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Welcoming the world? Hospitality, homonationalism, and the London 2012 Olympics

Welcoming the world? Hospitality, homonationalism, and the London 2012 Olympics
Welcoming the world? Hospitality, homonationalism, and the London 2012 Olympics
In an era of intense “entrepreneurial” city marketing, overt attempts to court LGBT consumers and investors have been made not solely through the promotion of lesbian and gay arts festivals, pride celebrations and “specialised” cultural events, but also through “mainstream” mega-events. This paper explores this with reference to London's 2012 Olympics, an event which welcomed LGBT spectators, volunteers and participants through a series of initiatives proclaiming the Games as distinctively “gay friendly”. Considering this in the light of queer critiques—particularly those concerning homonationalism—we argue that this marketing of London as sexually diverse relied on the effacement of certain sexual practices and spaces not easily accommodated within normative, Western models of sexual citizenship, tolerance and equality. In conclusion, it is argued that the Olympics represented a moment when particular ideas of sexual cosmopolitanism were deployed to regulate, order and normalise the variegated sexual landscapes of a world city.
sexuality, sex work, world cities, tolerance, homonormativity
0066-4812
598-615
Hubbard, Phil
6f0ff0e8-b62c-4e39-8e59-ee050e37d16e
Wilkinson, Eleanor
b4e83f65-1c06-4c86-b70c-4cd307d2738a
Hubbard, Phil
6f0ff0e8-b62c-4e39-8e59-ee050e37d16e
Wilkinson, Eleanor
b4e83f65-1c06-4c86-b70c-4cd307d2738a

Hubbard, Phil and Wilkinson, Eleanor (2015) Welcoming the world? Hospitality, homonationalism, and the London 2012 Olympics. Antipode, 47 (3), 598-615. (doi:10.1111/anti.12082).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In an era of intense “entrepreneurial” city marketing, overt attempts to court LGBT consumers and investors have been made not solely through the promotion of lesbian and gay arts festivals, pride celebrations and “specialised” cultural events, but also through “mainstream” mega-events. This paper explores this with reference to London's 2012 Olympics, an event which welcomed LGBT spectators, volunteers and participants through a series of initiatives proclaiming the Games as distinctively “gay friendly”. Considering this in the light of queer critiques—particularly those concerning homonationalism—we argue that this marketing of London as sexually diverse relied on the effacement of certain sexual practices and spaces not easily accommodated within normative, Western models of sexual citizenship, tolerance and equality. In conclusion, it is argued that the Olympics represented a moment when particular ideas of sexual cosmopolitanism were deployed to regulate, order and normalise the variegated sexual landscapes of a world city.

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 January 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 February 2014
Published date: 20 June 2015
Keywords: sexuality, sex work, world cities, tolerance, homonormativity
Organisations: Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372499
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372499
ISSN: 0066-4812
PURE UUID: 9ec97e50-08fc-4b77-a934-d77b6f6da806

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Date deposited: 12 Dec 2014 13:32
Last modified: 28 Aug 2019 18:45

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