The introduction draws on the stories and experiences of just over one hundred seventy individuals, residing in four small U.S. cities, who identify as lesbian, bisexual or queer (LBQ). It describes how, on moving, many felt a shift both in how they relate to those around them (gay and straight alike) and in how they understood themselves and the group to which they belonged. In so doing, the introduction highlights the book’s core puzzle: why, without meaning to and without even fully recognizing that they are doing so, LBQ migrants craft a sense of self that corresponds with their new home. That is, it asks why and how cities call out new ways of relating to those around us, and therefore new ways of thinking about sexual identity and difference and, ultimately, a different sense of who one is.
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