Home Institution

Mount Holyoke College

Publication Date

Spring 2018


The purpose of this research was to determine the architectural and social accessibility of “queer spaces” in the Netherlands. Via a series of personal interviews with LGBTQ+ disabled Dutch individuals, lived experiences inside and outside queer spaces were discussed in the con-text of their respective disabilities and other identities. Some sub-questions that were addressed include: the definitions of “access" and of “queer space,” how architectural and social access bar-riers compare with and influence one another, and the present and future possibilities for queer spaces of increased accessibility. In concluding the research, the author distinguishes “queer spaces” from LGBTQ+ spaces, reflecting the finding that these two are distinct in the experi-ences of interviewees. The research found the majority of LGBTQ+-centered social spaces that interviewees were familiar with were not psychosocially or architecturally accessible, and that these two fac-tors are greatly informed by one another. It also found that ideas of “access" cannot simply be located in the material accommodation of disability, and that factors such as race and gender can and do pose access barriers to LGBTQ+ spaces. It also found that these multiply-marginalized interviewees preferred “mixed spaces” over identity-specific social spaces, and suggested that there is further research to be done on the potential 'queerness'' of mixed-identity space.


Architectural History and Criticism | Architecture | Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | International and Area Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


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