First Advisor

Sy Adler

Date of Publication

Winter 3-11-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban Studies (M.U.S.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Lesbian community -- Oregon -- Portland -- Case studies, Lesbians -- Oregon -- Portland -- Social conditions



Physical Description

1 online resource (iii, 128 pages)


Queer women's relationship to space has been under-theorized due to the difficulties in identifying particular spatial patterns that can describe their presence in urban settings. Most of the research that has focused on queer space has mentioned the difficulty of mapping queer women. The purpose of this research is to identify the ways in which the scarcity of queer women-specific space in Portland, Oregon, has affected the development of a women's community based on a queer identity, the role of intersecting identities such as race and gender identity in these communities and spaces, as well as the implications of queer women's spaces for the development of inclusive spatial frameworks. This research is based on 15 map-making interviews with queer women in the Portland area. During the interviews, participants were asked to draw a map of what they consider to be queer women's space in Portland. The results suggest that queer women occupy an array of places, but lack public queer women-specific spaces. Some of the reasons for the decline in these spaces are changing identities and the political climate, an attempt at inclusion of trans and gender non-conforming people, and racism. In order to better understand queer women's spatial patterns, the scholarship needs frameworks that are inclusive of private, cyber and temporary spaces. Given the lack of scholarship on the relationship between queer women and space, this research contributes to a better understanding of queer women's geographies in a changing political climate.


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