Major Papers


History, Queer, LGBTQ, Windsor, Detroit, Post-War


The development of queer community and identity has always necessitated the delineation of queer-friendly spaces as a locus for socialisation, sexual expression, and freedom from animosity and hostility towards queer sexuality. Within the urban area of post-war Windsor-Detroit, the threat of exposure and possible arrest affected the everyday lives of queer individuals, which necessitated a quest for private locales that were amenable to the expression of queer sexuality and gender identity. What is here referred to as “the gay commute” was a defining characteristic of the lived experiences of the white middle-class gay residents in the Windsor-Detroit borderlands through the latter decades of the twentieth century. This phenomenon can be understood as the movement of queer individuals from locations that are deemed unaccommodating or hostile to queer gender and sexual identities to spaces that are accessible and amenable to lived queer sexual and social lifestyles. This project will explore the extent and characteristics of the gay commute, as it manifests in the post-war Windsor-Detroit borderlands, and uncover its influence on the formation of queer identity and community.

Primary Advisor

Shauna Huffaker

Program Reader

Renee Bondy

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year