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Excavating desire: queer heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region

CollectionsSexualities, Genders and Rights in Asia: International Conference of Asian Queer Studies (2005)
Title: Excavating desire: queer heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region
Author(s): Byrne, Denis
AsiaPacificQueer Network
Publisher: Canberra, ACT: The Australian National University
Citation: Byrne, D. (2005, July). Excavating desire: queer heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region. Paper presented at Sexualities, Genders and Rights in Asia: 1st International Conference of Asian Queer Studies. Bangkok, Thailand: AsiaPacifiQueer Network, Mahidol University; Australian National University
"How might we define the term ‘queer heritage’? We could choose to define it as encompassing the whole culture of ‘queerness’ that we have in a sense ‘inherited’ from the past. And that would include everything from our politics to our language to our literature. In other words, it would constitute the passing on of a tradition of what it has meant to be queer in this part of the world. What I am concerned with here, however, is restricted to the physical places and landscapes created or inhabited by homosexuals in the Asia-Pacific region in the past. These would include the buildings or outdoor spaces that we have lived in, danced in, or had sex in. The places where we have created gardens, painted, written novels, or fallen in love. It would include gay beaches and gay beach resorts, the sites of lesbian music camps, famous cruising areas in public parks or shopping malls, saunas and sex clubs, gay hairdressers, drag clubs, gay and lesbian discos. It would also, of course, include sites of discrimination and physical violence against us."


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