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Keywords:

  • home;
  • mobility;
  • embodiment;
  • productive nostalgia;
  • LGBT;
  • London;
  • UK

Abstract

A stimulating body of work, which sits at the intersection of feminist and queer geographies, argues that embodied performativity can not be separated from the study of home. This paper seeks to expand on this work by looking closely at spatial mobility and homemaking imaginaries of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) Londoners. Specifically, I focus on two separate yet related locations in the production of home: the parental home and the home established in adulthood. The paper argues that for LGBT Londoners, both sites play an important, complex role whereby homemaking identity is shaped through the tension or push and pull of these two locations. The parental home can be an isolated space where one's sexual identity remains, if not closeted, then modified. Often, one flees the home in the process of ‘coming out’, and identity is expressed differently in the new home. Given this departure, arrival, and return (to visit), how does the parental home relate to one's current identity and homemaking practices? The research for the paper is drawn from eight semi-structured interviews conducted with Londoners. Using this research and the physical and emotional embodiment framework, I also draw parallels with Blunt's theme of ‘productive nostalgia’, whereby both the physical spatial embodiment as well as the narrative of imagination – in past (as in conventional understandings of nostalgia), present, and future – act as a lens to understanding the homemaking of LGBT Londoners.