other prejudices still remain unchallenged and this unfortunate. People self-sort because, it seems, a predominant part of human nature is to fear and attack what is different and/or unknown.

Jun 16, 16 12:38 pm
Paid, for podcasts? Why didn't I think of that?
Jun 16, 16 12:52 pm
Wait. Should I get paid for posting on the site? That would be a better idea.
Jun 16, 16 12:53 pm
Wait, I'm considering writing a book, using posts I make on this site, and selling said book. Would I need to pay for that, or cite the site? Just wondering.
Jun 16, 16 12:55 pm

Architecturally there is not an archetype that can fit the gay bar unless you delve into the communities that self sort themselves in to niche sub communities.  One thing has, until recently been a constant and that is a need to signal who is available and for what. There is the elaborate Hanky code and there are bars catering to specific groups of people.

I would also hazard to guess that most gay bars are a series of rooms not one space as the self sorting happens on surprisingly micro and shallow levels even within a single bar in a small town or big city. Gay clubs tend to grow in size by adding rooms not by enlarging the space into one giant dance floor. Additionally good gay bars tend to be set up so people can either observe or be observed and have quite a lot of opportunities to reveal or conceal oneself as your mood and the people you want to impress upon change.

As for the we, The royal We the big gay We is defined by some specific and non negotiable guidelines. If you are not a part of our WE then you are a visitor and sometimes it would be nice if you would leave us to be amongst our selves. As the gay bar dilutes other institutions such as exclusive members only clubs campgrounds and events like the radical gay faeries have taken off and grown. We gays sometimes, I imagine like people of color with whites, get tired of playing cultural ambassador all of the time and just want to have a drink and cruse the cute guy over there.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Jun 16, 16 1:19 pm

I went to my favorite local gay bar the other night, and for the first time, the person at the door who normally just checks IDs checked my boyfriend's bag. Its strange to suddenly feel like a safe place is suddenly a potential target. 

I agree with what some have mentioned, that in more progressive neighborhoods, there is less of a straight/queer contrast. Gay bars seem to have more straight people in them, and the younger/edgier straight bars seem to feel slightly more gay. I know of a few bars that I hesitate to describe as "gay bars". Some bars, concerts or regular parties attract artists, or people in the fashion industry or musical theater and many of those people are either gay or very gay-friendly. And so the space just feels like a gay/queer space, but nobody decided that it was. 

I've also been thinking about/struggling with the identity-based divisions we have in society and about our shifting thinking around diversity, from the melting pot to the salad bowl. One specific gay space that attracts a lot of straight people who just happen to love musical theater is a piano bar in the West Village called Marie's Crisis. Coincidentally, this bar is located in the basement and first floor of the building where Thomas Paine died in 1809. Behind the bar there is an engraved mirror to commemorate the Rights of Man. Also etched in mirror is the motto of France that dates back to the French Revolution: Liberté, égalité, fraternité. I've been struggling with the "fraternite" part recently. I sometimes feel like people are much too isolated and disconnected from each other. And I fear that this fragmentation is fueling distrust and suspicion. While I'm not proposing an end to identity-specific spaces, I am questioning what the right balance is and how we can strengthen a collective unity around shared core beliefs and desires. 

Heres is a photo I took of the mirror a few years ago:

Jun 16, 16 1:33 pm

This is a ridiculous post that further separates the LGBT community from the mainstream. Why should we even have a discussion for this, while the issue is actually lack of gun control and lack to adequate mental health?

Jun 16, 16 2:03 pm

quondam = balkins with a better library?

Jun 16, 16 2:07 pm

Sameolddoctor, How does talking about gay people and gay spaces separate them from the mainstream? The mainstream is neither gay or straight. Talking about something, making more people aware of it normalizes it and makes it more mainstream. 

Jun 16, 16 2:12 pm
chatter of clouds

davvid:  Its strange to suddenly feel like a safe place is suddenly a potential target. 

as has been pointed out before here, this is the other flipside of the coin. Once you use and appropriate a space as  a gay space, a black space, a Jewish or Moslem space, you also naturally designate it as a center of attraction for the homophobes, racists, anti-semites or islamphobes. this extends to other spaces: people target embassies out of political motivation against the related countries. naturally, an identity-centric space  becomes metonymically representative of the identity. the larger and more violent the fissures  between the -phobes and the -philes (between those motivated by their repulsion towards the identity -or its' actions- and those who are motivated by this identity or its' actions), the more necessary these spaces are and, paradoxically, the more targetted these spaces would be. And of course, the more politically significant these spaces are.

This is why the solution (for an imagined problem)  is not to do away with these spaces. This is logical imbecility. The problem is societal prejudice and reactionary norms that, pre-spatially, linguistically,legally, corporeally and socially ghettoize and stigmatize a certain group of people well before the needed shelters. The solution is to work on the phobics and the hatreds, not on the victims of t-and shelters from these phobias and hatreds.  

Jun 16, 16 2:22 pm

All spaces should be "safe".   Most generally are.  It's impossible to stop these tragedies from happening with design...Its a joke how Obama is getting blamed for this by the right.  How could Obama possibly stop something like this?  The reason I bring that up is because it's related to the idea that the "place wasn't safe" or as the right has been saying, "Obama failed to keep us safe".  We are always looking for a reason or a finger to point..,but the truth is you can't find a reason for such an insane act.  Is it terror?  Is it hate?  What stupid questions...both are the same thing.  The actual factor that differentiates a general bigot or religious extremist from a hate crime perpetrator or a terrorist is likely unchecked mental illness....specifically narcaccism mixed with suicidal behavior in a culture that is obsessed over fame and public attention.  I would be willing to bet that the majority of these crimes have much more to do with a sick desire to become infamous than anything else...the homophobia and Isis claims where probably more of a self justification that this asshole created to elevate his sick act into something "honorable" or part of a greater "cause"...I do not believe that we can create "safe spaces"...

Jun 16, 16 2:28 pm
chatter of clouds

sameolddoctor, while I agree with you that the larger picture is about gun control and access to guns by people who should really have access to mental health professionals, there is absolutely no contradiction in opening up the subject. personally, I believe it should not just be gay people who claim ownership of the pain and the loss here - it should be all the communities who have suffered these mass shootings owing to the reasons you spelled out.

however, internally, in peculair relation to the targetted group,  we would also  have a discussion abou anti-semitism if the victims were in a synagogue. we would talk about racial hatreds if they were frequenting a black church. islamophobia if they were in a mosque ...why can't we talk about homophobia and gay spaces? There is much to be gained from these discussion and they do not contradict or lessen the value of your cross-communal discussion, national discussion related to gun control. Not at all.

Jun 16, 16 2:31 pm

Good points chatter.

Jun 16, 16 2:32 pm

Fraternite is an interesting concept - usually used in a politically crude way. I have no problem self-sorting to an absurdly fine degree. Trust has to be earned between all of us each step of the way - this is not something most people seem to want to ever bring up because it lays the crisis of dignity squarely on each persons shoulders. For example - there are certain words I can use that a majority of archinectors can but should never use. And there are certain words that I vehemently do not use because I am a white guy and I *should* have no need to own, use or command those words. Those words belong to other people who live other lives and I want them to trust my ability to police myself, rather than provoking them to police me - a burden which is the height of privilege.

Self-sorting is a similar part of ownership and the examination of trust. Safe spaces are inherently a part of this. Most lesbian bars are not explicitly gay inclusive - anyone with a capable imagination, especially gay men, should understand why and honor that. There are many instances of this not happening and I've never heard a good argument. Unite must be volitional or else there is no trust.

JLA-X "most generally are" this suggests a failure of both your imagination and your ability to pay attention. most spaces include sidewalks - these are notoriously Not Safe Spaces for women, for people of color, and for queer people who don't pass. This is not news - so take a moment to imagine you are all three.

Jun 16, 16 2:41 pm

^ are you saying most spaces result in getting assaulted if you are not a straight white guy?  Wrong.  Most spaces are generally safe...meaning that your chance of being assaulted is fairly low.  Also, how do you design a "safe space"?  Sounds a bit like a "bully free zone".  A bit gimmicky imo.  Do you really believe that a mass murderer will be respectful of a "safe zone"? 

Jun 16, 16 2:50 pm

Well, I guess we know where Lauf stands: clearly using homosexual as an intended insult.

Jun 16, 16 2:51 pm

"This is why the solution (for an imagined problem)  is not to do away with these spaces."

I agree. 

"The problem is societal prejudice and reactionary norms that, pre-spatially, linguistically,legally, corporeally and socially ghettoize and stigmatize a certain group of people well before the needed shelters."

But isolation and disconnection are spatial and cultural problems. I don't think the answer is to take away the special places in this world that give shape to the identity of communities. I think that the answer might be to connect communities better physically and socially and to get better at talking about how communities are already connected. 

Jun 16, 16 3:53 pm

while i'm not a woman, or a poc, i will say that i know plenty of women who do not feel safe walking in certain places by themselves or poc who feel uncomfortable in certain places or events because of the majority demographic or reputation that people in a place have.  

people seek out comfort and community with common interests/needs where they can find it.  i think calling it "safe space" is perhaps a bad choice of words as it makes people sound like they need protection and coddling, which people don't.  

Jun 16, 16 4:24 pm
chatter of clouds

when did anyone suggest that 'safe' implies coddling? neither is protection and coddling necessarily a pair. and yes, it is literally about physical protection sometimes (try kissing another guy in your average homophobic neighbourhood) , and there is also a lot to be said about mental and psychological protection as well. no_form, your last post doesn't add up with its own self; plus quibbling over the term - for reasons that do not even add up, as above- isn't saying much. it certainly is a safe(r) space.

Jun 16, 16 4:34 pm

protection and coddling is usually how it comes off when people are talking about safe space.  i don't deny the real threat of gay bashing and also the need for places where it's ok to be affectionate with each other without threat of violence.  

i do think the label "safe space" implies that people holding positions of power get to "assign" that label rather than it emerging organically from the actions of people who want to create safe spaces for themselves.  

Jun 16, 16 4:40 pm

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