LGBTQ people are branching out, according to a new study.
Sociologist Amin Ghaziani, of the University of British Columbia, has released new research saying that LGBTQ people are moving out of cities’ gayborhoods. Instead, they are choosing “cultural archipelagos.” In fact, only 12 percent of LGBTQ adults live in a gayborhood. Meanwhile 72 percent have never lived in one.
Ghaziani released this data in the City & Community Journal on Thursday as the lead essay in a collection of work studying location patterns of LGBTQ people. Ghaziani got these results by looking at data from the 2010 U.S. census. He then tracked location patterns for lesbian, transgender people, same-sex couples with children, and LGBTQ people of color.
More findings from this data analysis were that lesbian couples were more drawn to rural settings than gay male ones. In addition, these lesbians couples tend to live in areas with a lower median housing price than their male peers.
In addition, LGBTQ people of color have started to congregate in Chicago and the outer boroughs of New York. Ghaziani believes areas like “Chocolate Chelsea” and “Hell’s Cocina” exist because they’re alternatives to traditional gayborhoods that are predominately white.
"LGBTQ Americans are an incredibly diverse group of people. Why wouldn't we expect that diversity to express itself in the places they live and call home as well?" said Amin Ghaziani in his reflection of the data.
With many gay spaces such as Grand Central Nightclub closing, many are wondering if gayborhoods are in danger. But, Ghaziani states that we’re not so much losing gay neighborhoods as we are spreading out into gay pockets in city and suburban areas.
"We talk so much about the decline of the gayborhood," said Ghaziani. "These areas are undoubtedly changing, but if we over-emphasize loss then we will not see the dynamic new developments that are taking place. We need to broaden our view beyond the gayborhood."
While Ghaziani creates an interesting argument, influential factors like salary wages and gentrification are only hinted at with his research essay and not explored. As such, his research is better used as precedent for further study down the road.
If you want to read the full journal entry, including Amin Ghaziani’s essay and other collection data about the shifting locations of LGBTQ people, you can click the link here.