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How Places Make UsNovel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities$
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Japonica Brown-Saracino

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226361116

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226361390.001.0001

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San Luis Obispo: Lesbian Identity Politics and Community

San Luis Obispo: Lesbian Identity Politics and Community

(p.61) Two San Luis Obispo: Lesbian Identity Politics and Community
How Places Make Us

Japonica Brown-Saracino

University of Chicago Press

LBQ residents of San Luis Obispo embrace sexual identity politics. Nearly all regard sexuality as life defining and static; they find that sexual identity produces shared experience and therefore common ground with other “lesbians.” Just as important, nearly all believe that this common ground spanned other areas of difference, such as those that relate to age, race, and class. San Luis Obispo residents’ insistence on identity politics both emerges from and reinforces lesbian-only networks that are marked by institutional anchors, heterogeneity, and frequency of contact. This way of thinking about sexuality and of forging ties emerges from a local context that LBQ residents find to be inconsistently safe and accepting; the perception that the LBQ population is small and geographically dispersed; and narratives of San Luis Obispo as a bucolic escape.

Keywords:   lesbian identity, lesbian community, identity, community, inclusivity, institutions, ties, sexuality, ecology, place

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