From the introduction of Christina Hanhardt’s Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence (Duke, 2013):
[i]n mooring a dominant understanding of sexual identity to place, the promotion and protection of gay neighborhoods have reinforced the race and class stratification of postwar urban space…. this has been enabled by the simultaneously flexible and fixed language of threat, in which violence is imagined as the central risk-and thus the defining feature– of gay visibility: the key term of mainstream LBGT politics since the 1970s. It is therefore impossible to understand LGBT political history outside of the social and spatial restructuring of U.S. cities during this time. Nor can one fully understand changing spatial development patterns apart from LBGT politics, especially as white gay men continue to be evoked as arbiters of quality in urban life. (9)
This seems a provocative use of urban historical analysis to understand not only the seeming absorption of mainstream gay politics within a neoliberal and property-driven urbanism but also the ways that neoliberalism, globalism notwithstanding, has developed by appropriating the material and symbolic forms of the multicultural city.