What is Queering The Map?:
To queer space is to point to the limits of current realities that do not adequately consider the safety and wellbeing of marginalized bodies, and in doing so, points to other possibilities. These spaces of possibility are often ephemeral, and are produced through the actions of queer bodies resisting or even simply existing in the face of dominant power structures that would rather we not exist. Despite their ephemeral nature, these actions of resistance do not simply disappear into the ether once they have been performed, but rather hold the possibility to act as catalysts for a reimagining of a queerer, more radically open world.
Queering The Map is a community generated digital counter-mapping project that archives queer moments, memories and histories in relation to physical space. From direct action activism to conversations expressing gender pronouns, from encounters with violence to moments of rapturous love, Queering the Map functions as a living archive of queer experience. The mapping out of queer histories is at the core of the project, and elders of the queer community are particularly encouraged to add moments and places of historical significance to the map in order to preserve our collective history — one that is always at risk of erasure. By mapping out queer experience in all of its permutations, Queering the Map aims to extend the lingering of these queer potentials in physical space, by archiving them in virtual space. By merging subjective experience into the collective, Queering the Map works to create a sense of queer solidarity across difference and across borders.
Queering the Map was launched in May 2017 to document the diversity and history of queer space. In February 2018, the project went viral, garnering 6,000 new submissions in a period of three days. This level of visibility was inevitably met with resistance, and on February 11, 2018 the site was spammed by Trump supporters who injected malicious code into the database, generating pro-Trump pop-ups across the map. The site was taken down and a call for support was issued, attracting a group of LGBTQ2+ coders who worked collaboratively to ensure the security and sustainability of the site. Queering The Map was re-launched on April 3 2018, and now holds over 53 000 stories of queer experience across every continent and in 21 languages.
Visit the Queering The Map Here: www.queeringthemap.com
Why We Need Funds:
Because we want to ensure that Queering the Map exists as a sustainable living archive of queer experience well into the future.
Funds will go towards:
-paying for hosting + database upkeep
-updating the backend of the site to accommodate the amount of new stories being added
-translating the site to make it more accessible
-ensuring the continued security of the site
-developing the site and adding new features (like a location search bar, editing options, etc).
Biking home from school one fall evening, I rode by a tree in Parc Jeanne-Mance in Tiotiake/Montréal where, three years prior, I had met someone that I would eventually fall in love with. Passing by this tree, I was transported back to the impressions of our first encounter — an isolated moment of queer love in the making. Simultaneously, this tree also held the memory of the first time I expressed, rather convolutedly and quite explosively, that I was not a man, not a woman, but somewhere in between and somewhere far beyond. I felt connected not only to that partner, that memory or that tree, but to the feeling of queerness that seemed to have lingered at that spot despite the passage of time.
As I continued my bike ride, I began to plot other points that held this kind of lingering significance for me: the mysterious red shipping container in the woods by my childhood home, where my first love and I would meet with ritualistic earnestness to discuss our feelings for each other, and the barriers to their full expression; to the baseball field in Parc Laurier where my friend gifted me her old pink slip, which I subsequently put on and danced around in, feeling beautiful and validated in my non binary identity; the street corner where I kissed someone for 20 minutes balancing both my excitement of the encounter with the fear of being harrassed for such a public display of affection.
These recollections continued to the point where I decided to create a way to map these moments, to make them visible and legible outside of my own individual experience. I wanted to better understand how other people in my community and beyond it experience and do ‘queer’. I wanted to expand the feeling of connectedness that I had biking by that tree, to co-create an interlocking web of queer feeling and memory. What might it feel like to move through a world animated by queer past and present and what futures might emerge from this kind of knowledge?
These musings eventually took form as Queering the Map, a is a community generated digital counter-mapping project that aims to archive these fleeting moments of queer existence and resistance in relation to physical space. The project intends to leave ‘queerness’ open to endless interpretation. From direct action activism to conversations expressing gender pronouns, from feelings of isolation to moments of rapturous love, Queering the Map functions as a living archive of queer feeling.
In early February 2018, Queering The Map exploded from 600 to 6500 pins in a period of three days before being spammed by Trump supporters. The amount of messages of support the project received was overwhelming, and made it very clear that the site needed to spring back – stronger and more resilient – following the attack. With the help of an amazing group of queer coders, without whom this project would not exist, the site was re-launched in a significantly more secure and sustainable format. As of this morning, Queering The Map now hosts over 50 000 stories of queer resilience and brilliance from across the world.
I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to every person that has taken the time to share their stories on Queering the Map so far, this project would not exist without you. I have cried, laughed and gotten aroused – sometimes all at the same time – reading the moments that have been added to the map, and felt increasingly connected to the community that I care so deeply about. I hope it does the same for you.
- Hallie Delaney
- Alexander Blocker
- Anna Paprott
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