The slow death of gay ghettos?

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    Sep 23, 2012 5:59 PM GMT
    I was just thinking how gay ghettos only remain in very large metro areas or traditionally gay cities. I came out in Boston in the 80s and there was a distinct gay ghetto there at the time. I haven't explored Boston in many years and was curious to see if the ghetto remained. I found this article which more or less confirmed my suspicion:

    http://third_decade.typepad.com/killing_time/2005/06/the_gay_ghetto_.html

    I was never a fan of gay ghettoes and always preferred integration over segregation. But now that I've lived in many places without one I miss having one to step in and out of. I feel the internet has contributed to their demise and if my theory is correct, having online communities is a poor substitute for being able to go to a place where most of the men around you are gay. What I miss from a ghetto is being able to chat up a stranger and feel pretty confident he's a member of the same team. Meeting people in public will always be superior to meeting online to me. The advantage of no gay ghetto, however, is that I find myself meeting a lot more straight men than I would if I buried myself in a ghetto. That can be both rewarding and frustrating.

    What I find is replacing gay ghettos are gay friendly neighborhoods. You find these throughout the mid-size cities in NC and I expect throughout the US. I often travel from eastern to western NC and up and down the Florida atlantic coast while passing from one gay friendly pocket to another. Between NC and Fl's atlantic coast I can attest that only South Florida offers a true gay ghetto (Wilton Manor). I'm not even sure if South Beach could be considered a ghetto anymore. But South Florida also feels like the most segregated of all the places I travel. So while I find it is easier to get laid in South Florida, I also feel it is far less friendly than the other places I hang out. I feel the toxic combination of desperate trolls stocking the hot guys and prima donnas disgusted by anyone "not in their league" approaching them, intimidates a lot of normally friendly gay men from opening up. In a gay friendly setting you have straight men and women to talk to as well so it becomes less of a pick up feel and more of a neighborly get together. Of coarse that also implies it is less sexual.

    In the end I think I like having both options even though I prefer to spend most of my time in a gay friendly setting rather than a ghetto. What about you?
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    I think that, in general, the lack of a need for gay ghettos is a positive sign of progress. But like with anything, there is both good and bad. Even though I don't feel the need to be in a 100% gay environment day to day, it can be a fun change of pace once in a while. I guess that's what gay cruises and resorts are for these days. For example, I'm going to a gay resort in Key West this week and looking forward to a fun time. But being surrounded by other gay men isn't something I feel the need for all the time.
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:02 AM GMT
    Let's face it: With Grindr/Scruff/Jack'd/etc, everywhere you go, you take the gay ghetto with you.

    #samestorydifferentcharacters
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:05 AM GMT
    I like gay ghettos - tres chic.
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:07 AM GMT
    sashaman saidI think that, in general, the lack of a need for gay ghettos is a positive sign of progress. But like with anything, there is both good and bad. Even though I don't feel the need to be in a 100% gay environment day to day, it can be a fun change of pace once in a while. I guess that's what gay cruises and resorts are for these days. For example, I'm going to a gay resort in Key West this week and looking forward to a fun time. But being surrounded by other gay men isn't something I feel the need for all the time.



    OMG...I haven't seen you in ages...welcome back!
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:11 AM GMT
    Wow. I didn't know I was missed! icon_lol.gif

    I haven't really been gone. Still log on most days - just not posting as much as in the past I guess. icon_cool.gif
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:37 AM GMT
    Hets think that we all have money and live in penthouses, but the truth is, when moneybags gays move into a neighborhood, it dies.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Sep 24, 2012 12:38 AM GMT
    Does that mean Key West in its entirety is still a gay ghetto?
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:42 AM GMT
    RunintheCity saidLet's face it: With Grindr/Scruff/Jack'd/etc, everywhere you go, you take the gay ghetto with you.

    #samestorydifferentcharacters



    Oh yeahhh!
    icon_razz.gificon_razz.gificon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:45 AM GMT
    The Internet and apps are supposed to be killing gay bars because so many people are no longer dependent on going to a bar to meet someone.
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    Sep 24, 2012 12:50 AM GMT
    Then this might also be the slow death of run down neighborhoods being fixed up and restored.
  • danielek

    Posts: 124

    Sep 24, 2012 12:51 AM GMT
    I don't live in the gaybourhood but I like having the option to go there. I don't they'll ever fully leave us. We still need our gay clubs.
  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Sep 24, 2012 12:53 AM GMT
    Boston still has a gay ghetto... known as the south end.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 24, 2012 12:54 AM GMT
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    Sep 24, 2012 1:04 AM GMT
    Just as there is Chinatown, Little Italy, Japantown, The Mission, and The Castro, I hope there are ALWAYS "gayttos" and ghettos. Culture does not have to be an amalgam. Culture can be a mosaic where each piece maintains individuality AND a bigger blended picture exists.

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    Sep 24, 2012 2:54 AM GMT
    barriehomeboy saidDoes that mean Key West in its entirety is still a gay ghetto?

    No, it's not so heavily gay anymore, but still gay friendly. And I'm not sure I would have ever called it a gay ghetto. It's flavor was more bohemian, with a non-judgmental, inclusive attitude that allowed gays & straights to live together, united more by the laid-back island lifestyle than divided by sexual orientation. Live and let live was the motto. Remember, this is the place that's been calling itself the Conch Republic for decades, maintaining the harmless charade of not only political independence from the US, but also of very real social non-conformity.

    It's much more commercial now than when I first went there in 1973. And the huge increase in large cruise ship dockings in the 1990s has had a very big impact on the historic Old Town section. For a few hours upon cruise ship arrivals the streets are clogged with tourists, making the scene not unlike a Caribbean port. And many places that were once quiet local hangouts have become nothing more than packed tourist traps, noisy & garish caricatures of their simpler and more authentic former selves.

    Although not as many gays still live on the island, mainly due to rising costs and overdevelopment, fortunately a good number of gay guest houses/resorts still exist. And there are some good local treasures if you know the island well, that the cruise ship tourists usually never reach to despoil.

    But you should come down and judge for yourself.