Fish in a barrel: police targeting of Brisbane’s ephemeral gay spaces in the pre-decriminalization era

Bleakley, Paul ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2512-4072 (2019) Fish in a barrel: police targeting of Brisbane’s ephemeral gay spaces in the pre-decriminalization era. Journal of Homosexuality . ISSN 0091-8369 (Published online first) (doi:10.1080/00918369.2019.1695424)

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Abstract

Across history, and particularly in periods of criminalization, the gay community have often been forced to resort to public spaces—“beats”—to clandestinely seek out anonymized sex with partners who share their sexual preference. This article reframes the construction of gay beats as ephemeral spaces that prevails in existing sexuality literature. Instead, it shows that Brisbane’s beats were semi-permanent spaces with subcultural meaning to the local gay community—a fact that was used by police to target gay men during law enforcement’s attempts to reestablish a moral order in the postwar era. Using a combination of archival material, personal narratives and secondary sources, this article effectively reframes the concept of gay beats as transitory spaces, and instead argues that it was their permanence and resilience in Brisbane’s gay subculture that made them a perfect hunting ground for police looking to target a vulnerable homosexual community.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology > Centre for Criminological and Social Research (CSRC)
A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
A. > School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
Item ID: 28526
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Homosexuality on 04/12/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00918369.2019.1695424.
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Depositing User: Paul Bleakley
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2019 19:24
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2019 19:11
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/28526

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