The Negotiation between Heteronormative Urban Public Space and the Homosexual Life of Chinese Post-90s Urban Gay Men
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This research thesis clarifies the negotiation process of Chinese young homosexual males between the heteronormative urban public space and their homosexual identity by focusing on their daily practice in space. Based on an empirical study in the city of Guangzhou, this research adopts methods of in-depth interview and photography. Post90s urban gay men have higher acceptance towards homosexual identity and lower acceptance towards conducting homosexual behaviour or visiting homosexual place in urban public space. They have different levels of awareness towards the heteronormativity of the urban public space. They also notice the suppression brought by such heteronormativity to their identity cognition pathway. As a compromise, they instead satisfy homosexual needs in an understated way to avoid identity exposure. Meanwhile, they transform part of homosexual social life to the relatively free and less heteronormative digital space that is more private and accessible for their group. Also, they value the geographical space such as restaurants, cafes, malls and squares, as it provides public places to develop online connections. Besides, concepts like “gay cruising” “gay neighbourhood” and “space for performance” in western research are discussed in the condition associated with the reality of China.