“In Order for You to Love Something, You Need to Have Memories”: Exploring Feelings of Being In and Out of Place in Vancouver, BC


  • Katherine Fobear California State University, Fresno




This article focuses on gay refugees’ narratives of place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Through gay refugees' oral histories and participatory photography, I explore their experiences of feeling “in place” or “out of place” in the Vancouver cityscape, specifically the historic centre of Vancouver’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) community known as Davie Village. I interrogate how they navigate feeling both in and out of place simultaneously. Their narratives and photographs provide perspective on the possibilities and constraints that come from being in a particular place (Davie Village), here exemplified by Vancouver’s legacy of settler colonialism, multiculturalism, heteronormativity, and neoliberalism. This perspective facilitates critique of the political, economic, and social systems surrounding queer spaces in Vancouver and offers much-needed insight into the intersections of race and sexuality as they apply to research on place-making and belonging for LGBT refugees. 


Author Biography

Katherine Fobear, California State University, Fresno

Assistant Professor

Women's Studies