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Report: Gayborhoods Are "Straightening"

As many in the community have worried over the past several years, gayborhoods seem to be evaporating before our eyes. 

From Canada's UBC News:

New research finds that traditionally gay neighbourhoods are becoming increasingly “straight” places, and could be at risk of losing their distinct cultural identity.

Fewer same-sex couples reside in historically gay neighbourhoods compared to 10 years ago, according to one of the largest studies of sexuality in the U.S. Led by University of British Columbia sociologist Amin Ghaziani, the study found the number of gay men who live in gay enclaves has declined eight per cent while the number of lesbians has dropped 13 per cent.

Ghaziani’s research, which is collected in his new book There Goes the Gayborhood, suggests that San Francisco’s Castro district, New York’s Chelsea, Chicago’s Boystown and other “gayborhoods” are changing as growing numbers of heterosexual households join or replace gays and lesbians.

He offers several reasons for the shift, including gentrification, changing attitudes among gays and lesbians, and growing acceptance of same-sex couples.

The study also identifies new demographic trends, including unexpected clusters of same-sex parents around desirable schools in traditionally straight neighbourhoods and the emergence of districts for LGBT people of colour. The findings also show that same-sex households exist in a record-high 93 per cent of U.S. counties.

Ghaziani says the greater desirability of these city districts among heterosexuals and increased same-sex couple mobility mark a crucial advance in the gay rights movement. However, he cautions that further “de-gaying” of these areas could produce a loss of cultural identity and voting power for the LGBT community.

“Gay neighbourhoods have been crucial to the struggle for freedom, and have produced globally important contributions, from politics to poetry to music and fashion,” says Ghaziani. “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.”

Do you notice a shift in your gayborhood? 

Comments

Houston's Montrose gayborhood is less gay now.

I see this as a good thing. Gays should feel comfortable to co mingle. It surely means that gays are becoming more accepted as a fact of life. There'll always be "gay borhoods" because it's just human nature that-"birds of a feather flock together". Maybe just not as populated. Remember "we're everywhere".

Many minority communities have experienced this mixed blessing of gaining acceptance in the wider community and losing the sense of a cohesive group at the same time. I grew up in a Midwestern city with a history of racial segregation in housing and schools. The African-american community there had a proud history of developing a strong and supportive community within those segregated areas. As time went on and segregation ended, it was a mixed blessing as the wider city integrated but the sense of community was lost.

I find this to be a good thing in a way. It means we're being accepted more in the way where we don't have to find comfort in only our districts and that straight people are comfortable enough to move into them.

Anytime you hear the term Gayborhood it is out of the mouth of a true old, moderate to low income QUEEN! As only sorry gay trash ever use such a term. Goes alongside that whole Gay Pride crowd with its low rent circle.

It's impossible to take the comments of some anonymous troll who is just so sick and pathetic that he won't even leave his first name. Grow up jerkoff. Sprew your hatred somewhere else. 

This is old news. The South End in Boston used to be wall to wall gays. A lot of groups were moaning about us "ghettoizing" ourselves. Then gay marriage became legal, couples got married, adopted kids and moved to the suburbs. We're supposedly "assimilated" now. Now those same groups are bitching because we're NOT living together! You can't win. As a 52 year old gay man I miss the gayborhoods. It was comforting to know that you could go to a place where everyone was gay, everyone knew and there was no problem. Like it or not homophobia will always exist no matter how much people think we're accepted. The gay bars in Boston have either closed down or become very mixed. It's not fun anymore...just depressing. Sadly gayborhodds are disappearing and I don't think that's good.

I am older and set in my ways. I prefer the reassurance of knowing that everyone around me is GLBT. Still paranoid after all these years. If I were a 20 year old, yes, integrated hoods would be cool. But at 50 and still insecure, I need the extra support from a mostly GLBT hood. It's hard to just give up the old fears simply because the World is changing so rapidly regarding GLBT rights. It is so bad that I am still mostly closeted, even when passing by GLBT hoods. Unfortunately, I do not live in one :(

Damon did you really think Silverlake was going to stay like that forever? Get real! Nothing stays the same. 

Time marches on. It waits for no one. Change is inevitable. Change is ALWAYS good. Who wants everything to stay the same? Get used to it, and go with the flow!

Armand you are right.

Isn't it just that we are now being integrated more into the rest of society, there seems to be less and less need to be segregated like this. I think it's just a positive sign of the times. We don't need big bright beacons anymore, we are all becoming one coherent society, however, that also has it's scary side, we are becoming all the same... boring alert!

My entire Silverlake neighborhood has been horribly invaded by straight, wealthy, arrogant Anglo WASP 20 to 30-something middle-Americans. I fought it wildly the first two years, with very little help from my fellow gays. Silverlake, just east of Hollywood, was a lower income paradise for 50 years. Mostly gay, with a few goths, punks, starving artists, elderly and lots of great Latino families, all getting along beautifully (we even had an annual street fest to celebrate our acceptance of one another). When the recession hit, the vile straight hipster bearded trust fund yuppie-offspring  Aryans came in and completely took over (around 2010). Apparently all those glorious decades gays and Latinos only rented, not bought. These Yuppies...they came in and bought. And bought.  Rent went from $500 to $2000 over night. BABIES, BABIES and more babies and their obnoxiously pregnant Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Anniston looking mothers swarmed in, with their incredibly self-entitled boyfriends/husbands. The adorable elderly, were the first to get thrown out. Latinos followed shortly thereafter. All gay places were gutted in quick succession, so they left soon after (completely shell shocked). There are two scary gay dive bars left here ( apparently they owned, not rented). Everyone scattered and we will never be together again. I cannot forgive that. And Weho now looks  like a bad episode of Sex and the City or the Kardashians. The gays have demoted themselves (willingly) as "funny gay sidekicks" who a bunch of dim witted Barbie girls (who will of course get knocked up and abandon them soon enough). Gay people all going back underground now, becoming invisible. This is NOT a "coming together" as gays like to comfort themselves into believing. Our gay ancestors would cringe with horror if they saw this. It is an invasion. As straight sports bars and baby shoe stores gut your bars and meeting places and restaurants, you LOSE. I have rent control so I am stuck here now (and miserable, and bored). I moved here to get AWAY from flip flops, pregnant bellies and straight boring middle America. Now it's back to haunt me.

Yes, you sound like a very warm and welcoming person. I can't believe all your friends moved away from you.

If live in San Francisco.  This is not happening in the Castro.  The operative term here is "suggests."  Get your facts straight by adding up the numbers.  The only neighborhood that fell to straights is called the Polk Gulch.  That's because most gays who lived there died of AIDS.  The rest moved to the Castro.  

You must be out of touch. No one retires to Ft. Lauderdale anymore. It's a crime-ridden, gang invested, dirty dump of a violent city. People with any means are retiring north of Palm Beach County. 

Fort Lauderdale is still nice. They have cops, you know. You need to stop staying in really cheap motels when you come to visit. You will see what Fort Lauderdale isn't the way you think.

Are you kidding me! I own a home in Fort Lauderdale and find it a great and safe place to live.

Gays have always moved to the ghetto-then revived the neighborhood and increased property values. Then sell to dinks  and yuppies and retire to Palm Springs or Fort Lauderdale.

Gays wanted acceptance. So, in the past 10 years many moved to the suburbs, get married, have children and "blend" in with other gay and hetero families. But that's not good enough. Now they're crying about the demise of their "gayborhoods" You can't win with the gays. And you can never make them happy. They'll always find something to whine about. 

Look everyone! Another little bitch trying to bash us. Even better he's such a pussy he won't even use his name. 

Who reads Instinct? Gay or straight people? Just wondering

We fought and are still fighting for LGBT rights, and have made leaps and bounds.  The newer generations already have gay or LGBT friends, and it's 'ok' for them, thus the mixing of friends and genres are blending.  Soon, we will be as Europe, being gay will be a non-issue entirely.  It's inevitable. There will be no real need of exclusive bars (except sexual venues), as they will be completely mixed, as so many neighborhoods and gayborhoods are becoming.

I love how the new generation is generally more laid back than my generation of 50 year olds. I am learning to ignore dumb comments like "it's unnatural" and "the Bible says" or "it's against God". Small minds clinging to dictated rules to spare them from doing any thinking. Just follow - actually, just CLAIM to follow - and let your brain rot. And be a perfect hypocrite in the meantime. Ugh

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