There goes the gayborhood. Literally.
A new study conducted at the University of British Columbia suggests that gay neighborhoods may soon be a thing of the past.
The study has found that fewer same-sex couples are living in historically gay neighborhoods — San Francisco’s Castro district, New York’s Chelsea, Chicago’s Boystown, etc. — compared to just 10 years ago. The number of gay men residing in gay enclaves has dropped by eight percent over the past decade, while the number of lesbians has declined by 13 percent.
So what’s deal? Why are gay people moving? And where are they going?
Amin Ghaziani, who led the study, suggests a few reasons for the shift, including changing attitudes among gays and lesbians as a result of the growing acceptance of same-sex couples.
“For gay people, they no longer feel like they need a safe space because they feel safe anywhere,” Ghaziani says. “At the same time, as the stigma against homosexuality eases, more straight people feel comfortable moving into these areas, more so than they have in the past when they have perceived these populations as more stigmatized than they do now.”
The study also found a large number of same-sex parents living in traditionally straight neighborhoods with desirable schools, which is likely a result of an increase in gay parents. There has also been a new emergence of neighborhoods for gay people of color.
“Gay neighborhoods have been crucial to the struggle for freedom, and have produced globally important contributions, from politics to poetry to music and fashion,” Ghaziani says. “The growing acceptance of same-sex couples underlying these findings is extremely positive, but it is important that we continue to find meaningful ways to preserve these culturally important spaces.”
the number 1 reason why they’re aren’t any more gay neighborhoods is gentrification..the gays didn’t self-select an exodus from these neighborhoods..they’ve been pushed out by economic factors
I agree with cformusic. While there are a variety of factors, I think economics is a major reason. Many gay men and women cannot afford the prices of property or rents in gay areas. I live in the Castro and real estate here has escalated absurdly. It’s more affordable to straight people who don’t mind living in a gay neighborhood. One of the reasons Castro Street sidewalks are currently being widened is the huge increase in double-wide strollers being wheeled by nannies on Castro every day. I like living in a neighborhood with a mix of gay and straight but I think many more gay people would live here if they could afford it.
As the article says, gay COUPLES can move to a lot of places. But I doubt that gay neighborhoods will fade out completely for single renters (unless and until they become coupled, and not everybody even wants that). If you’re a young gay waiter (for instance) in the city you probably want the city experience for a few years at least, and live near your job – you probably don’t want to live in some boring suburb.
@cformusic: Exactly no one can afford to live in San Francisco anymore except the rich straight couples who are pushing everyone out of the city. Most of my gay friends here live outside of SF now, it is really sad.
Gays moved into areas that weren’t desirable made them nice and now are being pushed out due to high real estate prices. It happened here in San Diego, the Hillcrest neighborhood. There are more straight couples with babies on the sidewalks than gays. The local gay stores are being forced out in favor of big name retail stores . The porn places are closing shop because they are deemed undesirable by the straight couples, that and tumblr has ruined porn. I can’t say that it’s a good thing or bad thing. It seems like we’ve become more accepted by having the straight couples move in but they are also neutering any edge gays had.
Isn’t this what we wanted, an integration with society where sexual orientation is irrelevant? The community my partner and I live in includes young families, seniors, students…as well as gays and lesbians…a great mix.
I don’t see this as a bad thing. Maybe it’s just me.
@RSun: Isn’t this what we wanted, an integration with society where sexual orientation is irrelevant?
No, we wanted our rights. Boring wealthy straights can keep their boring straight neighborhoods and f$*k off out of ours. They probably flock to these places for some kind of cachet, not realizing that everything they touch turns naff sooner or later…
And they can take the boring integrationists with them!
@friscoguy: Back when I lived in SF from 97 to 2000 I thought the rent was too high. Plus, there just wasn’t allot of room so choices were pretty limited. Mostly just a bunch of crumbling victorian bldgs. I can’t even imagine how bad it is today.
@cformusic: Oh, definitely. As the neighborhood becomes more desirable, the lesbians usually move out first because they pair up, and the gay men follow because it starts becoming expensive as the straights move in. I think aging also has something to do with it, too. As we age, we don’t feel the need to be in gayborhood as much, and we start looking for other things besides all the party bars.
Here in Chicago, the migration has been to the north and west neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods (like Andersonville, where I live) have become very mixed (residents and businesses), and it’s a nice thing. But now that I’m 40, I just don’t feel the need to be in or go out in Boystown much.
@Lefty: I guess I’m boring. Ha!
@TVC 15: I am older too and damn I liked Pride but wanted to be over so the crowds would go away. I only still like living in the area I’m at because everything in the city is less than 15 minutes away in car. I do not like though the noise and crowds.
@Stache99: Thank gawd for rent control or id be on the street or back home.
@Nowuvedoneit: I’m only 1.5 miles north of the ol’ gayborhood, but frankly it’s pretty gay enough where I live now. Plus, everything is at walking distance, including the gay beach on the lakefront. If I lived in Boystown, I’d have to take a ride on the L to go to the beach.
Will it stay this way? I don’t know. I’ve certainly been seeing more younger gay men at my gym and hanging out in the bars and restaurants up here. However, I think gay men (young or mid-life) moving to my area are looking for different things than the ones who move to Boystown. Same with the guys who move to west-side neighborhoods like Logan Square. I think it’s a nice thing to have more choices and not feel that we need to all ghetto ourselves into one neighborhood.
Gay ghettos are so 20th century…
@Sweet Boy: There’s always going to be some kind of gay ghetto. I mean when a young gay boy or girl moves away from home they’re not going to be thinking “I want to move to a nice suburb”:)
Of coarse in some cities like SF or NY they have to but not every place is like that.
Interesting gays are so 20th century…
Affordable neighborhoods are so 20th century…
A sense of community is so 20th century…
@Lefty: “Affordable neighborhoods are so 20th century… A sense of community is so 20th century…”
Lefty, we’re establishing our communities in different neighborhoods, not just one. It’s a good thing. It reflects our different personalities, and values; we’re not monolithic. I don’t know where you live, but in the bigger cities, the gayborhoods have shifted from place to place before. This isn’t new.
@cformusic: Preach. It’s not that we don’t want to move to The Castro or Capitol Hill, it’s that we can’t afford to! Especially if we are young and single. Interesting this data covers the peroid after 2008 and the recession but little to no attention is paid to economics?
It would make sense that gay families would be leaving for the suburbs. They aren’t looking for a partner and would want the better schools. So a better measure would be how many gay single people are in a given area.
A link to the study would be helpful, Queerty. This appears to be a typically bourgeois-centered analysis which disregards the experiences of those less-advantaged. Failing to consider the obvious economic basis for the decline of gayborhoods gives the lie to the study (as reported herein). The argument that we no longer seek out communities is belied by the fact that the exodus from Chelsea (and the west village before it, due to gentrification) led the dispossessed to Hell’s Kitchen, where a new gayborhood formed (as the same process of dispossession occurs there now). We have always been the real estate canaries, seeking out affordable and safe areas. This has not changed, as we tend to be more migratory than other groups for the obvious reasons.
The fight for equality does not require us to relinquish our neighborhoods. That’s a silly notion. All people tend to congregate with their kind. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is a positive thing, as it creates vibrant racial, ethnic, etc. communities. Would anyone seriously argue that maintaining an ethnic community is an impediment to equality? I would certainly hope not.
There are many advantages of living in a gayborhood that cannot be compensated for by Grindr or Facebook. A lot of younger gay people are living sadly circumscribed lives because of the death of gayborhoods in many cities. I guess the one mercy is that they don’t know what they are missing.
Can we get over the assumption that gay people just want to get married and live in the suburbs? The whole marriage movement has obscured the reality that it is really only a minority of gay men who are interested in getting married anytime soon.
Even straight people don’t want to live in the ‘burbs so much anymore, which is in large part why gay neighborhoods are becoming unaffordable for most young gay people, and that is the REAL reason why these neighborhoods are running empty of a diversity of gay people.
@TVC 15: I don’t think anyone has argued that we all must “ghetto ourselves in one neighborhood.” Logistically, that would be impossible anyway. And I would posit that we all believe we should be able to live where we want. Neither of these points are ultimately relevant to the discussion of the value of gay neighborhoods.
The value of gay neighborhoods includes: having a place that people new to the city can gravitate to; having a place for resources, community, and support; having a space in which to congregate for events- gay pride, our recent court victories, protests, etc. It is akin to the value immigrant communities provide to their compatriots entering the country. Our cities are made up of a number of racial and ethnic communities, which serve a valuable function. We should not deprive ourselves of these benefits under some facile notion that equality means we must relinquish our right to spaces of our own.
@vive: I’d agree that social apps are far more insidious because they turn us into couch potato cruisers. The peak of the gayborhood was probably the 1970’s before “The Fall” (AIDS crisis).
I live in Greenwich Village, NYC. Nothing but the richest of rich, and straight and, to be honest, I feel like an outsider as a gay man most of the time.
I’ve lived in both extremes and what I’ve found is that both can become very boring and one dimensional very quickly. My spouse and I are presently house shopping in San Francisco and what we are finding is how comfortable we are in many neighbourhoods. A few weeks ago we drove through an area of big beautiful homes with fantastic views. We immediately went to the place of “yeah, it’s pretty here but it also looks like nothing but rich, white, straight people live here. Well, it didn’t take but a few minutes to see we were proven wrong. We saw a group of young gay guys coming out of a house. We saw a gay couple in their 30’s talking to an older gay man in a wheelchair. We saw a gorgeous gay man working in his yard and we also saw all kinds of other folks. After that we realized that we could have the diversity that we truly enjoy and didn’t have to do the all or nothing thing to find our dream house.
@Sweet Boy: So instead we have white, rich, straight ghettos.
I’ve never been one for segregation, by choice or otherwise.
I’m just a normal person – just a man trying to make his way in this world. I’d rather live in a diversified neighborhood than a ghetto.
@Sansacro: I AGREE: Chelsea is full of baby strollers and women that lunch…. I miss having Rainbows & Triangles… seeing my friends on the street, now I don’t see anyone but cackling women.
@yaletownman: The sheer fact that you were looking in San Francisco AND that you could afford to live there puts you at a HUGE advantage.
@redcarpet30: Ha. Were talking about gays being forced out of neighborhoods due mostly to economics and then someone with a Yale as part of their screen name comes in saying. “I don’t see any problems. We can live where ever we want.”. Lol
Community is what you make it. While I understand the appeal of the gay ghettos, self-segregation has never worked for me. To each their own.
@DB75: Saw your comment after I posted. Totally agree!
@jar: Sure, I agree. But my point is that now we have more than one neighborhood in a city where we can feel safe and have a sense of a supportive community.
@DB75: Yes! The neighborhood where I live used to be a Swedish immigrant neighborhood. There are still a couple of Swedish shops, and a museum of the Swedish-American experience. But now it’s a lot more ethnically diverse, as well as diverse in sexual orientations. It’s great.
@yaletownman: You’re in that rarefied air where you can actually afford to go “house shopping” in SF. Talk about expensive. I lived there two years, and it’s all I could stand. It’s not all that.
@TVC 15: My idea of SF is a bunch of run down dilapidated Victorianish bldgs with a fresh coat of paint where the owners want Ritz Carlton prices.
In the words of Key & Peele: “No, I love the village as much as the next guy, but I’m telling you, if we continue to self-segregate ourselves, the entire gay community’s gonna continue to be “margarine-ized”. I was just saying this to Claudius the other night right after I [fked] him in the ass”
@cformusic: I agree. This is exactly what happened to me in Dallas. They’re tearing down all the cheap affordable apartment complexes and putting up these $1,200 and up complexes. It’s gentrification pure and simple.
I bought a small condo downtown years ago, which I just sold earlier this year. The price of housing has gotten extraordinarily high, especially in the gayborhood. We bought a cute house in the ‘burbs where we can garden and have friends over. You can’t have many guests in a tiny condo.
Just returned from a weekend trip to San Francisco. First visit since the last century.
I was shocked to see how fucked up the Castro has become. Damn str8 families all over the place.
I hate it.
Hasn’t it always been the way that our people move into an area, fix it up and then all the breeders want to move in because the neighborhood has become so attractive and vibrant?
All this assimilation will backfire. We are not the ‘same’ as str8 people. I celebrate our wonderfulness and differences.
Few can afford to live in any neighborhood. My last living pal in the city has a rent controlled apartment (over 30 years) so he is safe for now. He knows that he couldn’t afford to live anywhere else in the entire city. Super rich have taken over the entire city. Regular folks are just hanging on for dear life hoping their apartment doesn’t go condo.
We are fast losing our cultural identity. Gay men and lesbians thrived under oppression. The young’uns are getting too comfortable and lazy with all this ‘acceptance’.
The spark has gone.
I can’t imagine any of the gay folks under 40 getting organized to do anything but patronize the newest gym.
These days will never see any great groups such as ACT-UP, Queer Nation or Radical Fairies.
How the hell do any younger folks think they got all this freedom? It was a bunch of radical, pissed off, suppressed men and women who were fighting for their lives.
I’ve seen the future….it ain’t pretty but it sure as hell is boring.
LGBT villages can be a great thing especially for those just coming out. Seeing open acceptance of different lifestyles can be liberating if coming from ‘less than hospitable’ cities around the world.
With that said, my husband and I have been together for almost 20 years now, and have never lived in a gaybourhood. We have lived in various cities across Canada, and have never had any kind of issues living in ‘straight’ neighbourhoods (even the less than desirable i.e. redneck ones). We proudly fly a rainbow flag and yes, all our neighbours know what it means. If you are comfortable with who you are, there is no reason to limit yourself to a gaybourhood.
Good neighbours/gaybours are always nice to have regardless of their sexual orientation.
The thing for me isn’t that I want to be with my own “kind ” I just don’t like hearing children scream, or forced off the sidewalk because someone is pushing a huge baby carriage. I liked being able to be outside have a good laugh tell raunchy stories without being given disapproving glances by parents. That’s what has come to the neighborhoods now and yes there were gay couples with children but not the scores there are now because of straight people . I’ve been told it’s good that these straight parents are raising their kids in diverse neighborhoods but in truth they are still segregated. They send their kids to private schools not the inner city ones in the neighborhood.
I’ve never lived in a gay neighborhood. My current neighborhood is arty, with plenty of gays but mainly straight people. There are many straight artist parents, straight musicians, straight business people, good independent cafes, and a superb indie music venue that’s cheap and offers live concerts as well as opera and film. Many nearby live theaters. Good places to eat, not expensive, not particularly gay, although there are also many gay bars nearby in the downtown area (I can walk there). Many students, mostly straight. Some minority families, mostly Hispanic, eepecially in the part where I live.
I have an affordable apartment that’s nice enough but slightly dumpy so it’s relatively cheap. I can walk everywhere or get on one of the five bus lines that serve my part of the neighborhood. Since gentrification is always a danger I have already targeted my possible next neighborhood based mainly on its bus line, which runs often and late because a lot of working poor live along the route. It would get me to all the places I now like to go to, including very late at night.
Here’s hoping the rich kids who go to school in this city still prefer to live in the boring wealthy neighborhood near their schools.
@Stache99: You got that one very right.
@Sammy Schlipshit: “The spark has gone. I can’t imagine any of the gay folks under 40 getting organized to do anything but patronize the newest gym.”
LOL, I love it. Very true of my experience those two years in SF (2006-2008). I was there when the gay political organizations fell flat on their face play-fighting Prop 8. Hey, I had been an activist in my 20’s (mid-90’s to mid-00’s) when I still lived in New York where I grew up. I could tell very quickly these groups were gonna lose the fight. Harvey Milk was probably turning in his grave.
I was also still living in SF during the filming of “Milk,” and when the movie came out, though it was a dramatization, it really highlighted all the things these gay orgs did wrong. It was a wakeup call for many younger people, who then got fired up about renewing the fight with more gusto.
By then, I had already decided I didn’t want to stay in CA, and especially SF.
@Stache99: Yes, it is.
In my 20’s, I always lived in cheaper neighborhoods outside of Center City Phila (downtown – where the gayborhood is). I never found any sense of community in those neighborhoods i lived in but it kept me above water financially. I took the train into the gayborhood. Especially now as Philly is having a bit of a renaissance people can’t afford to live there as much as they can live in other up-and-coming neighborhoods. They are way more interesting anyway. And some of them are kind of gay too. When I hit 30, I went to the burbs, but a very gay-friendly burb at that. Plenty shades of the rainbow here. So now, i’m glad to live in a great community with a great main st, access to the city, and a sense of gay community. best of all worlds in my opinion.
Charlie in Charge
My issue with gentrification is that the new arrivals tend to want to move to an area because it’s weird and exciting… and then want to get rid of anything weird and uncomfortable. You can move your family to the Castro but don’t take issue with all the bars, sex shops, and fliers with go go boys on them. This is what you signed up for.
@Charlie in Charge:
The whole damn country is becoming a strip mall with a lot of empty store fronts.
@Charlie in Charge: You described exactly what happened in Denver: gentrification without boundaries. Downtown where amazing warehouse clubs and bars used to dot the landscape, lofts were allowed to convert literally on top of those properties. Then complaints were lodged and the clubs couldn’t afford to continue answering them.
Now the downtown sprawl has spread to encompass homeless services — three rescue missions, the Samaritan Center, two clinics, two overflow sleeping facilities — which for decades were located beyond the edges of downtown. Now pricey lofts, apartments, hipster feeding and watering holes, and boutique businesses want the “homeless problem” cleaned up.
Those damn str8/breeder folks. Give ’em an inch…or 10…and then they want the whole damn thing.
Wait!!!! Am I talking about gentrification or porno? I get the two confused… you can bet someone is getting fucked in both.
In the past we would find the Dowager Neighborhoods, forgotten and tossed aside by the straight community. The Castro (San Francisco), West Hollywood (Los Angeles), The Gay Ghetto East Broadway (Long Beach), Palm Springs (Riverside County) and Hillcrest (San Diego) and made them FABULOUS. These neighborhoods offered a great standard of living and a political community that gave us our rights in California. We did such a great job sprucing these lost jewels up that now we can’t afford to live there. But that does not mean there aren’t other jewels to be found. In Southern California they are hard to find, but there are some, Riverside the downtown screams take me I’m yours LGBT Community, Oceanside near the cost and has an old downtown that could be prime, Idyllwild is a Russian River or Palm Springs in the waiting, Hemet Old California charm, affordable and once a wealthy enclave for Senior Citizens, is now in decline but has GOOD BONES, Julian for those who have already made it in the Gay Community there are some places to go and work your magic!
I don’t really understand why some people mention not wanting to “limit” themselves to gay neighborhoods.
I realize that, from an outside perspective, it might seem limiting to live in an urban enclave devoted to a specific community.
However, as a gay man who doesn’t even live in a major city, I can’t really think of anything more limiting for a middle-class LGBT person than living in a predominately straight suburb.
The gay epicenter of Atlanta, Piedmont and Monroe, is every bit as gay as it ever has been, the difference now days is that some of the gay couples have kids. Given that, I’m noticing more gay couples out in the inner burbs where my husband and I have lived for ten years now. I see a new set practically every time I go to the grocery store.
I luv Lefty lol.
Lefty and h@Lefty: You and your irrelevant comments are so 20th century….
@mikehipp: Yeah, but Atlanta is still the south
So what was so bad about the 20th C.(other than HIV/AIDS)? I’m all in favor of turning back the clock. Now approaching my mid-’70’s, I have had some connection with all of San Francisco’s gay neighborhoods beginning with the Tenderloin where as an undergrad at Stanford I used to stay at the YMCA from time to time in the late ’50’s and the gay bars were then labeled off-limits to military personnel. I’ve seen and often lived it all — North Beach, Polk St. SoMa, the Haight (when there was more than one gay bar as now), the Castro and even those oouple of pick-up sites that used to serve Pacific Heights before AIDS. Once a property-owner, I’m back where I started in the Tenderloin, but in senior/disabled public housing instead of the YMCA, which has since closed. I long for the bathhouses long gone and bars with second-hand smoke. If I still lived in the Castro, you can bet I wouldn’t be voting for its current gay supervisor who implemented a ban on nudity to pacify that part of his constituency that’s straight or gay assimilationist. Instead of Harvey Milk, we have him! Harvard Law degree notwithstanding, that’s not progress! But as I like to say, where there’s cum, there’s hope.
@Reid Condit, yes, a lot is being lost in opportunities and quality of life, to the point where a young writer for a gay website is so disconnected from the experiences of the past that he thinks it may be a good thing that gay people, people of color, working class people, artists, and even professionals are being pushed out of desirable high-density neighborhoods and replaced by homogeneous white white heterosexual faces.
*white wealthy heterosexual faces.
What happen to the folklore about gays leaving populated areas to gentrify seedy areas, clean them up, to make way for the straight couples?
@Sammy Schlipshit: LOL!
@Charlie in Charge:
It’s not just the US this is happening to, but also in London too. Just read that one of the popular gay nightclubs, Area, is closing at the end of August to make way for the regeneration of Albert Embankment in the once popular ‘gaybourhood’ Vauxhall. The US embassy is also relocating to Vauxhall and expensive high rise apartments are popping up. If Area is closing down, how long before gay bars/clubs next door Barcode, Union, and the sauna Chariots, close their doors for good too? 10 – 15 years ago, you couldn’t give property away in Vauxhall and the gay scene thrived, now gays are being priced out and the scene has shifted to East London.
We also can’t forget about the Gay Bookstore in the neighborhood. In many major cities, the Gay Bookstore is closing. There are many reasons why this happens. Many items can be purchased online – for less money. The new generation of gay teens, are coming out much younger. And gay culture is more accepted in today’s world.
For many of us Senior Gays, the gay bookstore was a gem! 🙂
Its definitely happening here in Philly. The gayberhood is hanging on for the moment, but the retailers and historically gay clubs/restaurants are being infiltrated. I wonder what a young person from a non accepting family would do without a gayberhood to wander around and find a youth group or freinds/support from folks who ca understand. I know that’s changing too, but not enough yet. Meanwhile, the little town my husband and I moved to 5 minutes outside of Philly is gaying up organically. We picked it cause the houses are cool and more affordable than other suburbs, and during the last census it was found our town has the 2nd highest number of same sex couples per capita in all of Pennsylvania. So I guess gay folks will thrive here for a while. AND then move on when the next, eventual wave of gentrification comes.
The problem with the suburbs is, they are not great for single or serially single gay people (i.e., the majority of us). You cannot meet new people walking on the street (car culture), the bookstore (what bookstore, the Christian one in the mall?), the gym (mostly straight guidos), the coffee shop (mostly straight people staring at laptops), etc. This is my life 🙁 OTOH, I recently went to Toronto and stayed close to the gay village, where you can do all these things. You don’t even have to make any effort – just the constant getting eye contact and smiles on the street or the attention you get in the gym in a gayborhood can make your day if you are used to going through life invisible in straightburbia. It is a quality of life issue. We are puched out of these gayborhoods BECAUSE THEY ARE HIGHLY DESIRABLE PLACES TO LIVE, even for straights, AND MORE GAY PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE THERE BUT CANNOT. Trying to spin this involuntary exile into a good thing is a bit twisted IMO.
Thats the whole point of equality. Its time to grow up and put the poppers away.
I don’t miss the gay community, but it is harder to meet gay people for friends when you live in Buffalo, N.Y. Not into meeting friends via apps. Maybe start a group at the community center.
My partner is addicted to Bravo. The ‘music’ at the bar has no lyrics, melody or rhythm, just sound effects. Last night Ross Matthews! confused Aretha Franklin for Jennifer Holliday. No no no noo way. This is what happens. I just
hope to retire in a gay old folks home where I can die laughing.
It looks like we all have a lot of choices. My partner and I of over 52 years started out in Boston in 1962 when I was in the Navy. We lived in several apartments in Boston and moved to Seattle and lived in apartments. In 1967 we moved back to Massachusetts and lived in a few apartments before we moved to the burbs to buy a two-family house that we could afford. Then we moved to another burb to a fix-me-up single house, got married in 2004, then moved to an over-55 community town house with all of the trimmings, and now we are retired, living the American Dream. At no time did we think about whether the neighborhood we were moving to was gay or not. We live in a small town over-55 community where the residents treat us with respect as we treat them. I mentioned to one of the residents that I hope a fanatical Christian does not move here and cause problems. The response was that the fanatical Christian would be the outcast. Of course, we live in Massachusetts where they practice democracy! :>)
Yep. Straights want what we got. Co-opting it. Straight is the new gay. Have their cake -gay culture and eat it too -go back to straight safety and comfort. Gay4pay porn is great example.
San Francisco especially is getting too gentrified and invaded by condo developers and str8s with kids. One of the unique features of the Castro was a friendly group of nudists. Well after prudish people complained and made it an issue, the city has now outlawed nudity except in special events with permits. And Key West has gone the way of STr8 invasion and most of the gay guesthouses have been forced to close down due to increased expenses. It needs to be reined in. I don’t wanna be a part of some assimilated society where gay culture parallels str8 culture.
I find it interesting that this article says nothing about the fact that gentrification is in essence the urban displacement of people based on creating a uniformly acceptable space and the expense of the current residents.
I’ve lived in several gay or gay friendly neighborhoods. I enjoy a mixed neighborhood, but when the balance slips to the straight side, those neighborhoods become not so gay friendly. It’s not just a matter of economics, but of interests. I am a gay man who fled Park Slope Brooklyn, as it was commandeered by the stroller set. The Slope was always very lesbian friendly with a nice dose of gay men and lots of straight families. Over the 12 years I lived there, the straight families completely took over. When the gay folks start to vanish the formerly friendly neighborhood feel less so. I stopped seeing gay men around the neighborhood and saw more and more strollers. I just don’t have much in common with a 30 something straight couple raising two kids. My building was suddenly full of them and their entitled manner.
I moved back to Chelsea. I lived here in the 90s and now again. The neighborhood has changed drastically, and the writing is on the wall. This neighborhood will be lost to us too.
@Sammy Schlipshit: I completely understand what you’re saying, however… I do think young people appreciate the radical political groups that got us here today, but I don’t think the same tactics are necessary today in order to accomplish the next step in equal rights. And with the emphasis on equal rights rather than showing no fear and defying authority, we need to be more boring and more about showing how we are no different from any other human being.
I would have never started to come out had I seen it as a political separatist movement due to professional, familial and social reasons. I might be a coward, but I also didn’t want my life to change much if it didn’t have to. Thankfully the LGBT movement has begun to make space for people like me, who aren’t politically gay, and I think that’s a good thing. The activism is still there, and I appreciate it for all it’s done for us and for all it continues to achieve, but my life is not a political statement and I appreciate the fact that it doesn’t have to be.
Maybe it’s boring to want a settled life in the burbs with pets and kids, but life doesn’t always have to be about being the most interesting or the most edgy. And in fact I resent the new hipster attitude of branding oneself “queer” when in fact one is actually straight/cisgendered, just for the “edge” that affords them. It’s time to stop thinking of it as an edgy thing.
That being said, at NYC pride when a group of the original Stonewall rioters rode in the parade, I have never seen a crowd cheer more loudly and such a wide variety of people get moved to tears. That generation has given us so much; the movement is evolving but that doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate where it started.
@bart b. “I find it interesting that this article says nothing about the fact that gentrification is in essence the urban displacement of people based on creating a uniformly acceptable space and the expense of the current residents.”
Yes, exactly. THANK YOU!
@Tam, “we need to be more boring and more about showing how we are no different from any other human being.”
That completely misses the original point of the gay rights movement, which was about making something BETTER than straight culture. Nobody in his right mind wants to go back to the way life was in the 50s except, apparently, the new gays.
We, of the 70’s, never expected to see our descendants so willingly embrace ‘acceptance’ with such ignorance and complacency.
These newer homos are just as self centered and electronically seduced as all the other dull creatures.
These days there would never be in the street protests (except some pitiful ones in New York). The kids just can’t be bothered.
Glad to be closer rather than farther from death.
@Sammy Schlipshit, for what it is worth, I very much agree with you, even though I am from a somewhat later generation (I was only a kid in the 70s) and grew up in a different country.
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