Pride Month : Places + Stories

type - features
category - gender
sector - diversity & inclusion
This month, a new book was published by RIBA titled: An Atlas of LGBTQIA+ Places & Stories.

The book, sponsored by a series of notable architects including Grimshaw, celebrates over 90 queer locations from around the world, including domestic, communal and public spaces. Queer people throughout history have needed safe spaces to come together and live their authentic selves. The book offers a fascinating insight not only into these special spaces but into the history behind them too.

Read on to discover some of these spaces.

Published by:

22 June 2022

Author: Thomas Rees

Image: Photo by cottonbro [Pexels]



Holy Trinity Church, York, England

Holy Trinity is the first queer space in the UK to have a permanent mark of a rainbow version of the traditional blue plaque. You might remember Anne Lister from our previous article about important queer figures in history. Holy Trinity Church was the location of her marriage, or as the plaque calls it, where she ‘took sacrament’ to her partner Ann Walker. The couple privately shared rings and vows at home but then headed to Holy Trinity Church to, in Anne’s words, ‘solemnise our promise of mutual faith’.


The Palaces of Ludwig II, Germany

From the late 1860s, Ludwig oversaw the design and building of three palaces in Germany – Neuschwanstein (1869), Linderhof (1874) and Herrenchiemsee (1878). These opulent, fantastical palaces were unlike traditional castles of defence seen before. Instead, these theatrical spaces allowed Ludwig II to shut himself away at a time when same-sex desire was frowned upon and live the life he wished. Neuschwanstein inspired many Disney castles, including the one used in the company’s famous logo. The castles still attract large numbers of tourists each year. A brilliant documentary by historian Dan Cruickshank, The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig, is often available on BBC iPlayer.

‘There will always be a need for queer spaces.’

Get our weekly newsletter straight to your inbox

Photo by Flávio Santos

Prospect Cottage, Kent, England

The book describes a trip to this house as a ‘distinctly queer pilgrimage’. The simple structure is made of local materials, originally built as a Victorian fisherman’s hut, and was purchased by director and artist Derek Jarman in 1987. The cottage remained his home until his death from HIV in the mid-1990s. The space offers a ‘space for contemplation outside the grip of oppression’, while challenging the notion that queer spaces can only exist in urban environments.


Victorian Pride Centre, Melbourne, Australia

This undulating building consists of unique and proud shapes, which in turn creates private and enclosed spaces for offices, commercial and cultural spaces. As an apology for making homosexuality a criminal offence until 1980, the Australian state of Victoria committed £8.5m (A$15m, US$10.4m, €9.9m) to construct the Victorian Pride Centre (VPC). In addition, the government made changes to adoption rights for same-sex couples and introduced a crackdown on gay conversion therapy.


Stonewall Inn, New York, USA

Nestled in Greenwich Village sits the famous bar, the Stonewall Inn. This was the location of the famous 1969 Stonewall Riots, when Black trans women and others stood up to police after weeks of harassment and clashes. This event started the Gay Liberation and the LGBTQIA+ movement. The bar itself is a classic dive bar with a motley crew of patrons, but being there makes you feel deeply connected to our queer history. The sense of community and solidarity is palpable.


A copy of the book can be purchased from RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

‘The near-unbelievable skill of queer people in creating conditions for themselves.’

Want to read more?

This article is part of our D&I series at The Future Laboratory. Explore the full series on our blog and discover what steps we are taking to make a better tomorrow happen.

Alternatively, join LS:N Global where members get full access to our Intersectionality series.

Discover our memberships

Already a member? Click here to login