Publication Date

2014-05-16

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2014-05-16

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geography (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2014-04-02

First Committee Member

Juan Miguel Kanai

Second Committee Member

Peter O. Muller

Third Committee Member

Diana K. Ter-Ghazaryan

Fourth Committee Member

Steven F. Butterman

Abstract

In this study I investigate the “decline” of the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach, Florida as a gayborhood (an urban clustering of LGBT residents and businesses) since the 1990s. I also place this case study within a larger context of a global gay village decline (defined as the loss of gay businesses and residents) by evaluating theoretical models and arguments over the roles of gentrification, technology and generational cultural shifts in said decline. Necessarily, this includes a discussion of homonormativity, particularly in regards to tourism promotion and entrepreneurialism versus the needs and desires of the local LGBT community which I investigate through the actions of the city of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, and associated organizations, to promote South Beach to a new generation of discriminating LGBT traveler. I argue that, while some of their efforts have been successful in attracting new visitors and extending legal protections to LGBT residents, South Beach remains an excluding, homonormalized location that promotes profit and market-friendly performativities over community involvement and the kind of outrageous queerness that existed there in previous years, particularly in comparison to Wilton Manors, a growing gayborhood located a half-hour's drive away.

Keywords

queer geography; geographies of sexualities; Miami; neoliberalism; tourism; gentrification

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