Queering the Map

An archive of the histories and unfolding realities of queer life.

Queering the Map is a community-generated platform to record queer experiences relating to physical places. The entries range from very intimate stories of first dates, kisses, and encounters to accounts of collective activism and many other unique experiences. Anyone can anonymously place a pin on the map and submit their own experience in text form. The pins not only indicate fixed locations like queer bars or bookstores but also point to more ephemeral queer spaces marked as such only by a fleeting experience. Submissions are placed globally, including political contexts where queerness is made illegal and the experiences of queer people continue to be repressed, contested, and erased, as well as grey spaces outside of the rendered map hosting more hypothetical musings.

The designer Lucas LaRochelle initiated QTM as a class project in 2017. The platform went viral in February 2018, shortly after which Trump supporters hijacked the site. The website relaunched two months later with a more robust system and continues to grow, with over 150 000 entries to date. A team of volunteers moderate the submissions and the project is financed through Patreon donations.

QTM differs from other archives because it does not classify or try to identify general truths from the collected data about "the queer experience". It embraces the confusion and opacity of 150 000 versions of the truth in its non-searchable design, where black pins blur into unintelligible clouds and it is impossible to verify the "factual accuracy" of the submissions.

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