Finally, and most importantly, we can look to the activists and scholars who came before us. Although they did not always get it right, we should not dismiss the tools they gave us to study and critique gender inequality. Their critiques and interventions surrounding gendered language, violence, structures, and binaries arguably is key to liberation, regardless of if or how one is gendered.
My research on the Midtown neighborhood in Atlanta argues that when planning and urban development efforts fail to recognize the fragility of queer spaces, there can be serious consequences for the viability of LGBTQ spaces. In Atlanta plans for high-end redevelopment along the Peachtree corridor took precedence over longstanding LGBTQ bars on the street and explicitly excluded the adjacent Midtown gayborhood from influencing the redevelopment process. As interest in redevelopment in the Midtown area heated up, Midtown lost many gay and other queer residents who moved south and east in search of more affordable spaces further away from the Midtown “sun.”