Journeys and Returns: Home, Life Narratives and Remapping Sexuality in a Regional City


This article explores intersections of home, mobility and sexualities. We draw on the narrated journeys of young lesbian‐ and gay‐identified people who left and then returned to their hometown of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Their stories of journeys and returns rupture boundaries that fashion both regional Australia as a closeted space and metropolitan centres as places of sexual tolerance. Attention to individual narratives provides a nuanced interpretation of how those initially displaced by the stigma of their sexuality opt to return. ‘Finding themselves’ and calling this regional centre ‘home’ requires transforming the spaces of Townsville both materially and symbolically. Narrated journeys and returns can contribute to recent discussions of home that emphasize the situated spatiality of subjectivity.