YES! Gay Neighborhoods ARE worth saving!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    Gay Enclaves Face Prospect of Being Passé
    October 30, 2007

    By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN

    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24 — This Halloween, the Glindas, gladiators and harem boys of the Castro — along with untold numbers who plan to dress up as Senator Larry E. Craig, this year’s camp celebrity — will be celebrating behind closed doors. The city’s most popular Halloween party, in America’s largest gay neighborhood, is canceled.


    The once-exuberant street party, a symbol of sexual liberation since 1979 has in recent years become a Nightmare on Castro Street, drawing as many as 200,000 people, many of them costumeless outsiders, and there has been talk of moving it outside the district because of increasing violence. Last year, nine people were wounded when a gunman opened fire at the celebration.


    For many in the Castro District, the cancellation is a blow that strikes at the heart of neighborhood identity, and it has brought soul-searching that goes beyond concerns about crime.


    These are wrenching times for San Francisco’s historic gay village, with population shifts, booming development, and a waning sense of belonging that is also being felt in gay enclaves across the nation, from Key West, Fla., to West Hollywood, as they struggle to maintain cultural relevance in the face of gentrification.


    There has been a notable shift of gravity from the Castro, with young gay men and lesbians fanning out into less-expensive neighborhoods like Mission Dolores and the Outer Sunset, and farther away to Marin and Alameda Counties, “mirroring national trends where you are seeing same-sex couples becoming less urban, even as the population become slightly more urban,” said Gary J. Gates, a demographer and senior research fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.



     
  2. simcha

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    Well, I for one have never wanted to live in a Gay Ghetto. When I moved into Chicago after coming out I moved into Edgewater, which was two neighborhoods north of Boystown in Lakeview. I did it purposefully. Edgewater was affordable, diverse, and relatively quiet. I had no interest in living with other white gay guys who were partying most nights until 3am. Also, I didn't want to pay too much for too little space.

    When I moved to the Bay Area over 5 years ago, I didn't even consider San Francisco. It was and still is ridiculously expensive. You get practically nothing for the money you spend on rent. Everything I needed to do was in the East Bay and all forms of transportation too and from San Francisco and the East Bay are expensive, unconnected (as in 12-15 different public transportation companies), and inefficient.

    Also, when I visited the Castro, I remembered Boystown in Chicago. Not only was it mainly white and gentrified but it was dirtier and less safe at night than Boystown is. It is also a Gay Ghetto.

    So, I chose Oakland. What I love about Oakland is that we have more gay/lesbian couples than San Francisco living here. We live everywhere in this city. We share all of the amenities with everyone else. We are fully integrated into the fabric that is Oakland. Oakland is very diverse. It is clean and affordable, for the Bay Area.

    I think Gay Ghettos have past their prime everywhere as we find greater acceptance in society at large. This is a good thing that we are spreading out everywhere and remaining visible in places where just 15 years ago wouldn't stand for "queers" living among them. When we choose to isolate ourselves in enclaves we don't allow others to get to know us as we really are. Most of us aren't some cliché. Most of us don't fit any gay/lesbian stereotype. Our "culture" is the culture of the world around us. Yes, yes, we have some unique perspectives on culture. And we do connect with each other no matter where we live. In Oakland I have tons of gay/lesbian friends and I work with many too. And we have all other kinds of people mixed in our social and professional circles who enjoy knowing us.
     
  3. Principessa

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    I understand what you are saying; I guess as a straight woman I missed what should have been a clear point. Sorry. :frown1:

    For the record, my concern isn't having gay neighbors, I wish I did have gay neighbors. :smile: Living in the Baptist Belt has been a bit of a culture shock for me. I miss my gays, jews, puerto ricans etc. :redface:
     
  4. frizzle

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    What's the point of this thread?
     
  5. findfirefox

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    To get feedback most likely or possibly she found it interesting and wanted to share it.
     
  6. Principessa

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  7. findfirefox

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  8. T-Lex

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    I used to live in a "gay ghetto"...Ansley Park in Atlanta (affectionately known as "Vaseline Valley"). I rather enjoyed knowing that, for the most part, all of the establishments in that neighborhood -- from the grocers, to the restaurants, coffee shops, dry cleaners, video stores, etc. -- were 100% gay friendly. You could feel comfortable going anywhere in Ansley Park with your boyfriend du jour and showing a bit of PDA, without fear of being called out by a brutish, small-minded hetero (no offense to the rest of my hetero friends who aren't small minded). =)
     
  9. EagleCowboy

    EagleCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah................
    Let's see how long they survive living waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in the sticks like the very extremely few of us do!!
     
  10. Altairion

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    Seattle is experiencing a change in trends lately as well. The main gay neighborhood, Capitol Hill, is right next to Seattle's downtown area. A lot of developers are moving in to take advantage of the area by buying out properties and putting up large condo/business buildings which only serves to further drive up land values and rent rates for existing owners who in turn will sell out to more developers unless if the trend changes direction or at least slows down significantly.

    I've heard that gay neighborhoods actually increase in land value, and that it's been proven by research, so it certainly makes sense that problems similar to this are happening all over the country.
     
  11. simcha

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    Hey, I lived in Davenport, Iowa for 15 months and I loved it there. If I would have been able to find another well-paying job I would have followed through with my plan to buy a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a full basement and two finished floors on a half acre with a 2 and 1/2 car garage that was turn of the century (19th-20th) with the original well-maintained wood moulding and original well-maintained wood floors all for only $119,000.

    I had lots of friends there. Most were straight and were just fine with me and the man I was with there. So, I faced some strange looks and stares along with occasional comments, big deal. I have a thick skin and I know how to speak back to ignorance.

    In some ways I feel like a sell-out living in such a gay-friendly area. People in Middle America should be exposed to gay people like me who live everyday lives. I am still a Midwesterner at heart and I always will be. Perhaps I'll even move back once I'm licensed in my profession...
     
  12. jason_els

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    Without the gay ghettos though meeting people is far more difficult. The sense of community is lost. How do I manage to always fuck this up? I wasted 25 years not taking advantage of what they have to offer only to discover that now I'd love to live in one just to be able to meet others. Let me tell you, meeting people out in the sticks or the suburbs is next to impossible. More than half the men are married and are just looking for hook-ups and usually don't want to do things which are, "too gay." Ugh!

    If you're partnered then great, if you're not, forget it. It's a wasteland.
     
  13. bigbull29

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    I'd have to agree with that. Sometimes, people who are living in big gay ghettos or neighborhoods forget what life is like in the real America.

    Fuck, where else in America am I going to hear dark tribal house music outside of a gay club in NYC?:biggrin1: Yes, NYC is home to my favorite gay ghetto in the US.
     
  14. Principessa

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    You 're right, all the gays I know who live in the suburbs are partnered off.
     
  15. frizzle

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    No I meant, what's it about?
     
  16. dcwrestlefan

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    this is pretty evident in alot of large cities. as gays gain more acceptance, they do not feel the need to segregate. therefore, the gay nightlife and party scene is declining. i see it here in washington. the younger bunch in particular does not want to go to clubs - they'd rather hang out with a more diverse group. good thing overall, but bad for business if you own a bar or are planning an event.

    i'd much rather spend a saturday night with a cool mixed crowd. shit, i can actually talk about football with a straight guy, or car oil changing with a lesbian, "who is hot" with a gay guy, or hairdressers and shoes with a straight girl. haha. it's more fun than being in a club full of uptight homos. and i do not do bars anymore anyway.

    another aspect to this. when gays move into a hood, clean it up, and make it "cool", others follow. that sounds somewhat simplistic, but i find it to be true. mount vernon in baltimore and dupont circle in washington dc are prime examples of this. they ain't just for "us" anymore. i like that.
     
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