Imagining cities: living the other: between the gay urban idyll and rural lesbian lives

Katherine Browne

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By focusing on often neglected lesbian geographies, this paper deconstructs the urban/rural divide which has pervaded discussions of (sexual) geographies. In particular, the paper addresses the intersections between imaginings of urban idylls (what could be termed the urban gay) and how these places ‘beyond’ can, in part, (in)form everyday lives in small towns (what could be termed the lesbian rural). In doing this, the paper furthers lesbian geographies by examining how fantasies and imaginings of cities become important to 22 lesbian women who live in a small town in the South West of England. The problematic assumptions of visible sexual expressions and ‘gay’ territories as central defining features of lives outside heterosexuality are contested. The paper examines the messy interstices, movements and interactions between towns and cities in the UK, through lesbian negotiations and understandings of everyday life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalOpen Geography Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial License


  • Urban
  • rural
  • sexuality
  • qualitative
  • power
  • lesbian


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