Queer Beyond London is delighted to highlight exciting research and projects exploring queer local histories that will be featured in our upcoming Queer Localities international conference from 30 November – 1 December 2017.
The idea of LGBTQ people moving to the metropolis to find their place is a familiar one. However, the cities commonly associated with sanctuary and vibrant queer community life are conventionally found south of the Scottish border. To broaden this perspective, my paper will examine Edinburgh through the eyes of a range of LGBTQ people who chose to make it their home, and who migrated there from rural parts of Scotland, the rest of the UK, the United States and the Caribbean.
Edinburgh’s position is unique in several ways – with a population of less than 500 000, it is comparatively small for a capital city, decriminalisation arrived thirteen years later than in England and Wales, and the strong influence of the church did not exactly facilitate early public visibility for LGBTQ people. But Scotland was also first in the UK to repeal Section 28 (Section 2A), and many migrants who have made it their home have taken a very active part in shaping political and social change. The paper will explore some of the the hopes and fears that brought them to the city, the infrastructure they found upon arrival, and which places and spaces they helped carve out, celebrate and preserve for themselves and their communities.
Alva Traebert is a Gender Historian and Feminist Sociologist. She is currently writing her PhD thesis in Sociology examining Queer Identities in Scotland, and working as a research associate in LGBTQ Public Health at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, Germany. Twitter: @AlvaKatharina
Author Photo Credit: Stephan Lucka
Queer Localities: a two-day international conference
Birkbeck, University of London
30 November – 1 December 2017
Free and open to all, but please REGISTER your place here