Conversations to understand

To comprehend how non-binary people and lesbian, bisexual, pansexual and queer women feel when walking and cycling through Barcelona, we have combined interviews with the use of Relief Maps.


In July 2023 we interviewed 22 people who lived in Barcelona. Half of them were raised in Catalonia and the rest, in other territories in Europe, North and South America. In terms of gender, interviewees identified themselves as non binary and as cisgender, transgender and intersexual women. Regarding sexuality, they sef-identified as lesbians, bisexuals, pansexualsand queer. Participants’ ages range between 20 and 50 years, and two interviewees were mothers.

Participants’ approximate place of residence. Source: Own elaboration.


Participants shared their experiences walking and cycling, based on the following questions.

  1. Which trips do you undertake?
  2. How do you feel in each trip?
  3. What do you like or dislike of each trip?
  4. Do you think you would feel the same if you were a man? Or if you were white?
  5. Do you think you would feel the same if you were holding hands with your partner during this trip?
  6. What would have to change for you to feel better?

Relief Map

After the interview, we invited participants to draw a Relief Map. Relief Maps are a tool for analyzing social inequalities from an intersectional perspective. This map combines three axes: the social axis (associated with identities such as gender, sexuality or etnicity), the geographical axis (based on the routes) and the psychological aixs (related to emotions).

Relief Map of an interviewee.
Do you want to learn more? Check the first minute of this video.

Participants drew on a comfort/discomfort scale how they felt during different daily trips for each of their identities (gender, sexuality, ethnicity and age). They could also add other identities they felt influenced their journeys. Therefore, some people expanded on how identities associated with class, neurodiversity, the cisnorm or body normativity modulated their emotions during their routes.

ReliefMap of a 35-year-old participant who identifies as a white, cisgender, lesbian woman.