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Gay space, particularly urban clusters of leisure venues serving a male homosexual clientele, first attracted the attention of urban geographers and sociologists in the late 1970s. As historians have demonstrated, there were vital (and often overt) urban homosexual subcultures in many major cities from at least the eighteenth century onward. However, it was not until the 1970s, with the growth of the modern gay liberation movement, that concentrations of gay venues were consolidated in the landscape of major North American and European cities and became the subject of academic and popular attention. The title of this entry consciously highlights the uneven gendering of the geographies that have examined these spaces.

Early studies of gay space centered on the experience of major metropolitan centers in the United ...

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