Everyday erotics in urban density: an ethnography of older lesbian and bisexual women in Hong Kong
Lesbian spaces, in terms of their social, cultural, sexual or political purposes, have been dwindling in recent years within global North lesbian geographies. For this article, I would like to put forward a historical analysis of social spaces in Hong Kong through a qualitative ethnographic study of 12 older lesbians and bisexual women aged 60 years and above. Expanding upon Yue and Leung’s theoretical assertion of disjunctive modernity and urban neoliberalism, I proceed to develop my argument that lived experiences in an urban environment diffuses and decenters the assertion of one’s lesbian identity and sexual subjectivity across time and space. Under the British colonial era, the assertion of one’s Chinese womanhood as independent and modern intersects with rapid industrialization and social transformations which lead to culturally-specific spatial practices in locating lesbian desires. I call this mode of spatial practice as everyday erotics in density to describe the way of navigating sexual desires in relation to urban development, where becoming a woman with lesbian desires mean not only carving out one’s alternative erotic space but also disengaging with traditional gender roles in one’s life course and redefining gender and sexuality for an older generation of women.
Journal title, volume/issue number, page range
Gender, Place & Culture, Published online: 15 Dec 2020.
Gender and Identity