On The Escalating Demise Of Gayborhoods

The Guardian today examines a topic that has long been discussed here on JMG. They write:

While in Britain the waning of gay-identified neighbourhoods is largely confined to London, outside the UK it is a phenomenon that is being played out across many western cities. Americans have been debating the rapid departure of gay businesses and homes in areas in New York, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, among many other cities. In Europe, something similar is happening in Paris’ Marais, Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg and Munich’s Glockenbachviertel. Many locals have mobilised to protect their communities’ meeting points, but amid the fightbacks and general hand-wringing there’s also a sense of confusion.

On the one hand, there’s a conviction that LGBT-friendly areas and businesses deserve protection. On the other, there’s awareness that the people who frequent them (gay men in particular) have a reputation as the shock troops of gentrification. Affluent and unhampered by children – or so the myth goes – this group is always in the incoming vanguard of gentrifying areas, pricing out long-term locals and leaving behind a trail of look-but-don’t-touch furniture shops and overpriced coffee.

So are urban gay people who are watching their institutions and neighbourhoods disappear merely reaping what they sowed? Or is the automatic association of LGBT people with gentrification flawed? Even if incoming LGBT populations have sometimes proved to be the thin end of a pretty thick wedge of gentrification, it’s important to remember that they often make their choices for different reasons than straight neighbours. Their choice of where to live is not limited by money alone.

There’s much more at the link, including a discussion of creative class and its role in pioneering gayborhoods.

  • JoeMyGod

    Before I moved to the Upper East Side, I lived in gayborhoods for much of my adult life. Victoria Park, the Castro, the West Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen. I miss it often.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Why did you move, Joe?

      • JoeMyGod

        Believe it or not, my neck of the UES was and remains cheaper than the gayborhoods of Manhattan. There’s virtually zero gay life up here and if I were ten years younger that would have been a deal breaker for me.

        • Octavio

          So, you’re like . . . 28?

  • pickypecker
  • well, we homos take over undesirable neighbourhoods, make them safe and interesting and thriving, and then yuppies with strollers come in, our bars shut, condos go up and we move on.

    i was bartending in London England in the first half of 2008 – and the “weights and measures” guys came by to test us, a LOT. why? they wanted to close the gay bars. why? because LAND. they’d rather an office, or a condo. many gay bars shuttered in london in the last 5 years in Soho.

    toronto is no different. new young and gay? don’t think about living in the village, it’s too expensive, it’s all condos. we’ve seen our establishments fold, our denizens move out and more yuppies come in with their Condo Money. meanwhile, the city puts up big rainbow “welcome to the gay village!” poles and signage – well, those signs are more gay than the current strip. just this year, more than a dozen businesses folded on toronto’s Church Street. one space has been vacant for three years, and now it’s gonna be a bank. yay. a bank.

    the gays of toronto, the non-moneyed ones at least, are going to the west end, Queering spaces and building new little enclaves.

    i like having Villages. they’re important. they’re vital. but rather than see them die, it’d be nice to see what we’ve had happen in NYC with many many gay villages popping up and being cultivated.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      “well, we homos take over undesirable neighbourhoods, make them safe and
      interesting and thriving, and then yuppies with strollers come in, our
      bars shut, condos go up and we move on.”

      Great analysis, Little Kiwi! This is what happens here, too! You nailed it

      • i visited a resto-bar i used to work in recently, and woman complained that the music being played wasn’t “appropriate” for her kids (“you sexy motherfucker” by prince). the establishment, brilliantly, said “well, it’s a friday night and this isn’t a restaurant for kids”

        • Octavio

          Resto-Bar? I’ve only heard that term used in Argentina and no one has ever been able to satisfactorily explain what it is. All resto-bars seem to be nothing small cafes that serve beer and mixed drinks. So, the idea comes from the UK and Canada?

          • David L. Caster

            I was wondering how such a thing differed from a gastropub.

          • no idea where it comes from, lol. combination restaurant and cocktail bar/lounge.

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            Resto-bars have existed in Montreal since the 60’s. I LOVE them. Intimate and very much not the norm for the family set.

          • Octavio

            Interesting to know. About every other business in Buenos Aires is a Resto-Bar. Something I initially found odd, since Argentina was supposedly a Spanish-speaking country. Of course, I’ve since learned the place is much weirder than just that curiosity of all the mini-pubs labeled in English.

          • Essus

            Oh yes. I can remember spending many hours before going home to get changed for the clubs (never arrive before 11pm), sitting at one of many resto-bars in Montreal drinking and eating with people dropping by for a bit of chat and a beer and then off to other things (work,suburbs or other groups). There is nothing quite like that where I live now – out west.

        • John T

          I’ve never heard the word “resto-bar” before (in my city all bars are required to have a food menu, and some of them have pretty decent kitchens). But there is a place that calls itself a “dinerant” and that just makes me cringe.

        • Piet

          Good for them!

      • John P.

        In Boston too. I don’t know how to prevent or change it. The old neighborhood (i’m thinking South End) just became too pricey after we made it all pretty. The bars suffered from this & the arrival of the internet.

      • John Masters

        Happened in Tampa too. The Hyde Park area first, and then Ybor…most of the local restaurants and shops get moved out for chains and Starbucks and Barnes and Noble. We used to have a great gay bookstore (and no, I’m not talking about that kind…we had plenty of those too, but in a different part of town), a coffee shop, restaurants…Just all knocked out. I loved the couple of times I’ve lived in or on the edges of gayborhoods, and could walk to pleasant places for a meal, a drink, or a good read.

        • Phillip in L.A.

          Yes, there was a great Lambda Rising bookstore (or w/e–the same one that’s in SF) in WeHo for many years–but it closed in the 90s

    • CanuckDon

      Much of the discussion around our gaybourhoods seem to leave out that important fact that not only did we occupy undesirable areas, we did so mostly because of affordability and not solely because of a feeling that we weren’t wanted in other areas. Lower incomes didn’t discourage us from creating businesses and quite interestingly, it was those entrepreneurial spirits who really did help form our communities. Those with wealth couldn’t be bothered humbling themselves into undesired districts. They had their privileges and advantages in life. It is becoming more than obvious that LGBT community was driven by the less advantaged.

      • yes yes yes!

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        Agreed. Before I entered my careered life, as I call it, I was a budding painter and sculptor. I lived just south of Isabella off Church in Toronto in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Back then, rent was cheap, bars were dives (in the best possible way) and the people were anything but assimilationists. The less advantaged will always seek to beautify there own little corner and, by doing so, reap a garden of incredible beauty…..such is the way of the rainbow tribe. I sometimes long for the days of simpler gaydom……good memories.

        • the old days of colby’s and boots. i used to sit at Statler’s when i was a 19 year old twink, and george hislop would tell me stories about how the bars used to have no front windows – bricked up. doors bolted. and you had to enter the bars through the alley around the back.
          blew my teenage mind. thank you guys, for making the village a place i could come to in high school, before i could drink legally, so i could be around other homos and figure my shit out. it helped 😀

          • Strepsi

            Do you think this is all about housing and income, or do you think this also has to do with the fact that, back in the day, gayborhoods were the ONLY place to meet other gay men for any reason, from friendship to sex?

            I spoke to a young 20something gay guy recently and he said he never goes to the village. Where does he meet other out gay guys his age? Online, and everywhere in the city.

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            Have to agree, the greatest threat to gaybourhoods has been social media/hook up apps. Why bother going out when you can just swipe right and wait for the knock on the door. Flirting, cruising, whatever you want to call it, is slowly becoming a thing of the past and that’s rather unfortunate. Human interaction like cruising/flirting is part of what makes us social creatures……it’s sad to see it being replaced by cold stats, dick pics and the like. Yeah I’m old, so what. 🙂

          • how about gays who use the apps to meet up, and then meet up in a gay place? “wanna get some gay-ass drinks and food with me? TO THE VILLAGE!”

          • ElJiffy

            They’d better hurry and meet up, before the only gay place to meet up in is a Citibank.

          • Steve Teeter

            I believe it’s also what’s been destroying the bathhouses, those that were left.

            Do you remember the comic “Wendel” that used to run in The Advocate in the 80s? (If you do or you don’t, it’s out in book form and worth it.) In one early strip, Wendel’s lover Ollie is taken by his old friend Sterno back to the Bueno Boner Baths, over Ollie’s protests. (“I’m not sure I trust myself in this environment, Sterno”) Sterno says, “Relax! We won’t exchange any fluids your mother wouldn’t exchange. And we can’t let a grand old gay tradition like this just slip through our fingers!”

            I think it’s just slipped through our fingers.

          • Octavio

            Take heart, we have at least three gay tubs in Vegas (real ones, something Vegas never really had in the 70s) and several “spas.”

          • Chris Baker

            I was at entourage and Hawks. What’s the third ?

          • Octavio

            Imperial Health Spa. They give full body massages with happy endings and have a coed towel-optional sauna. Women are welcome (permitted), but few ever venture there. 🙂

          • sfbob

            I remember Wendel; in fact I used to know Howard Cruse, the guy who drew it. His partner Eddie and I were volunteers at New York’s Gay Switchboard back in the days when there was no internet. We also were practically neighbors in Jackson Heights. Cruse doesn’t seem to be very active anymore, which is kind of sad. He was and is a very talented artist and a very nice guy as well. If you want to know why there’s now such a heavy gay presence in the comix scene, it’s due in no small part to Howie’s work.

          • You hint at something that makes me severely disappointed in much of the current crop of my children… it seems the more the social media apps take over, and the poorer real socialization skills become, there comes a greater level of shallowness, entitlement, and delusions of self-importance. Not just amongst the LGBT community either – I see it staining all segments and across a wide swath of ages. I can’t make up my mind if it makes me more sad for our future communities, or more angry at those who allowed themselves to be swallowed up in a millimeters-deep swamp.

          • Brian Burleson

            Thank you, thank you!

          • JW Swift

            I also see a significant overlap in the attitudes expressed (poor socialization skills, shallowness, sense of entitlement, lack of empathy for others, etc.) and the whole Trump-supporting crowd, and I don’t necessarily think that it’s a coincidence.

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            So true. We’re losing the human component of intimate interaction among people. As you say, it stains all segments and, I suspect, will leave us lesser beings for it.

          • online helps – and i love me some sites and apps. i use both a lot. but it’s also just about socializing – i find straight culture duller than dishwater. if i’m going out to drink or dance, i wanna be with my brothers. people that speak the same shorthand, and can communicate in so many ways with a glance or a smile.
            housing and income are the biggest factors, for sure. it’s easy to “not care about a place” you can’t afford to be around, IE, “i don’t want what i haven;t got”

            i mean, i’ve made incredible platonic (or otherwise 😉 ) friends from Grindr and sites like dudesnude, of all things. but the bars also make for fun interactions, even if it’s just brief conversations. my first crew of gay buddies i made from frequenting the same dance club every saturday. the regulars all got to know each other. and it was rad.
            online means you can connect from wherever, but it also gives folks an outlet, weirdly, to not check their own internalized homophobia. a lot of younger folks reject ‘villages’ because they’re determined to “not be like those gays who need to hang out with other gays”, and i think the well-adjusted reader will know that what smacks of.

          • djfinance

            I think it’s a little of both. I’m 46 and my gay friends in their 20’s have mostly straight friends and don’t necessarily hang out at gay bars or restaurants. They feel completely comfortable being themselves in most straight venues and surroundings. That’s what we’ve been fighting for, right?

            On the other hand, I miss my “tribe” if I’m away from them for too long. If there’s not enough business from our own community, the clubs/bars/unique venues in many cities will close.

            At least here in DC, I don’t see that happening. In fact, another new GLBTQ bar just opened last year and the others still have a brisk business. Any drop in frequency by the gays seems to be offset by the straight girls patronizing our places.

          • Traxley Launderette

            This is what I see, also.

            The millenials I know have a wide circle of friends, and a wide variety of options. They feel comfortable nearly anyplace. They use social media to stay in contact with friends all over the city, state, country, and globe. But they also hang out as much in person with their local friends. They’re fine with being a part of their total community, they’re out there among the rest of the populace doing what they please, and accepted in doing so just like anyone else. I have absolutely no problem with them taking part in an era of expanding inclusiveness — it’s something I’m proud to witness after all these years of habitually looking over my shoulder. Things are moving.

          • Pete

            Although this is true, who wants straight girls flooding into gay bars because it is cute for a bachelorette party? Also, Dupont circle was the epicenter of DC gaydom for decades. About a dozen bars and a greater number of restaurants, gay boutiques, and the famous Lambda Rising bookstore all are gone. Gone, not moved replaced. Stand on the straight for half an hour, and you would never call Dupont gay anymore. The residuals are still on 17th Street. But farewell to all the dance clubs, dives, and neighborhood spots of yesteryear in Dupont.

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            I LOVED Boots! and, of course, the Shelby 😉 so convenient LOL Komrads was also a fun spot to hit back in the day, especially when you wanted to dance the night away. Sigh…..all these memories come flooding back.

          • and now we’re losing Zippers to condo developers! i love dancing on retro nights there! it’s so cute!

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            Yeah, I heard it was going. Such a sad thing to see. It’s all about who can build the biggest eyesore…..because Toronto really needs another Condo building.

          • right? each condo goes up makes me think “you’re gonna be a place where people buy crack in 15 years”

          • douglas

            And Chaps. And Katrinas. And the Manatee. And Stages on sunday nights. Sigh.

          • Strepsi

            Even in the 90’s the only gay bar on Granville in Vancouver had a locked front and you had to enter thru the back door (heh heh)

          • Prixator

            Very late here but – Colby’s and Boots – so many fun memories.

            Both venues have been turned into condos! So many bars that I had so much fun in have been replaced by condos, or soon will be.

            I once thought that I was unlucky to have come out only months before the plague was identified in the U.S. But, I had the greatest times throughout the 80’s and early 90’s (while staying healthy), so I have some great memories.

            I bought a house in 1999 in a sketchy area in east downtown and soon found that there were many other gay people in the neighbourhood.

            But, it’s being “developed” for several years now and I appreciate the increase in my property value (not the increase in my property taxes), but I am very weary of the almost constant construction and the noise and dirt associated with it.

      • Duane Dimitrov

        Your unnecessary use of the “u” in “gayborhood” is charming! I’m all a-BOOT that, eh?!

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      So true about the T-Dot. Queen West and King West queering rather nicely. I also like the fact that there seems to be some movement towards Roncesvalles Village as well. Gaybourhoods are a necessity, not just for young queers but for the rest of us as well. An Oasis in a desert of heteronormative society not a bad thing.

      • EXACTLY, brother. some times, after a long day of dealing with a culture of Basics, i just want to chill out with people who speak my same dialect.

        the west end scenes are exciting and new ( if only it was easier to GET THERE!)

        i’ll just say it, since i know it’ll be unpopular – i find “straight culture” boring. BORING. and when i’m having a night off of fun, i wanna be with my brothers.

        • Strepsi
          • That_Looks_Delicious

            I had friend in high school who was like a teenaged version of Charles Nelson Reilly. People used to call him that.

        • CanuckDon

          There was a definite reason why our bars were much much more distinctive and thrilling. I will never accept anyone’s argument that they aren’t needed because we can go anywhere now. I don’t want to go just anywhere!

          • EXACTLY! “Look! we’re more accepted! now we can go hang out with those boring basic people in dull places that are criminally uninteresting!”
            Blanche, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO?! LOL

          • Friday

            Nah, seriously, I love you guys but ‘gay culture’ does tend to bore me before long. I like homey Irish places with smart and silly people and neighborhood places that are hit or miss about music or dusting off the eyeliner and going to Goth nights to dance and smirk at the kids or listen to old people’s stories or places with uneven pool tables where I can hear more than I ever wanted to know about snowmachines for that matter. (Well, I am a bit of a motorhead after all, so that’s really not that boring,)

            Admittedly I often go to (Or did so when I got out more on my own) places where people find *me* ‘interesting’ but it’s taking interest in others that’s entertaining. (Admittedly here in the South a lot of pubs smart people might gravitate to are a bit dismally-non-social much of the time, but there may be gentrification in that, too. )

          • Kevin-in-Honolulu

            I completely agree with you – gay culture is pretty boring. I left a 15 year residency in San Francisco in the late ’80’s to move to Hawaii, where I’ve been for 25 years. I like diversity.

          • Duane Dimitrov

            Kiwi.

            Imma take you to a Chili’s on a Thursday night in some nondescript exurb! We’ll call it “date night.” Loads of FUNNNNNNNN.

            And poorly-made margaritas.

            Sound like a plan?

          • let’s go to a tragically dull sports bar! cheer on a team we’ve never heard of in a room that smells like people who gave up! YAY LIBERATION!

          • Duane Dimitrov

            It’ll be named something like “TJ McTouchdown’s,” and have a poorly-executed Irish theme.

        • Mark Lewis

          Ditto.

    • bambinoitaliano

      As society is more acceptance of the gays, they do not see the need to live in a “protective” area. They can thrive in any neighbourhood of the city. This is very much the case for Toronto. The gay village is only a symbol of it’s past. Even gay bars in the area is few and far in between. The internet and social media have replace the need of a physical location. Outside of a yearly Pride event, only those older generation remains and congregate at the Second Cups or the StarBucks. It’s the progressive result of LBGT hard fought rights from yesteryear.

      • Friday

        There’s also the minor factor that as there is greater acceptance in *general,* but even more insanely-radicalized haters, there’s a bit of a wrinkle here in that living in a ‘gay area’ can mean that’s where the rednecks come when they’ve got some queerbashing in mind. In my neighborhood in the South, their buzz would wear off or they’d pass out before they found one. 🙂

        • bambinoitaliano

          In Toronto at least the downtown area, the police has a very close relationship with the LBGT community. We have frequent policing in and around the village. A total 180 degree turn compare to the 80’s.

      • Traxley Launderette

        Exactly.

        You can live almost wherever you want to, almost anywhere you want to. Whatever you choose.

        It’s progress.

    • Duane Dimitrov

      Kiwi, when the strollers come in, the gays hit the exits.

      Kind of like how you have a female friend, then she has a baby. Then her Facebook feed is CONSTANT PICTURES OF SAID BABY and other assorted “Mommy Talk.”

      Then, poof!, she’s no longer your friend one day.

      FYI: Seattle is the same way. No one I know lives on Capitol Hill any longer. Too expensive. Too many White Dude Programmers and Asian Girlfriends. Too many–yes–strollers.

      Once the gayborhood morphs into Strollerville, it’s all over.

      • Yes! I loved living on First Hill and walking down Broadway in the ’80s – the street was the entertainment. The diversity was wonderful, then all of the straights found out that the gay bars/discos were the most fun place to go – then the straights looked around and said ” ick, look at all the gays in our clubs” – sigh

        • Duane Dimitrov

          Capitol Hill is still happening. Especially Pike/Pine.

          That said, the “gayborhood” is, without doubt, dead. We’ve spread across the city, and that’s that.

  • Joseph Miceli

    I miss Wilton Mannors in Fort Lauderdale. Alas, they are priced WAY out of my range now. I used to live in Wilton Towers, right behind the Dairy Queen and my rent was 600.00 a month. From what I understand, my 700 square foot apartment with the paper thin walls is now a “luxury condo/apartment” renting for 1300 a month.

    • chasmader

      I used to live in Wilton Manors, back in the late 90s. Right after I moved in, I was out walking my dog one evening. A straight guy (in a bubba sort of way) came up to me and said “My wife and I really want to thank you Gays. Before you started moving here, this town was a shithole and you’ve tripled our property values”. True Story.

      • Joseph Miceli

        Yep. Mayberry by the sea.

    • Jonathan

      Wilton Towers has the nickname of “Stack of Fags”

      • Joseph Miceli

        Hey, it was hella fun when I lived there. Call it what you will.

    • JW Swift

      I was in WM until my breakup a couple of years ago, and did enjoy being (almost) close enough to walk to Wilton Drive and the bars and what-not Couldn’t afford anything close-in or any place that wasn’t a shithole within the city on my own, though and had to move another mile-and-a-half north to Oakland Park to find something I could afford. It does make me feel a lot more disconnected (plus, the neighborhood is not nearly as nice, either.) (sigh!)

      • Joseph Miceli

        One doesn’t realize the pressure one is under until it is removed. Not once during my time in the gay ghetto did I worry if I was “acting too gay.” I can’t say that now. I don’t mean that I alter my behavior. I mean that …somewhere in the back of my head…. there is a governor that checks my gayness for ‘acceptability.’ This is something straights will NEVER understand.

        • JW Swift

          You are preaching to the choir. Similarly I remember the first time going to Gay Days at Disney World after having been there many times with family while growing-up. It was SUCH a weird/wonderful experience being in a familiar place but yet so different because I felt safe and surrounded by my “tribe”.

          As for “acceptance” in straight bars and other places, yeah, it’s nice, but still too difficult to truly feel comfortable in those places for me. It’s always at the back of my mind that I can’t act like I’m giving anyone too much attention or give anyone the impression that I might be flirting with them or anything. Can’t get myself to believe that a possibly straight guy would be OK with attention from another guy. So I still prefer going to a truly “gay” bar or restaurant whenever possible, and still feel more “free” and able to breathe a bit easier when wandering in the gayborhood vs. other parts of the city.

          • Joseph Miceli

            Yeah, I wonder if the assimilation that seems to be the price of acceptance is going to be worth it. Will we ever get to the point where we feel as comfortable in the “straight world” as we do/did in the gay ghettos? I hope so but I don’t think so.

          • JW Swift

            In the more metropolitan (read: accepting) areas, it almost seems to be that way. My brother’s oldest son came out a few months ago, has become active in his school’s Gay-Straight-Alliance group, and is openly dating other guys. His drama is more about learning the ropes of dating and things like not falling too hard, too fast, vs. worrying about bullies or acceptance. (They are, however, in quasi-rural central Florida, and I think there HAVE been a few incidents, but a lot closer to it being a non-issue than I would ever have expected in my lifetime.)

  • hiker_sf

    Because we are now so widely accepted, gaybourhoods are a thing of the past.

    • false and false.

      • hiker_sf

        Care to explain?

        We are not widely accepted?

        Gaybourhoods are not a thing of the past?

        • i can easily explain. who are you, and where were you born? i was born and raised in toronto. and even here, in this apparent liberal bastion of progressiveness, we still have anti-gay people. just last year, the “gayborhood” rallied to help a young teen kicked out of his house by his family. how did they do it? they employed him. in a gay coffeeshop. he could make rent. he rented an apt. the call went out that a little brother needed help, and the village answered. that’s one of many. i can give more if you need more.

          we’re not widely accepted. we’re accepted in pockets. many kids from smaller towns still flee to the city. and what do they need? to get to the village, so they can feel safe around their brothers, and get used to being Out. first on a few “safe” blocks, and then the city. some of our queer brothers and sisters are more “visibly different” than others, and only feel safe in their villages, for good reason.

          they’re not a thing of the past. and they never will be. after a long day of work, sometimes you wanna just go hang out with your brothers, where everyone speaks the same shorthand. and it’s a good thing. it’s not “divisive” – I’m around (awesome) heteros all day. and they’re great. but social time? hi, i wanna be with Family.

          • Well you’re wrong about NYC – the only really gay neighborhood left is Hell’s Kitchen and that’s quickly dying. People live where they can afford to live not necessarily where they feel safest, or is the most fun.

          • i lived in williamsburg from 2009-2011. it was homo-rific.

          • I lived there in from 99-06 and a lot of homos but hardly a gayborhood. Gays are living all over the place but that does not make little gayborhoods everywhere.

          • see, that’s exactly what i think makes a gayborhood. a population of gays. living around each other.

          • Good for you. That’s not what it is though – it’s an area of a city that has a large concentration of gay homes and business owners that cater to and for gay clientelle (restaurants, bars, etc.); it is not just a few gay people living around each other. Those are just gay neighbors.

          • Octavio

            The Marmelade District in SLC. LOL!

          • In the 80s and 90s as a kid it was DuPont Circle in DC. I think it still is pretty gay there but it’s nothing like it was. A lot of younger people don’t understand the concept of a gayborhood or gay ghetto because there really isn’t anything like it anymore.

          • Octavio

            I was reminded of the Marmelade District as a gayborhood because so many queens (seriously, queens) moved into decaying late 1800 adobe homes melting back into the hillside and all of them were in a constant state of restoration or re restoration. Anyone wanting to put an awning on their front porch had to face the dreaded “hysterical council” that was originally organized to help maintain the historical tone and significance of the area. Those hysterical gurlz did and still do wield their might power so vehemently they actually force people out of the neighborhood just for painting their fence the wrong color. Design nazis, each and every one of them.

          • define a “few”. Williamsburg, you can’t throw a can of PBR without hitting a queer. it’s bliss 😀

          • More than Williamsburg has now or has ever had. If you only knew!

          • hiker_sf

            There will always be anti-gay bigots, just as there will always been racists and misogynists. But we are WAY more accepted now.

            I’m not saying that I want gay neighborhoods to fade away, but they certainly are.

          • but not for the reasons you gave. the reasons you gave, and you gave two, were both false. as i pointed out. you’re welcome.

          • hiker_sf

            You’re a bit defensive and are being a smarmy prick about this. Why the shade?

          • i’m actually articulating the specifics of why the two reasons you gave are patently false. you’re defensive as your reasons have been challenged, articulately. that’s not my problem.

          • hiker_sf

            You’ve provided no proof, only your opinion to ‘debate’ my opinion. Articulately? Only if we ignore your grammar.

          • oh, i get it. you’re one of those. best of luck in your remaining years!
            as i explained, the reasons villages are experiencing a “demise” in many cities has nothing to do with the two things you said.

          • what proof? girl, you can’t insist your opinion is to be taken seriously when you can’t even articulate it.

          • hiker_sf

            OK, I don’t argue with 12 year olds. Have a good day.

          • Duh-David

            “we’re not widely accepted. we’re accepted in pockets.”

            It’s all a matter of perspective. For example, the young believe we’re not drastically more accepted than we were in the nineties, while I realize how much more I am accepted than in the sixties. When you’re comfortable coming out to your co-workers, and your boss at the Gap says, “hey, I have a cousin you should meet,” then you don’t need to go to a gay bar to meet someone else gay. When you’re able to share a room with your beloved, on vacation in any inn, then you don’t need Key West. And when you’re comfortable living at age thirty with someone of the same gender, without the neighbors gossiping, then you don’t need a gayborhood. All of these “safe places” served a purpose in their time; they might no longer serve that need, but I miss them and I suspect much of my generation does as well.

          • Octavio

            Uh, I agree except for Key West. Key West is more than just a gay destination. There’s a unique history attached to the place beyond just it’s famous gay residents past or present. But otherwise, yeah. Pretty much spot on.

          • Duh-David

            True/True Unrelated. Key west is another place gays came in and gentrified an unpopular place and then sold to the stroller crowd. Next week will be my 25th year vacationing there.

          • you’re mistaking need and want, though.

            i’m as accepted as a homo could hope for – i came out when still a high school teen to parents whose first words about it were “so can we meet the guy you’re seeing?”
            but know what? i want gay spaces. if i’m drinking, which is rare, i wanna be around other homos. if i’m dancing, which is still rare, i wanna dance with other homos.
            because there’s more to being gay than partnering up with a cousin of a co-worker, its’ brotherhood. it’s camaraderie.

            i don’t “need” a gay village. i want one. so i hang out in them. because i find gay culture as interesting and encouraging of vivacity and creativity as i find straight culture dulls and discourages both.

            for me, being gay is not, and has never been, about finding one guy to partner up with. at all. it’s been about connecting with my brothers. and that’s why i love the villages. and that’s how i use them.

          • Duh-David

            YMMV, but I think much of gay culture is dying because you are atypical.

          • i think much of gay culture is becoming more like me because atypical folks like me are being much more visible.
            for me, as a gay man, it’s never been “i just need to find one guy and then i don’t need to be around other gays again”. quite the opposite. for me, it’s about always constantly meeting more of my brothers. and we’re a growing breed- we embrace a gay and/or queer identity. we’re visible, we’re vocal, and we have little to no intention to slink silently into a cozy B&B.

    • Bryan

      In SF, there’s also an influx of single and married tech employees making six figures and more which helps to inflate rent prices…

      • Piet

        But the Castro started going straight years ago. In the early 90s already, there were straight people complaining that the window displays were too graphic for their few toddlers. Now when I walk down the street it’s three-quarters babies and their caregivers.

        • Bryan

          Beware the double-wide strollers!
          At least the sidewalks were also widened.

        • Brian Burleson

          LOL. It’s so amusing that you opt for “caregivers” instead of parent. Yes Dorothy, we are in California. 😉

          • Piet

            Yes, very amusing. But, when the children are obviously Caucasian and the person pushing the stroller and loudly talking on the cell phone is Asian, it’s hard not to conclude there’s a nanny involved.

          • Brian Burleson

            Sort of my point. Privileged (m)asses.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Since I decided to move to Palm Springs last year, every tiime I came to PS for a weekend to check things out and prepare, I would run into 3 to 5 other gay men who had the exact same idea as me. There is still something extremely desirable for many of us about living in a place where we are the majority. I would even say that there is no other single feature of a zip code that could possibly make it more desirable.

      But that’s just me. I seem to be doing things in reverse of other people. I spent my 20s, 30s and 40s in overwhelmingly hetero places, and now, in my 50s, I want nothing more than to be surrounded by other gay people.

      • Octavio

        So, which has better coffee and ambience. Koffi or Coffee Bean and Tea House? Or Ignition Coffee? 🙂

        • That_Looks_Delicious

          I’m a Koffi-holic. I was just there this morning.

          • Octavio

            Thanks. Asking for a friend. We’ll be visiting him next week. 😀

      • hiker_sf

        If I ever have to leave my SF apartment, I will probably buy a place in Palm Springs. For me, the gay stuff is a plus, but I want a relaxed getaway from city life (I also own another place in a bustling city where I live about 5 months a year) for the winter months. I enjoy hiking and the desert, and I actually like that so much is built for older folks. There are a lot of amenities in and around Palm Springs too – restaurants, movies, gay life, etc. I just don’t know if I want to live within walking distance of downtown or go further out, where I can get more for my money.

        But even if Palm Springs wasn’t gay, I’d still be buying there.

      • Brian Burleson

        I am with you and on the way. We’re still arguing about condo vs single detached. Nice 1st world problem.

  • Phillip in L.A.

    “Or is the automatic association of LGBT people with gentrification flawed?”

    Yes–it is flawed. Real-estate developers (of whom a few are of course LGBT) fuel the main engines of gentrification here in Los Angeles.

    By the time an area is being “gentrified” most of the LGBT residents have moved already, either because they have been forced out by rents they cannot pay, or because they voluntarily moved to a “better” (for them) neighborhood

  • Octavio

    There is a group (actually, a couple of decent guys) who have set up a non-profit organization to develop a senior citizen retirement gayborhood in Las Vegas. But they have a bit of a problem. Most seniors coming here to retire have interests in restoring classic mid 20th Century Vegas homes (of which there are many). Or they come from high rent places like Manhattan and wallow in the lushness of owning a $500,000 new home with desert landscaping, pool with waterfall, room for all their dogs and three car garages wrapped in a Tuscan-Mexican fusion of stucco. Plus the selection of a beautiful late 1940 vintage ranch houses spreading across half-acre lots is substantial; especially if you have a penchant for single floor homes clad in weeping mortar that have kidney-shaped swimming pools. Enough room for a pony. So, no one really is turned on by the relatively new homes and condos the non-profit organization is fund-raising to acquire. And then there is the problem about a centralized gay area, in general. The gay bars are scattered hither and yon in Vegas proper. There’s a group, albeit a small one, that organizes weekly or bi-weekly meet ups at the various bars. Sometimes people show up to get a buzz on, but it’s just not as popular as it once was. Most of us just entertain at home. Why go out when you can enjoy cocktails by the pool?

    I am saddened by the waning of gayborhoods in large cities. But even when I lived in SF during the 70s I didn’t live in or near Twin Peaks or the Castro. I worked in those areas, but would never have considered living there.

    • hiker_sf

      I came to SF a little later, thinking that I would move to the Castro, but I didn’t like it. We lived on opposite sides of the same hill.

      • Jonathan

        I never wanted to live in the Castro. Too much meth and seemed a bit sad. n Just my take but it played out through the 90’s. More then half straight now, one of the most expensive hoods in SF now.

        • hiker_sf

          I was move to SF in 1979. As I was more ‘edgy’ than conformist, I really wanted to live in the Castro. But the general acceptance of overt racism and misogyny was disgusting. AIDS actually fixed most of that.

        • Bryan

          My first apartment was with straight roommates (go figure) smack dab in the middle of the Castro.
          It was a great intro to things, but anymore, it just has all the appeal of an outdoor mall…

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Great comment, Octavio, thx!

      I have lived in West Hollywood for short stretches, but it was just “too gay” for me (just a personal predilection)–at least on a 24/7/365 basis. Smaller doses are fine….

      • Octavio

        I almost moved to West lake. Nope. Couldn’t do it.

  • bkmn

    To a degree I see it as an extension of income inequality. Teh gehz move into a poorer area, fix it up and then people with a hell of a lot more money move in and the area is no longer affordable.

    • Friday

      Yeah, …it’s also really not limited to LGBT neighborhoods: anyplace artists or musicians or most subculture types end up collecting tends to raise its own property values to the extent the people that make the places what they are just can’t afford to be there anymore, …there’s also just the plain old lack of livable cities and overall high cost of living for everyone. Even this town’s music scene isn’t what it used to be and there’s no real particular logical place for it to reestablish. (It doesn’t help that in this state the tax laws are such that it benefits developers to keep their rents in town too high, because they can write off that inflated figure against their profits from other properties, so they just keep developing things and moving on, not caring that so many of the businesses fail, especially those competing for the limited number of affluent customers it takes.

  • meh. any ethnic group will tell you: the trick is the comeback. do it right and it’s forever.

    here in the Rust Belt, we’ve seen examples of how to make a themed neighborhood (usually urban) into a bit of a theme park tourist oriented “old time” strip/hood/downtown, whatever. the really famous gayborhoods will come back or not die at all, even as those of us who were “there” will remember them differently than the way they will be recreated.

    for short time gayborhoods will die off. but the Strong will survive. there will always be some of us who choose these types of places, not wanting to integrate with str8 culture in our residences. black and ‘white’ ethnic people choose to live in areas near where i live today. even tho the legal and social restrictions preventing them from moving are long gone. when integration into “regular” neighborhoods seems less attached to the victory dance and perhaps not a good choice for everyone, you’ll see gayborhoods making a comeback.

    • adding: places in the country are many, who have yet to even fully experience a gayborhood. that will be part of their evolution. the flip side of this coin (death of famous or established gayborhoods) is that fewer gays will feel the ‘need’ to move to an established one, and will instead create them locally, in places that never had them. again, you see this all over the Rust Belt. the kids feel less pressured to Go to the Big City.

  • Clungeflaps

    A lot of this can be blamed on techies, who are desperate to be perceived as hip and ‘with it’. They’ve ruined most of the Bay Area, so they can go on ‘urban safari’, and in the process they’ve destroyed all of the culture and diversity here. SF might as well be Omaha now.

    • Octavio

      So move to Portland.

      • Clungeflaps

        Absolutely not, SF will always be better than Portland and Seattle. I lived in Seattle for 4 years before here, and I moved here because Northwesterners utterly hate Californians. Anything that elicits that much hate in Seattlites has to be very good.

        • Joe Roberts

          Dear heavens, you’re annoying.

          • Clungeflaps

            I’m still right though (looks like we have a salty Seattleite here).

          • Octavio

            Only in your own little universe. You don’t have many friends, do you.

          • Clungeflaps

            fine, you try living up there, see how long it takes before you are gagging to live anywhere else.

          • Ray Taylor

            Seattle is a bit strange in that people tend to stay within their own group. If you are not in with them, you are out unless someone “takes you in”. It all come from the 50’s, 60s when bars were regularly raided and Strict liquor laws: Must be seated, cant move your drink to walk around. Closed Sundays, etc. Portland was smaller but a lot more fun,

    • stevenj

      Omaha is a bit of a stretch to describe SF even with all the gentrification but I know what you mean. Last night, sitting in Zapata having a light meal with the husband before going around the corner to the Castro for a movie we observed 2 straight couples, 2 different families of gay dads and 2 gay couples eating. I mentioned to the husband that in 20 years (or less) the Castro would probably be mostly straight given the loss of a generation of gay men in the 80’s and 90’s, the increase in straight people and the stroller brigades in the early 2000’s and now the techies. Most of my oldest friends have already left the City and 2 more are moving this year – one to the Santa Rosa area where apparently a lot of SF gays have gone and the other to Santa Barbara to retire. When I first moved to SF in 1969 it was US that changed the city by adding to the cultural and social diversity and many of it’s institutions much to the chagrin of the local conservatives. Many of the newcomers don’t seem to care about much of anything here except that a phone is glued to their hand and a freeway (or shuttle bus) is nearby.

      • Ray Taylor

        I moved to SF in 65 after Kennedy was killed, I lived 1st near van Ness and Fell, Then moved into a big house full of gays near Filmore on Fell St. What parties we had. I moved to The Haight in 67 and moved again to the Castro because Hippies had taken over. My point is I moved to a more affordable area each time but still in the ghetto.
        I aslo lived in North Beach, back to the Filmore, Castro, North Beach until I left for Tacoma. Seems I was always moving. I forgot to mention Honolulu and Marin County. EDIT: and East Bay.

  • I’ve gone where my family moves, being apart from society meant never being allowed in any doors. By the time I hear of a place, it’s usually gone. I’ve met maybe a handful of the community, and they’re usually the ones who live alone on purpose. See, Mrs. Claxton from The Golden Girls.

  • Todd20036

    Dupont Circle in DC, while not as gay as it once was, is still a gay refuge where 2 men holding hands does not cause a stir and there are plenty of gay bars, couple of dance clubs, etc.

  • DumbHairyApe

    I live in a small Northern California town that was once home to many gay resorts and bars. Things have changed here and, though it still has a large LGBTQ community and more gay bars per capita than most larger towns, it is definitely on the wane. Many friends have relocated to drier, warmer climes or more urban settings. Still, I love it here in my gorilla compound nestled in the redwoods.

    • Jonathan

      Russian River/Guerneville?

      • Joe Roberts

        Mais oui.

      • Leo Tallant

        Rather that or Rio Nido or Monte Rio…
        Yes it’s VERY wet over in those places. Come move by us here in our little west county town. Still close enough to the river but it’s a tad drier here usually (but not today LOL).

        • Steve Teeter

          My mother used to live in Monte Rio. I went to visit her once, took a walk down the road, and came to the entrance of the Bohemian Grove. Intriguing, but I couldn’t get in, of course.

      • DumbHairyApe

        🙂

        • Octavio

          Never understood why Guerneville/Russian River was such an attraction when Bodega Bay was just down the road on the ocean. “Honey, I love you, but give me that ocean view!”

          • DumbHairyApe

            I know, right? Nice thing about Guerneville is it’s only about 20 minutes from the coast or 20 minutes to a larger city. So spending the afternoon or evening in Bodega Bay is easily done. As I see it, the BAD thing about Bodega Bay is the weather. You really have to have a windbreaker most of the year and, unless you enjoy winds and saltwater fog/spray, then island seems a bit more comfortable, at least for me.

            Guerneville is a-changing. We were once a sleepy town with a larger gay population due in large part to three very large gay resort/discos two of which were downtown. The burning of “The Woods Resort/Disco” at the entrance to Armstrong Woods State Park is what really started, I think, the decline of the area. It was really the best gay resort in town. I thinks it’s close proximity to SF gave the gays a place to get away for the weekend, dance all night long and snuggle in a tent or a cabin the next day.

            Winters here were stark and bleak. You could drive downtown twenty five years ago in winter and not see a single car or person on the street. That’s no longer the case. Sadly we have a Subway sandwich shop now and even a Starbucks inside our local Safeway. It seemed to me the semi-regular flooding would prohibit smart business owners from establishing a business downtown, but that issue seems to no longer be an issue. There are many high-end restaurants downtown that get very good reviews on Yelp and other sites now, and we even have a wine bar and a seafood oyster bar. At times I like it here, other times I wish for the old days.

            Best friends from the area have left a few years ago. Some went to far-away places, others just moved to a more convenient town located nearer work/society. Palm Springs seems to have drawn many away- probably serving as a contrast to the cool fog and drizzle the area can be prone to in the wintertime.

            If ever in town, look for me. I’m the Dumb Hairy Ape.

          • Octavio

            Good to know this stuff. A few years ago I returned to the USA in February on business only to find I couldn’t get into my ranch. The snow was too deep (for five miles). I lived in and out of cheap Nevada motels for a week, then said to hell with it and drove west to SF to stay with friends. One afternoon I decided to check on favorite old haunts north of the city, specificall Stinson Beach. I ended up in Guerneville and stayed at a resort motel/campground/brunch thingy on the south side of the road a mile or two east of town. The guy who had recently bought the place was a large guy with lots of pretty boys working for him. I was the only guest in the whole place and it was amusing to see them put out a continental breakfast when I was the only person around. I liked the area. And the motel guy kept trying to sell me on the idea of starting a gay bar in Santa Rosa. LOL!

            Watching him and his boyze work out their daily soap opera was a hoot. But Guerneville definitely had a nice charm to it. And lots of weed growing in the little back canyons. 🙂

          • Ray Taylor

            That was the time to be there.

          • 2karmanot

            Guerneville warm Bodega F’ing freezing

          • Octavio

            But I like the cold. 🙂

          • Ray Taylor

            Yea Argentina!

          • fuzzybits

            Yea,but all those birds. 😜

    • Ray Taylor

      Yes loved going to the River in the 70’s, early 80’s. Stayed at a good friends (RonW). His house was filled every weekend. Usually pitched a tent in his yard.

  • Cuberly

    I still think gayborhoods are destinations. Not convinced they’ll disappear altogether. But I do see different types of gentrification now. Where I live in Oakland diverse groups of people have moved into numerous areas, it’s very mixed. Just down the street the Temescal neighborhood was just a small village like community 12 years ago, now it’s packed with students, artists, LGBT singles and couples. Lots of trendy shops opening, but it’s stylishly low-key, which follows the budget-minded predominately young crowd that has moved in.

    I tend to see more people with more diversity in friends. A very welcome development if you ask me.

    • Clungeflaps

      Oakland’s been completely whitewashed by techies over the past 3-4 years, it’s too bad, it used to be an interesting, funky place.

      • Cuberly

        In my experience it depends on the neighborhood. West of downtown it’s become a mixed artist community. Heck Flaxx in SF is relocating there. But you’re right in that the Broadway corridor is more inviting to the white techies. Every time I drive down there I barely recognize it. More expensive condos, and that HUGE new Sprouts store being built.

        There’s areas along MLK towards Berkeley that are quite mixed as well.

        • Clungeflaps

          I’m glad that they are building the new Sprouts there…..one long term issue with Oakland is there’s a lot of food deserts. I wonder if West Oakland still doesn’t have a single grocery store…

          • Cuberly

            I recall talk about a low cost high quality food chain opening stores in various neighborhoods in both east and west Oakland. Trying to remember the name of the chain. But haven’t heard of any real development being done. Yet.

          • hiker_sf

            There is the Mandela Marketplace:

            http://www.mandelamarketplace.org/

        • TimCA

          Does anyone remember Cabel’s Reef on Telegraph near Grand? Back in the day it was a popular destination for black LGBTs.

        • Ray Taylor

          Unfortunately I lived in San Anselmo for a year. 1984.

        • Brian Burleson

          Have you checked out the Sprouts? ,Interesting marketing imo. They often beat Safeway prices. ,By no means is it Berkeley Bowl but it works for me.

    • Friday

      I’m kind of hoping a lot of people will drift back to cities, or that cities will become affordable for that, …it’s getting so there aren’t any old city squares or even town centers to get pushed out to, in a lot of places, it seems. The college city I live in doesn’t actually *have* like an adjoining mill town to get shoved into like Northampton did. 🙂 I do imagine that as long as there’s money for it there’ll be at least L,G, or LGBT singles bars or clubs, (Not why I go to pubs but friendly spots are fun once in a while, also nice cause I usually go when things are pretty quiet anyway rather than when it’s loud. Also a lot of ‘gay music’ at LGBT clubs is something that’s only fun for five or ten minutes to me most of the time.

      There isn’t even a gay bar in this town but at least there’s plenty of friendly places. I’ve definitely noticed the welcome development of acceptance in like Irish pubs and similar that I prefer anyway. Which in a lot of ways wasn’t hard cause I don’t go there to get picked up anyway, …but it’s nice not to have to worry about getting bashed for *not* being pickupable. 🙂

    • Brian Burleson

      That is great to hear about Otown. I’ve long thought that people tend to underestimate Oakland. Sure, it has its issues but I think that there really is a there there, contrary to the quote.

  • Eriq von Hagen

    This is not a particularly negative trend. Let’s face it: the hets may hate on the Evil Gays constantly, but they will pay through the nose to live in areas “cleared” by the gay shock troops. I’m involved right now in an area that everyone turned their delicate noses from 4 years ago. Those same noses are now sniffing around my stylish abode with renewed interest. Yes, I will make them pay.

    • lymis

      And when they do move in, the straight folks (often with kids) are the first to demand that the clubs and bars that brought the gays to the area in the first place get closed down, or noise-adjusted, or forced to conform to zoning laws that weren’t in effect when they were opened. And as more straight people move in, the demand for shops other than the gay-specific ones rises, forcing them out.

      • Strepsi

        Straight parents of young kids are entitled and AWFUL.

        • pj

          thats happened in boystown in chicago. the only thing we left behind are the bars because those guys smartened up and bought their properties. but the festivals we had in the neighborhood are now flooded with breeders and the fagage got tired of being stared at like monkeys in the zoo. ditto leather guys and drag queens. all have moved elsewhere. there really is no new boystown in chicago. we have mixed and mingled everywhere in the city. its cost us political power not to be in one place anymore.too.

      • Eriq von Hagen

        You don’t think I will stick around here, do ya? lol! We need to think in a new way (not the old brick and mortar way) to continue “community”.

      • MickinDetroit

        I get that but it is a bit flawed logically. It’s happening here in Detroit…gentrification that is….The gayborhood was destroyed in the 70s and 80s and what was left moved to the suburbs…. Anyway, there are stories weekly about a poor downtrodden business that “made it” through the bad times only to be squeezed out now. No one notes that business only survived as it did because there was no real oversight on codes or inspections or zoning or noise ordinances, and the rent was dirt cheap, and with no one around, no one cared if your patrons fucked in the alley or if you served booze after hours …etc.

  • Friday

    Frankly the same pattern has held for any ‘artsy’ or counter/subcultural area. People who can’t afford the already expensive areas move in, they become desireable places to be, the people forced there in the first place have to move on, prices escalate, they lose the character that made them desireable in the first place.

    I couldn’t *dream* of renting a place in some of my old neighborhoods back home now, when they used to be definitely considered downscale, (in this case not cause they were generally particularly artsy or ‘gay’ sorts of places, just places that used to be mostly for working families who went further afield when the manufacturing type jobs dried up… it was mostly poorer folks, various immigrants, (as it had once been) …and a dwindling number of aging retirees. Rent control going away and the cost of living going up pretty much drove everyone I knew out of the city period,

  • LonelyLiberal

    It’s a beautiful day in the gayborhood, a beautiful day for a gaybor! Take your pants off. Take your shorts off…

  • barrixines

    Maybe when you’re younger and need a scene to focus on a gaybourhood is more essential. I lived in Brighton, the UK’s gayest city for a while. Sometimes you just want to go out in the morning for a newspaper and a pint of milk in your housecoat and slippers. If everyone else is just falling out of a nightclube in hotpants and hooting it can be a bit wearing. It’s hard to be fabulous twenty four hours a day. I now live in one of the gayest cities in the world and it is very very integrated in a very laidback fashion – I can’t always tell if something is specifically a gay bar or not. The Guardian article is a criticism of gentrification ignoring the fact that the gays are a big part of, and benefit from, that process. Gentrification isn’t something that is “done” to the gays.

  • Cuberly

    Hadn’t been to the Castro in ages, this past year I had to go there to do some work for a client. The walk up Market St. had my jaw on the ground. So many condos, So many different buildings and businesses. It was sorta shocking. And the money, wow, and Hayes Valley, talk about $$$.

    • BobSF_94117

      What, you aren’t in the market for a $200 pair of hand-knitted hemp booties?

      • Cuberly

        HA! Or eating at a restaurant with a laundry list of caveats, no gluten, no-GMO, organic, locally grown, no salt, no sugar, etc….when I saw this episode of Portlandia it could very well be real and not comedy. It’s SF food culture as well.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAlWrT5P2VI

        • S B

          Best part: Colin was a hen, and they keep calling her a him.

          • BobSF_94117

            Would Colin being a transgender chicken make him more or less desirable, dinner-wise?

          • Octavio

            Probably more expensive, for sure. 🙂

        • That_Looks_Delicious

          Portlandia is a documentary.

          • Cuberly

            It is. The archetypes they explore are straight out of the area where I live. In some ways they’re not “exotic” enough.

        • Octavio

          “Uh . . . four acres.” All just for little Colin. LOL!

        • Bryan

          “I don’t know that I can speak to that level of intimate knowledge…”

        • BobSF_94117

          After that conversation, I would order the vegetarian platter.

          • Cuberly

            Ah, but that turns into a totally different conversation, locally grown, GMO-free, organic but not USDA organic, old style organic. Was the produce grown on a monoculture farm or in a mixed environment. etc….

          • BobSF_94117

            I was just starting to feel bad about poor Colin…

          • Cuberly

            I’m sure she was humanely um, butchered.

            RIP Colin 🙁

          • Brian Burleson

            I kinda like the new: yes, it’s local. We grow it on the roof. Oh the long lost days in the Castro. People back home in Michigan thought I was crazy (&i,might well be but that’s another conversation) back in 1979 for paying $350.a month rent for a emmm 650 square feet (?) one bedroom apartment. Last I heard the building was long ago condoized and selling in the 2 million range. Sadly, we could not afford to live in any relatively decent area of the city. I am continually amazed at housing prices here in Silicon Valley. We now live in San Jose in what I consider a glorified double wide. Standard CA 1960’s tract /ranch 1744 square footage. ,Certainly nothing to write home about. Growing up when I thought of living in a 1.2 million dollar house, this isn’t what I thought it would be. Sorry folks, not whining just fucking amazed. Where do the non-tech people live? Back on thread: San Jose has no gayborhood due to being in the shadow of SF. Nor much gay life at all due to the same.

    • BobSF_94117

      More seriously, I was recently back in the City and saw the Castro for the first time in a couple years. Widened sidewalks and all… meh…

      • Cuberly

        ….and that small bizarre slab of concrete they call a “park” at the corner of Market and Castro.

        • BobSF_94117

          SF squanders money and still can’t manage to create decent public spaces.

          • Cuberly

            Ha! Like Justin Herman Plaza, which has won awards for design btw. It looks like something out of Triumph of the Will.

            I can’t even think of a neighborhood in SF that has that vagabond bohemian sort of hippy feeling to it any more.

          • BobSF_94117

            JHP is probably the City’s best public space. Some day, if the City ever solves the homeless problem, all they’ll have to do is put the benches back, repair the lawns, and it’ll be back to what it was. The little patch of concrete at C&M will always be just a patch of concrete.

          • Brian Burleson

            Sadly I do not see SF “solving” the issues associated with homelessness. I was appalled recently by a figure that the city government spent per homeless person. I’very forgotten the source and the exact amount but as I recall it was around 50,grand per person per year. One would think that 50,grand could at least house a person. There are many areas of the nation where 50 thousand annually could purchase a relatively nice house. It could be less than that but I recall it being a large number.

          • Robincho

            Filbert Steps, Darrell Place and Napier Lane on Telegraph Hill. But bring money…

          • Cuberly

            Have some friends that live off of the Saturn St. Stairs. Beautiful area in the middle of a micro-climate, gardens etc. I used to take visiting relatives there all the time since it was off the beaten track.

            There’s wonderful places in SF, goes without saying.

          • Brian Burleson

            Certainly not the Haight. I hate strollers! India Basin maybe?

        • Robincho

          That slab gets more bizarre when the naked nonagenarians show up to roost. But as a backdrop for Twin Peaks patrons, at least it’s not boring…

          • Cuberly

            The first time I passed by there 2 nude guys where there and a group of hipster looking dudes where passing a bong around. Interesting.

        • Brian Burleson

          Park-ette. Great, one less fucking parking spot. The suburbanites will have to orbit a,couple more times to get that perfect spot.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Yes, all true. And yet, there are few places with a more visible homeless population than San Francisco. I tell all my friends in other parts of the country that there is no other city where one sees the enormous gap between the people who have everything and the people who have nothing as you see in San Francisco.

      • Cuberly

        But I wish that was acknowledged as a country-wide problem, not just an SF issue. With the growth of foot traffic in Oakland the homeless population downtown has jumped by quite a bit. Then there’s Berkeley, they have a huge issue with homeless youth and poverty.

      • Brian Burleson

        Understatement of this young year. Very astute observation.

    • Bryan

      The new condos are out of control– hardly affordable housing.

      • Robincho

        Tomorrow’s Tenements Today…

  • BobSF_94117

    There are really three four things going on: gay people fixing up run-down neighborhoods, the acceptance of gay people making having us as neighbors OK, the return to the cities after the escape to the suburbs, and, probably most important to the demise of gay neighborhoods, the rising income gap between the top and the rest of society.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Don’t forget hook up apps, they play their part as well.

      • BobSF_94117

        The apps are certainly changing gay culture and putting a lot of pressure on gay businesses like bars, but I don’t think they’re much of an influence in housing choices. If it weren’t for the astronomical rise in SF housing, you could force every gay man onto Grindr and the Castro would still be a gay neighborhood.

        • Octavio

          Well, sure. We always need to have a place to enjoy mimosas and mai tais. 🙂

      • RJ Tremor

        The internet shrinks the world. It certainly helped expose me to folks I would never have met otherwise and it helped me accept the fact of who I am. You don’t get that in small town USA without some slice of self-depreciation and scarring, and that still happens anyway, regardless of resources.

        Edit: And I still won’t use hook-up apps. I attribute that to my tastes, being a furry and a geek. I’ve been to places like Bear411 and went “No… no… no… please God no…”

      • Brian Burleson

        Personally, I think that “hook up apps” will be seen in history as playing a part in many changes with the LGBTQ community, especially with gay men. I don’t think that it’s limited to location. Bars, restaurants, even the baths. I’m sure that I am far too old for them but it apparently works for many. I just encourage them to stay safe. Now, get off my lawn!

  • If you look at large cities that have a large influx of immigrants you find densely populated neighborhoods by one ethnic group. As these ethnic groups attain acceptance into the larger American culture they strike off for different neighborhoods, cities, etc. Could this be what is happening to the gayborhoods? As the LGBT folks become more accepted by American society there is less need to clump up for safety. We no longer need to go to gay bars to sit and drink with a spouse or a group of friends. While not all bars are safe to dance with a same sex partner, it is becoming so in many areas, and wont be long until only the very rural or highly religious areas will be unsafe for us to dance with our loved ones.

    The culture of the underdog stays cohesive only until they are enfolded into society as a whole. To keep our gayborhoods will have to be an act of determination and support by the LGBT folks as a whole.

    • BobSF_94117

      There are really two kinds of ethnic neighborhoods. The old historical ones which were abandoned partly due to growing acceptance of Greeks and Italians and Poles but mostly because of white flight and the allure of the “modern” suburban life. Newer ethnic enclaves, formed by more recent immigrants, usually in places further from the city core, are places people congregate out of comfort and need. Generally, those areas fall in value or remain stable, as the immigrants tend to be poorer.

      • They still operate the same way. As soon as the group becomes socially acceptable and they climb the money tree, they move out of that enclave and into an area where they may be the only Greek, or Jew, or Russian, etc.

        • BobSF_94117

          Some individuals leave, of course, as you say, as they become more financially successful. But far more remain behind. And the housing stock the first arrivals started with isn’t like the old Italian/Greek/Polish neighborhoods. It’ll be a long time till the immigrants move up and out and when they do, there won’t be as much to gentrify as with inner-ring ‘hoods.

    • madknits

      Maybe.But I’m of an age where I often feel the need to be around other queer people without having to deal with straight people. I let my hair down in a way I never feel comfortable doing when I’m around straights. I don’t need to translate or modify my speech. Straights are fine, some of my best friends are straight. But I wouldn’t want to marry one.

      • I agree. While being accepted in the wider society, having queer places we can be who we are without filters is important.

  • Paula

    This is an interesting thread. Neither my partner or I have ever lived in a gayborhood. We have just always been in a community. We have been together for21 years own a home and have daughters in high school. For us, we just fit in. That was not a conscious decision, it just happened. Our neighbors know that we are a couple, I’m sure some don’t like it but, I don’t care screw them! We are allowed to live wherever we want.

  • 5moreminutes*imtired

    I don’t know. I think Wilton Manors has gotten gayer.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Same with Palm Springs. But I guess it should be noted that Palm Springs is not really a “gayborhood” within a larger area. It is its own city of about 50,000. A very, very gay city.

      • CanuckDon

        Aren’t both desired retirement communities? Are younger (ie. under 40) moving there as well?

        • That_Looks_Delicious

          No, not really. You do see some younger (under 40) gay men, but mostly on the weekends, so my guess is they’re predominantly tourists from L.A., San Diego, Phoenix, etc. And, honestly, I *really* like it that way. I also checked out West Hollywood before moving here, but I realized that there’s no way I could live in that bar/club environment anymore. Been there, done that, and I’m too old for that shit.

          It’s essentially a city of retirees and older (>40) gay men, with a smaller lesbian population (also >40). There are some non-tourist, non-retired straight people here, too, of course. But not a lot. City Hall claimed that the population is 40% gay the last time they ventured a number (and about a decade before that, the mayor at the time said it was 30%), but all the realtors in town will tell you the real number is 55~60% gay).

          • ChrisInKansas

            Our good friends lived a block from 18th and Castro and we would visit every year or so. Then they decided the city was too much for them, took early retirement and bought a house in Palm Springs (well, Palm Springs adjacent). We were devastated because we loved SF. Now we still visit every year, but look forward to the peace and quiet. And the area is every bit as gay; their development is about 60% gay. We will gladly retire there if we can afford it in twenty years time.

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Yes. A large part of the gay population in Palm Springs is (some of) the former gay population of San Francisco, who have migrated here en masse. Somebody even made a movie about it called “Desert Migration”, which was shown at the Film Festival here a couple months ago.

            This is the movie:
            http://www.psfilmfest.org/yearround/publicprograms/film.aspx?FID=28&id=25901

  • Glen

    I don’t mind this at all.

    All I’ve ever personally wanted was to simply be. I want it to be simply matter of fact that someone is gay. Something entirely ordinary and un-noteworthy. (And it would only come into play as to who your friends might try to hook you up with :-).

    • Octavio

      Chuecatown was a major in in BsAs. I have to admit that I, too, enjoyed it immensely even though it’s a lighter-than-air pastiche (sans the music) played just for laughs. El Squeeze has problem seen in fifty+ times. It’s worth seeing if only for the thick madileño accents. 🙂

  • pickypecker

    I live smack in the heart of Wrigleyville….the neighborhood pretty much known as ‘BoysTown.’ – ChiTown. I was fortunate enough many moons ago to have been able to purchase a run-down rental property knowing that I could, given time and effort, bring the ol’ girl back up to par where she should be. Years passed and I did that, however in that time the neighborhood had ‘gentrified’ and many, many rentals went back to being single-family homes or duplex/triplex (in any case, what they had originally been built as). My neighbors over time have changed, sure. However, there is a very large mix of people here now overall. ‘BoysTown’ has changed to the point its hardly recognizeable…both physically and with demographics. It’s a cycle, these gentriications….just depends on where you are in the cycle. For me, I’m comfortable enough where I am and can travel to the newer ‘gay’ areas if I choose. Only issue that gets under my skin is the feeling out there by some who think that my neighborhood is some sort of ‘birthright.’ In actuality, It’s a tourist-trap…and a spendy one at that. No need to think one has to live in the very ‘exact’ same place that ‘used to be….this or that.’ Seek and ye shall find where the boys and girls are. We’re a wide and diverse community capable of settling in almost any situation.

    • Octavio

      You’ll have to remind me. Where’s Boy’s Town, once again? The only Boy’s Town that I remember vividly is the one in Nuevo Loredo, MX. LOL!

      • pickypecker

        Added the ‘edit’ after I re-read what I posted. Chicago. 🙂

        • Octavio

          Thanks. Seriously. I couldn’t remember. Age, ya know. 🙂

    • delk

      We bought in the West Loop 14 years ago. When we moved here we couldn’t even get a cab that would take us home!

      • pickypecker

        was a bit seedy back then, but always knew looking close it was lovely. Same up here and one of the reasons I bought here. Love the neighborhood….changes happen all the time. It’s what cities do!

  • Hue-Man

    Is it possible that LGBTs heading into retirement will create the gayborhoods of the future? I realize the missing from the Lost Generation affect the current situation but beyond that the alternative of having to go into the closet to live in a retirement community is no alternative.

  • Kyle

    What I miss is being able to go to a book store or a coffee shop in the gayborhood, make eye contact with someone cute, and then possibly have a hook-up, or even a friend for life. That doesn’t happen any more.

    • Octavio

      Hell, I miss bookstores. Remember them? 🙁

      • RJ Tremor

        I have one here, Books-A-Million, and I’ll have one to poke at once I move back up north thanks to the area around MSU. There’s a lil’ used book store that’s a hole in the wall place that smells all musty and aged. At least I hope it’s still there…

        • Octavio

          Just Barnes and Noble here in the vastness of Las Vegas Valley’s strip malls. I miss walking down steep streets and stairs into North Beach Central, having coffee/breakfast, and spending hours leafing through stuff at the City Lights. In SLC there was an incredible bookstore called The Aeroplane. Incredible selection of great stuff. And then I remember attending the “funeral” of The Waking Owl, a fantastic bookstore owned by a dear friend who had to close because “It’s just not virtual enough.” He kept it open until all of his employees had other jobs. Amazon is handy, it’s just not the same.

      • Kyle

        Thankfully, DC still has a handful of excellent independent bookstores that are reasonably accessible to public transportation, although the chain stores have closed up shop and moved to the burbs.

    • MickinDetroit

      I think that is the issue, you aren’t limited to only doing that in a “gay” establishment anymore.

      • Kyle

        Well, I don’t want to be hitting on str8 guys, but with the dispersal of the gayborhood, it’s much more difficult to tell who’s who.

        • Toasterlad

          Exactly. It’s nice to be in the majority SOMEplace.

          I don’t think gay bars – or gayborhoods – will ever totally disappear (at least I HOPE not), but we knew that assimilation was the price we were paying for equality. It’s really hard to hold onto a culture that was largely based on secrecy and shame…or defiance in the face of attempts to shame, more charitably. All that really holds us together is our shared sexuality, and, in this day and age, that might not be enough to maintain our community, such as it is.

          On the other hand, no matter how many weddings we have, or kids we adopt, or white picket fences we erect, being gay is still a struggle in this world, and maybe always will be. If all we have in common is our shared experience of what it’s like to have to think twice before grabbing a lover’s hand in public, or watching someone’s face twist when you tell them your spouse’s name, well…it’s NICE to be able to bitch about those experiences with someone who understands them. We call ourselves “family” for a reason: there are gay people all across this country, most of whom I’ll never meet, who are as close to me as my own flesh-and-blood family. I may not like them all, as I don’t like all the members of my “real” family, but I feel a bond with them that won’t be broken, no matter how many gayborhoods surrender to the assmilation of straight society.

  • KT

    I always assumed gayborhoods thrived because in the past gay people could not live openly anywhere else. Now there are lot more opportunities for LGBT people in the rural and suburban areas that once shuned them. Also, now that gay people can marry, many are forming families that once seemed like a pipe dream. 2.5 kids, dog and picket fence in the neighborhood appeals to many, gay and straight.

    Of course, this is a simplistic view – there are probably dozens of major and minor reasons for it.

  • Ninja0980

    Sad to say but this is happening with many different groups as the yuppies take over by pricing everyone else out.

  • barrixines

    I think there’s something to be said for reaching a place in yourself where the whole world becomes your gaybourhood.

    • Friday

      It has its pluses. I always preferred Irish pubs anyway, …at least in this town it’s generally more you note the LGBT-*unfriendly* places to avoid rather than list the ‘safe’ ones to go to. Honestly I used to live in Lesbianville and, you know, just didn’t like the ‘gay music’ on dance nights, but I’d like to stop in afternoons when it was quiet.

      I mean there’s a lot of us, gals especially, who only find ‘gay cullture’ fun in brief doses anyway. There’s a value in just kind of being in affirming, relatively safe space, though, …but a lot of the trappings just aren’t who we all are and all.

      • barrixines

        One of the things I was thinking about reading the posts here about wanting to feel safe in a neighbourhood is – do any of you guys speak to the women in your life, lesbian, straight, whatever. There’s no such thing as a true galbourhood – I lived for a few years in Lesbianville in London (Stoke Newington) – and as a gay man those streets were a lot safer for me than any woman.

        • Friday

          Well, I suppose that there just isn’t that furtive hookup culture that even like Grindr represents for the boys. Lesbian bars seemed to start closing down (or just becoming LGBT-inclusive ones) way ahead of a lot of the gentrification even, probably for a variety of reasons but really down to bottom-line ones. Everyone wanted the places to exist but that was different from actually showing up and keeping them open apparently. (Also there wasn’t such a segment as there was of affluent gay men getting paid more but having no kids, especially in any given pair. On the other hand, the contrary, less money on average, double that difference and all.)

          Other factors like actually not so many queer gals really being big on bar scenes anyway, that tending to be a last resort to all but those “Womyn’s Space!” types who could actually throw wet blankets on the fun factor, ….the feminist bookstores actually lasted a lot longer. (I do generalize greatly here.)

          And, “Where’s the lezzies at” isn’t necessarily the safety-in-numbers factor it could be in a ‘gayborhood’ …you kind of want to be a bit more dispersed in a generally-friendly town. Maybe a cluster or two here and there.

    • edrex

      I agree mostly. My first thought was “any neighborhood where the hubs and I live is a gayborhood,” however I’ve come to realize that it’s very nice to spend time in places where being gay is the norm. I currently live in a progressive and gay friendly town (in a Christianist dominated state), and I have a lot of very close gay and non-gay friends, but when I visit places like P-Town I experience some kind of relief that I don’t feel in other hetero dominated places. Can’t quite articulate what that is, but it feels healthy.

      • barrixines

        I am probably being a bit let them eat cake here living in Barcelona, the most gay friendly city in one of the most gay friendly countries in the world. I don’t live in a gaybourhood but I do see same sex couples holding hands on my street every day. It’s the norm, it’s mundane. One of my favourite bars in my area isn’t a gay bar but it does have a sign on the door saying “Misogynists and homophobes aren’t welcome here”. I guess I just don’t feel that my town is dominated by people who aren’t like me. On the other hand, our equivalent to P-Town, Sitges, is, in the summer months, such a (men-only) monoculture it can feel a little bit exhausting.

  • Nic Peterson

    What self respecting queen is going to want to buy someone else’s rehab. Many of us seem to have a knack for making things a bit prettier, so to that extent, we are reaping what we have sown.

    If we are concerned about actual gayborhoods with actual gay businesses like book stores, bars, novelty shops, specialty retail and restaurants we need to patronize them. Gay book stores started closing with the advent of Amazon, hook up apps have destroyed what once was a much more vibrant bar scene. If we are always concerned with the lowest price, then part of the cost of that behavior is less gay themed business or business districts.

  • 2karmanot

    So true of SF too. Privileged, techi scum destroyed Noe Valley, the Castro, South of Market and now the Mission. These self centered twits have ruined the old diversity and eccentricity that made SF so wonderful. Worse, gay political hustlers like Scott Weiner groom the worst of the worst manipulators.

    • Clungeflaps

      The messed up thing is none of these tech startups make any money, in fact most of them are hemorrhaging millions of dollars every month. I read this morning that Uber burned through 1 Billion last year, yet they are valued at $60 billion. Why do techies make 150-200K when none of these companies are profitable?

    • Natty Enquirer

      Wiener. Scott Wiener. I honestly don’t know why people are so dyslexic about his name.

  • When I first moved to Chicago, I lived in ‘Newtown’ – later called ‘Lakeview’ – now part of ‘Boystown’. Initially, neighbourhood was a little rough: comprised of liquor stores, adult bookstores, laundromats, diners, and a few gay bars. Then, gay men and women started to open small businesses in the neighbourhood, flower shops, restaurants, apparel shops and then some more bars and dance clubs. I moved out when the the national chain stores started to move in. Today, most of the original gay strip is gone. Much of what is left of ‘boystown’ is a strip of pricey bars in which drunken bachelorettes wonder aimlessly; hoping someone will give their appalling behaviour some attention. My boyfriend and I often joke that ‘boystown’ has become a Disneyland for straight folks: where they come and see and interact with gays in their natural habitat.

    • BostonBud

      that’s exactly what Provincetown is becoming on the weekends in the summer.

    • delk

      River North was the hot spot for me growing up. Then Old Town (Carols!) and Clark and Diversey/Newtown, then Halsted Street, now Andersonville.

      I remember when Cheeks on Clark and Diversey was the late night hotspot. Loading Dock opened on Halsted and Waveland and the entire late night crowd moved there (even though somebody was murdered waiting in line by a driveway on opening night).

      Back then Bushes and Little Jim’s were the extent of Halsted.

      • pickypecker

        omg…..so many memories!

      • River North was waining when I moved to the city – though I’m amazed that Manhandler is still in business – we stopped by there for a drink last month.

        I used to go to Carol’s regularly – it was a great bar – where everyone went to dance. It became pretty well known after it was revealed Dahmer picked up one of his victims there.

        • delk

          Heh, I grew up on the South West side. I would take the #62 Archer bus as an underage teenager. The last stop on the line was State St one block north of the river. I’d get off the bus and two blocks later would be all the bars. I was a kid in a candy store, lol.

    • Paige Turner

      Theres a simple solution to this.

      “No open toed shoes allowed for safety reasons”

      Sorry girls

    • AJ

      I’d say less bachelorette parties these days and more college and 20 something gays bringing their straight female friends with them to the bars. I fall in that age range, and I’m certainly guilty of it. The bars on Halsted are overwhelmingly full of gay men though.

  • TKW

    I think this problem in not just a gay issue but more one of any avant-garde group in general – gay or straight. The whole “bohemian artist” type – writers, painters performers, regardless of sexuality – used to flock to places like Greenwich Village and other affordable creative crucibles. Not sure if those places really exist anymore. Most were urban working/lower class neighborhoods that inspired counter-culture. Now cities have become the haunts of the rich and the tourist. *sigh* 🙁

    • Friday

      Yeah, it’s definitely not just a ‘gay’ phenomenon, …there’s gentrification and there’s ‘The rent’s too damn high’ period.

  • J S

    I lived in the Castro for 5 years in the early eighties and got around all those SF neighborhoods, and then West Hollywood from 85-91. But I was pretty well travelled. Toronto, Chicago, San Diego, New York, Florida of course, but seems like I made it to the gay bars in most large U.S. cities when there on business. Shoot, I even did the offbeat like Little Rock and Salt Lake. But it was all the European ones I liked best. London. Berlin. Paris. Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Ibiza and Mykonos.

    I think we have always been attracted to gay neighborhoods. When we travelled we headed straight for the gay bars in the gayest area we could find. It was the way to meet people and feel comfortable. Things are changing, its true.

    Its not the way it used to be. I live in Indianapolis now. There’s a huge gay community here and most of them stay because the homes are so affordable. I definitely think that’s the story in cities like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio and Louisville. These men don’t want to deal with now pricey, high end gayborhoods where it costs a bazillion dollars to buy a crappy little condo. They want big, suburban style houses which are affordable in the midwest.

    I was in Key West this year, Ft Lauderdale/Wilton Manors last year, and Manhattan for a bit both years. I just don’t think these places are going to hold their gays much longer. The bars are terribly expensive, trendy places. Not that feeling of home from the old days. I have no interest in living in most of the gayborhoods the way they are today. A few years back I went to Palm Springs, and I thought that was pretty good for us older guys. But I don’t want to move back to California.

    We have a half dozen gay bars, a whole trendy little gayborhood on Massachusetts Avenue, and too many friends to really keep up with here in Indianapolis. I have a big house on the golf course that I could never afford in L.A. And I like that life moves a little slower. I don’t use any electronic device to meet people. No grindr for me. Long term relationship. And all our friends are getting married now. No grindr allowed. Its a lot more monogamous in the midwest. No cheating for us, and I don’t think any of our friends cheat either.

    If I could go anywhere I wanted right now. Maybe a weekend on Old Compton Street in London for some gay bar fun and shows. Then a week on the beach in Ibiza. But then back to Indiana. Maybe you guys should follow what I think is the new trend. Cheap affordable luxury houses in the midwest, with a husband in your bed instead of a grindr in your hand.

    • Octavio

      As committed as we are, El Squeeze and I both need a bit of strange now and then. However, you got me with “a big house on a golf course.” If I can’t have the constant sound of waves licking a beach I’ll settle for the splash/spray noise of Rainbird sprinklers moistening the back nine. LOL! Good for you.

    • Paige Turner

      There is not a single thing in your post that I don’t like the sound of and like you, Id rather a husband in my bed than grindr in my hand. I can’t do apps any more. Its been a number of years now since I used them and Im nearly 50. Its very challenging to meet like minded Men here in Sydney.

      Ive done the career thing. It doesn’t interest me any more. Frankly, if a farmer turned up or someone living in a smaller country town I would be out of here in a flash.

      Sydney is transient, very expensive and flashy with little depth. Its very easy to find an expensive restaurant or club with bad food, staff with attitude but a good view and location and a check that needs a credit card limit increase.

      We may have created our own problem with gentrification.

  • Giant Monster Gamera

    I fled Seattle’s Capitol Hill gayborhood two years ago when my relationship disintegrated. It’s almost unrecognizable from what it was when I arrived in the mid-90s. There are a handful of gay establishments left, but it’s pretty much the exclusive playground for 20 and 30 something techies from Amazon.

    I’m not into bars anymore but I do miss the social organizations and volunteering I used to do and nothing like that exists in suburbia, where I am currently exiled.

    • Clungeflaps

      The only things I miss about Seattle are maple bars from Top Pot, and countless hours playing pinball and Joust at Shorty’s.

  • Tor

    A good place to mention the Castro’s rapacious landlord Les Natali, who has driven several concerns out of business with stiff rent increases, while several of his storefronts have remained empty, sometimes for years. The old Patio Cafe, for instance, is one of the most prominent. Zapata Mexican Grill, a long-time neighborhood feature, will be closing soon.

    • TimCA

      One of the bars he owned on 18th St. was also subject to a boycott some years back (maybe 10 or more years ago) because it was alleged he engaged in racially discriminatory admission practices.

      • Tor

        I remember that.

  • TimCA
    • Octavio

      Chuecatown was a major hit in in BsAs. I have to admit that I, too, enjoyed it immensely even though it’s a lighter-than-air pastiche (sans the music) played just for laughs. El Squeeze has probably seen it fifty+ times. It’s worth seeing if only for the thick madrileño accents. 🙂

      • TimCA

        I spent my junior year abroad studying in Madrid. Now many years later despite my deteriorating fluency and ever present strong foreign accent, it’s still quite clear from my lexicon and Castillian pronunciation where I originally learned my Spanish. Oh, and one thing’s for sure, I could never be accused of stealing anyone’s Spodes or Lalique 🙂

        • Octavio

          On the topic of accents: I go to Cardenas, a local Mexican grocery store chain, about three times a week to shop and have lunch. They have a wonderful deli counter with fresh tamales, real street tacos, etc. And I sit for an hour or more to chin wag with the Mexicans and their families who are there for the same reason. I’m back to sounding like someone from general Northern Mexico. Things will go well, all friendly like, then when I someone leaves I’ll say “Chau” unconsciously and the jigs up.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      LOL. Rosa María Sardá and Concha Velasco are both magnificent.

      • TimCA

        And that bit with LaProhibida (around 1:02 in the preview) playing an Ana Botella type conservative cracks me up every time.

    • GanymedeRenard

      Hahaha!!

  • RealityBass

    It’s all part of assimilation. When I bought a house five years ago, I didn’t try to find a gay neighborhood. I just wanted a diverse neighborhood and a nice reasonably priced house. Of course I’m not young and hip, but do gay people really want to establish neighborhoods so that they can feel safe on the street? I know gay bashing has not been completely eliminated, but I don’t think it’s the concern it once was. And not all gay men want to be in fashionable neighborhoods with “look but don’t touch furniture stores.” That sounds like hell on earth to me.

  • former THR

    Every minority group likes to feel a sense of community whether its Koreatown, Chinatown, black and Latino neighborhoods, etc. I work at a financial services company which is 99% straight men. I like to get out an go to the gay nabe every so often to see real gay people mingling in the flesh from time to time. It gives me a sense of community that I don’t see day to day.

    However, there are plenty of gay club and restaurant owners who have sold out – when the former shabby gay nabe gets glam, the owners sell out. I can see the lure of the $$ but the face of a neighborhood is all in the hands of sellers – not the buyers . The sellers are the ones who change a neighborhood.

    • Jeffrey

      Absolutely right.

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    http://www.nycnotkansas.com/GaySixties.htm

    This anonymous author wrote perceptively about gay life and institutions and community in NYC’s Upper West Side in the ’70s and ’80s (yes, there really was a community!). It’s like reading about another planet now. It’s all gone, replaced, by and large, by overpriced and unaffordable everything.

  • marc

    I live in Pittsburgh, which has never had a definable gayboorhood but a number of areas where gays seemed to live. This could be the reason why the city has an amazingly high number of gay bars (11) since they attract a crowd from a particular neighborhood. Still the city is seeing a loss of affordable housing – but not from gentrication but from the citys efforts to upscale areas with expensive box stores and restaurants. This is pushing poorer people into the suburbs. I know it is progress, but the neighborhoods seem to be losing their identity. This trickle down probably will affect the bars as well.

  • William

    Austin never had a ‘gayborhood’. There were parts of town with gay clusters. These days, anything inside the city of Austin is priced high.

  • Jeffrey

    There are plenty of gay men who have turned their phone into a gayborhood and order out for cock instead of going out and scoping a club. Gays today just don’t hang around bars or need gay restaurants the way we used to. We feel more comfortable in more places. It’s just part of the evolution of gay anthropology.

  • another_steve

    Bit of an unpleasant “them” feel to that article, accentuated by the choice of pictures.

  • jeffB

    It’s interesting to see this going on in Philadelphia. 20 years ago “The Gayborhood” was incredibly seedy; 30 it was flat-out a red light district. Now it’s one of the nicest parts of town. Gays are moving to the gentrifying sections in droves. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when someone opens a gay bar in Point Breeze.

  • Ogre Magi

    that is so sad

  • e jerry powell

    Austin is gentrifying perfectly well on its own, and there was never a gayborhood to serve as a flashpoint. Houston’s Montrose, on the other hand, seems to have bored the older gays and priced out the younger ones, leaving plenty of room for re-development, tearing down the vintage single-family homes, replacing them with hipper three-story condos. Fairly typical, as gentrification goes, even as the gay-owned businesses seem to be staying put somehow.

  • stanhope

    The biggest gayborhood of them all to decline is Provincetown ;-(

  • Kevin-in-Honolulu

    Maybe it’s just my age now, but I have no desire, when visiting a city, to check out the local gayborhood. Frankly, they’re all the same, really.

    I left San Franciso in 1991 after living there for 15 years. I loved it, but it was time to move on with the lessons I learned from that place.

    One of the reasons that LGBTs became more accepted is that many of us decided not to live in the gay ghettoes and try life outside.

  • Another Guest

    I find this whole concept boring. We don’t need “gayborhoods” anymore. We don’t need ghettos. Being gay is a non-issue in many places now. Why you mad? I really don’t understand the crisco disco folks. Grow up.

  • Here in Seattle the Capitol Hill neighborhood (sometimes referred to as “the Swish Alps”) was the stronghold of the arts and the gays. Now, the place is being overrun by dickwads who have been attacking gays; the dickwads think ‘the gays’ are ruining their neighborhood. It is a crazy world

    In a similar fashion, the Central District was the ‘black’ neighborhood but is is being gentrified to the point one woman complained that sometimes she can go weeks without seeing another black person.

    Did I ever tell you about how completely naive and uncomprehending I was/am? I was living in Billings MT in 1971 – I learned to love saunas while I was in the Marine Corps so I found this place called Jack’s Saunas and I would go there often. Heh, the place was named “Jack’s Saunas and rooms for Men” and I did not get it (the joke is I am straight but clueless, sigh). I wonder if it is still there?

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    What I find interesting is no one is running people out of all the Little Italys or China Towns in the world, it’s always the gaybourhoods that get changed.

  • Pete

    the demise of many gayborhoods actually began as AIDS deaths were peaking, and continued once the gay civil rights movements gained momentum. These gayborhoods in many respects were part of a golden era of gay history, full of community and small town feeling in the midst of the urban metropolis. These were the places to first see men openly holding another man’s hand, to start regularly seeing familiar faces after only moving there a week, to being called by name wherever you did business, and to readily find sympathetic medical attention.

  • Gerry Fisher

    There’s a certain kind of social “glue” that used to be provided by the gayborhoods that is now provided by social media. We gay/bi men are still heavily represented in the “creative class,” we still like to fix up houses, and we still like urban living. That being said, we don’t have to concentrate ourselves so intensely anymore in order to protect ourselves or to get laid. Sorry.

    There are many things to like about Baltimore. That being said, IMO, our gayborhood just isn’t happening anymore.

  • BearDAD

    Don’t quite see what the fuss is about. Especially since we have spent most of our lives wanting to be treated like any “normal” citizen. Why do you need to be segregated in gayborhoods?