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Closets of Approbation:

Constructing Identities

The Custodian of Gay Identity. Fernandes, D. Unit 14. 2020.

Dylan Fernandes


Best Student in Professional Practice


Thiresh Govender, Jiaxin Yan Gong, Ngillan Faal-Gbadebo


14 - Rogue Economies: Producing Leisure


Leisure practices become the crucible for cultural reproduction and individual expression – the ability for the body to take agency and ownership over its identity in society. For the queer body, adhering to these social contracts becomes a delicate balancing act between acceptance and pariahdom. I suggest  correlative borders exist that facilitate different transactions and, by extension, embed power dynamics into space and onto bodies, establishing territories and establishing where power resides. 


We protect our leisure types and environments, not from physical threats, but from social ones. I investigated how queer people subvert insufficient space and create a new shared reality belonging to them. The closet, both homosexual and heterosexual, local and foreign, literal and metaphoric is used as a non-space where identity is constructed. Queer individuals have learned to communicate invisibly through codes of disclosure. They manipulate the architectures of the closet, both verbal and vestiary.


The architecture of closets and identity creation can be used to cross societies social borders and undermine and change the narratives that have long held power over them. Through inverting the relationship between the individual and the closet, marginalised queer communities can take that which confined them and turn it into an armarium which enables them. Turning the closet into a device to amplify their power and agency within the architectures of the status quo – becoming a tool for approbation. 


Queer Geographies. Fernandes, D. Unit 14. 2020.

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