Constellations of Elsewheres: Queer and Trans* Youth Lives in Suburban Toronto

Sharp, Wiley. 2023. “Constellations of Elsewheres: Queer and Trans* Youth Lives in Suburban Toronto.” Master’s Thesis. York University.

Loneliness, isolation, and suicide are endemic among queer and transgender youth, especially for those who live in the suburbs, where queer and trans* social infrastructure is scarce. This thesis explores how queer and trans* youth negotiate the cisheteronormative social infrastructure of suburban Toronto, how their everyday practices of dwelling shift the possibilities that this infrastructure affords, and how they build grassroots social infrastructure in Toronto’s suburban elsewheres.

To explore these everyday practices, this research employs go-along interviews, participatory photography, and participant observation to sketch a constellation of suburban elsewheres where queer and trans* youth make their lives across the urban region. Finally, this thesis argues that queer and trans* youth build grassroots forms of social infrastructure across the urban-suburban region that enable them to survive and thrive amid the precarious landscapes of Toronto and its suburbs.