Imagine if a city was planned and designed in a way that it represented each of the communities and peoples that lived within it. What would it look like? How would it change our behaviours, our sense of self and our safety if a city was designed for women, designed for the LGBTQIA+ community or for people living with a disability?
We often think the way we live is the way it always has to be. The way cities are planned is like that. We feel we sit into a structure that cannot be adapted or evolved.
Homotopia Festival launched a project called Queer the City in 2020, bringing artists and creatives together to imagine a city through a Queer lens. Sharing LGBTQ+ stories and perspectives, there was also a physical art trail through the city.
This summer, as the city reverberated with the shock of numerous attacks on members of that same community, the idea of visibility and of how a city reflects and protects its communities came to the fore once again.
To Queer a City is to think about how we can make public space more inclusive. Increasingly, for city planners, the idea of queering a city offers a potential solution to how to tackle hate crime.
As well as the physical, it is also a principle for the digital realm. How do we empower LGBTQ+ voices? Do we give every community the space to share their own voice and experience, or do we only turn to them when we want to see them reflected through our own lens, our perspective?
In our latest Bido Lito! Arts + Culture Podcast, we hear from three voices, Ki Griffin – the actor playing the first non-binary character on Hollyoaks – Felix Mufti – the artist, activist, performer and writer – and Char Binns, Director of Homotopia on how Liverpool can be queered.
Listen along and tell us what you think – listen above, or via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Acast and Stitcher. Get in touch with us to share your own stories on firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us @BidoLito.