Flamboyant markers : gay style in urban spaces
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This thesis explores gay style within urban spaces in downtown Austin, Texas. Employing style as a rhetorical and communicative approach and method, I investigate and analyze how gay style markers are read off the built material environment of urban spaces. Through an application and analysis of a rhetoric of style, I demonstrate how particular downtown Austin districts and neighborhoods can be read as de facto gay districts through a reading of the gay style marker flamboyance. The focus of the thesis is an analysis of the systematic and rhetorical signification of gay style markers, which function to define and constitute particular urban spaces as “gay” districts or neighborhoods. Through of an examination of flamboyance in downtown Austin’s Warehouse District and surrounding districts, I demonstrate gay style is indeed present in a “non-gay” urban space. Ultimately, I argue that gay sexual style markers are capable of being read off the built environment of urban spaces; furthermore, it is these same gay style markers that come to define and constitute gay urban spaces, districts, and neighborhoods.