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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54050
Doc. No:TL24004
Call number:‭3187698‬
Main Entry:Jennifer Reck
Title & Author:Be queer...but not here! Queer and transgender youth, the Castro ‘Mecca’, and spatial gay politicsJennifer Reck
College:University of California, Santa Cruz
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:418
Abstract:Between 1998 and 1999, San Francisco activists, politicians, and service providers proposed and then opened an emergency, temporary winter shelter for homeless LGBTQQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning) youth called "Castro Shelter" in the heart of the famous gay neighborhood, The Castro. People may assume that the Castro, a famous LGBT Mecca and safe haven for gays and lesbians, would be the ideal place for LGBTQQ homeless youth to seek refuge. However, many local business owners, residents, and community members attempted to block the Castro Shelter project, arguing passionately against homeless LGBTQQ youth's presence in the Castro. In this dissertation, I examine how neighborhood reactions to homeless services reflect contemporary battles over the meaning of Castro space and who does and does not belong there---battles relating to who is considered a "member" of the gay community and whose interests the gay rights movement will serve. In this study, I empirically analyze the Castro Shelter debate and homeless youths' experiences within the context of overall struggles to keep Castro "undesirables" in check. In doing so, I argue that although the shelter debate most certainly was about homeless youth, it has additional meanings and implications that extend beyond homeless youth. To examine these issues, I hold this study together by an overarching research question: what crises over LGBT community identity and battles over LGBT rights are revealed by Castro struggles over homeless youth? To investigate this issue, I break this question into four sub-questions: (1) how do struggles over homeless youth in the Castro reveal hierarchies of belonging in the Castro community? (2) how do hierarchies of belonging in the Castro community produce community and individual LGBT identities? (3) how and why do battles over the constitution of LGBT identity take the form of power struggles over access to Castro space? (4) what do struggles over the meaning of and belonging in the Castro reveal about the direction and focus of gay rights politics? To investigate these questions, I combine a historical analysis of the creation of the Castro as the "Gay Mecca," archival research of Castro homeless shelter debates, and interview data from three subcultures of LGBT young people (homeless youth, college students, and participants of Youth Together!, a peer-based queer youth agency in the Castro). My central argument is that the historical emergence of the Castro relied on structural racism, sexism, and classism, which are exclusionary systems upon which the contemporary Castro still operates. In this study, I juxtapose the racial history of the Castro neighborhood with shelter debates and youths' everyday experiences. Overall, my research shows that Castro struggles against homeless youth are inextricable from institutionalized structures demanding that all queer people assimilate to a homonormative white, middle class, gay identity in order to become cultural and political "Castro citizens."
Subject:Social sciences; California; Castro Shelter; Queer; Spatial gay politics; Transgender; Youth; Social structure; Families & family life; Personal relationships; Sociology; Welfare; 0628:Sociology; 0628:Personal relationships; 0700:Social structure; 0628:Families & family life; 0630:Welfare
Added Entry:N. Stoller
Added Entry:University of California, Santa Cruz