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.


Simon Harding

A series of generalisations and assumptions often underpin commonly held perceptions of the lives of LGBT people.  This is often even more pointed or acute for those LGBT people living outside the metropole, the regional capitals or the commercialised gay villages.  Assumptions can include: closeted queers who prefer to remain invisible;  people serving their time before moving to ‘the big city’; unsophisticated communities making the best of limited but shared social spaces; small town attitudes and ever-present threats of violence.

However there are changing attitudes towards queerness at a localised level, for example, how queerness is now represented in medium-sized cities with regards to dimensions of public space; physical space; ideological space and virtual space.  In one UK city we review how, underscored by changes in UK legislation, local partnership working is challenging invisibility and filling a queer space whilst, at the same time, LGBT communities respond to evolutions in social networking as a new social space.  Simultaneously, medium-sized EU cities report a mixed picture of local communities either forging new queer identities and queer spaces or floundering against political and cultural intransigence.

This paper shall report upon the findings of the Divercity project.  Co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union, the project undertakes research into the LGBT experiences in small and medium sized cities in Europe.

Simon Harding is Associate Professor in Criminology at University of West London.  His research experience covers Policing, Gangs, group offending, Hate Crime, Street Violence, urban landscapes, and sexuality.  Simon was Home Office Regional Crime Advisor (London) before becoming Assistant Director of Community Safety at Lambeth council. Simon is also a trainer in hate crime and diversity, and was consultant trainer at the Crime Academy, MPS Police Training College, Hendon for ten years. He is an Independent Advisor on hate crime and diversity to the MPS Commissioner, a position held since 1999.

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

Click here to view the Conference Programme.


Generalisations and Assumptions versus the lived experience of LGBT people in medium sized cities
Tagged on:                 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: