The increased acceptance of LGBTQ people in U.S. society has arguably led explicitly queer social spaces, such as the gay bar, to be displaced by more ‘questionably queer’ venues—fluid spaces where LGBTQ people seek to build community while not foreclosing sociality with their straight peers. This paper uses 34 interviews with the patrons and managers of two ‘questionably queer’ bars in a small Southeastern city to show how the masculine domination of these spaces converges with the greater willingness of straight people to occupy them to create an atmosphere where many LGBTQ women feel excluded and alienated. By examining the processes through which this marginalization occurs and analyzing the cultural narratives and pragmatic strategies that LGBTQ women construct to legitimate or contest that marginalization, this study sheds light upon how these women are being impacted by changes in queer spaces and what can be done to address their exclusion.
Hartless, J. (2018). ‘They’re gay bars, but they’re men bars’: Gendering questionably queer spaces in a Southeastern US university town. Gender, Place and Culture, 25(12), 1781–1800. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2018.1557601