All's good in the gayborhood?

  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Aug 28, 2007 1:25 AM GMT
    When I found out that I was moving to Dallas last year, I knew that it had a very strong gay community in a part of town called Oak Lawn. I'd been to Oak Lawn before and there were a lot of restaurants and bars there that I liked (and still like) -- but I decided to live in another part of town to try and help me maintain some balance and exposure to other aspects of my new community.

    Do you live outside or inside of the "gay bubble"?
    What drives that decision for you?
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Aug 28, 2007 3:19 AM GMT
    Outside the pink bubble

    I live close to West Hollywood and have thought about moving there but I really like the hipster area where I live.
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    Aug 28, 2007 3:34 AM GMT

    I grew up in the Deep South, and came Out quite late - 28yo. I found my comfort zone in New England: Boston, MA and Burlington, VT. Both are very cosmopolitan, diverse, almost artsy, mixed cities without a real centralized 'gayborhood'.

    As my company grew, and I met Iain, I eventually moved to London in order to be nearer to him and to facilitate my business. Again we chose a very diverse, mixed neighborhood.

    I have lived in NY, SF, LA, and Atlanta briefly in 'gayborhoods' there.

    While interesting, I don't think we as a couple would nesc choose to do so now; there are many things that we would look for in a neighborhood, but I don't think we would look exclusively at 'gayborhoods'.

    Much more important to us would be the place itself, proximity to work, its orientation (walking distance) to nearby parks, major Colleges and Universities, restaurants and bookstores, athletic facilities, music and the arts, etc. If we do decide to adopt, then schools would also have a bearing on such a decision.

    Good Luck


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    Aug 28, 2007 3:58 AM GMT
    I am in a wonderful area of Oakland, the Piedmont Avenue District (next to Rockridge). Both now have huge gay populations, but, thankfully, both are mixed neighborhoods racially, and in terms of gender preference.

    I say that, because I'm not interested in living in a gay "ghetto." My area is a beautiful are of Arts and Crafts/Mission Bungalows...and on my block I have two Lesbian couples (one with two kids), two gay male households, several single mothers, a couple of families with kids.

    It's close to restaurants, a neighborhood theater, library, close to the SF nightlife and cultural scene (I have season tickets to the SF Symphony and to the SF Giants). ETc.

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    Aug 28, 2007 4:19 AM GMT
    I live decidedly outside any gayborhoods. I'm not even sure there even are any gayborhoods in any Idaho city. I live near the capitol, Boise, and I haven't heard of a Boise gayborhood.

    I live here because, well, I grew up here and I'm still at college. When I leave, though, I don't think I want to live in a gayborhood. I like mixed neighborhoods. I'd like for there to be another mo or two wherever I eventually live, but I also want my neighborhood to be sexually, racially, and economically mixed.
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    Aug 28, 2007 4:54 AM GMT
    I live in Wicker Park instead of Boystown (eastern-most Lakeview area) here in Chicagoland. There are plenty of gay and gay-friendly people here in the Wicker Park area.

    Kudos to Andersonville as well, another terrific gayborhood here in Chicagoland just north of Boystown that features a more laid-back lifestyle without that full-on gay aesthetic.

    Love Boystown on Halloween though; I will be there again this year I'm sure. The Halloween parade actually brings a lot of straight people in Lakeview out on Halsted street near the central homo area so it has a great vibe and I truly enjoy it then. Most other times, I am there playing tour guide or generally skipping it alltogether unless I am visiting friends.

    Wicker Park/Bucktown/Ukranian Village ROCKS.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 28, 2007 5:31 AM GMT
    I have usually lived in fairly large metropolitan areas that were pretty well mixed
    ...and lived in an area of Ft Lauderdale that can only be described as a gay ghetto
    living with mostly gay guys in a neighborhood has its advantages but it's very incestuous..everybody knows everybody
    and it starts taking on characteristics of a gay soap opera
  • metta

    Posts: 44699

    Aug 28, 2007 6:06 AM GMT
    I live in a very gay friendly neighborhood. I have some gay neighbors but I don't think that it could be considered to be a gayborhood. Many of my straight neghbors love it when more gay neighbors move in. :)
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    Aug 28, 2007 9:53 AM GMT
    I live near the gayborhood. It has it pros and cons. I have lived in both a gay and straight hood. And usually the straights will tell you, when the gay guys move in the neighboorhood looks so much better. One place I moved to, was the worse house on the street. remodeled it inside and out. My redneck neighbor comes over one day and says I am glad you gay guys moved in, you just increased the property value of my house. I have had that comment said to me on many occassions.
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    Aug 28, 2007 10:22 AM GMT
    We don't have a gayborhood, but I don't think I'd live in one if we did. Not because I don't like the idea, I just doubt I could afford the rent
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    Aug 28, 2007 11:18 AM GMT
    I live in the "art school" neighborhood next to the "gay" neighborhood, by the company I work for is in the "gay" neighborhood, so I'm there all day.
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    Aug 28, 2007 11:19 AM GMT
    I am starting a gay forum on
    I just want people to share the inequality they are facing. Cheers,

  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Aug 28, 2007 12:06 PM GMT
    There is no gay areas in my countries. The nearest will be cross the border in Thailand. Gay areas like Boy Town of Pattaya, Patpong 3 at Bangkok is not really a gay area where people live but really to indulge in boys, sex and fun. I just love to walk thru the street of this gay ghetto enjoying being an open gay men and indulging in some sinful pleasure. I heard rumor there is a gay friendly town call "Flower City" in Thailand with a lot of gay population but not really sure where it is.
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    Aug 28, 2007 12:49 PM GMT
    Well I live just inside or just outside of the Oaklawn area that Starboard is talking about. (Hello neighbor!) I lived for most of my time in Dallas in a northern suburb with screaming kids and big SUVs. I love living in the city. I love living on the edge of downtown and uptown. I also enjoy the quick access to some of the "gayer" venues. I also happen to work in uptown and so have drive to work on city streets that's less than 5 miles. So for all these reasons, I really do enjoy it. That said, the Oaklawn area of Dallas is fairly far into the renewal stage. So it's much more "mixed" than it used to be from my viewpoint.

    Anyway, what was interesting for me when I did move down here is the number of gay men who would roll their eyes when I told them where I was moving to. I was really surprised at the judgment I felt from some people.
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    Aug 28, 2007 12:50 PM GMT
    Er to clarify, I meant to write that I live just inside or just outside the area depending on how you draw the line for the area.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Aug 28, 2007 2:49 PM GMT
    To follow up on Muscleguyfun's comment, I have a friend (straight) who is a real estate investor -- he intentionally buys a lot of homes in gay neighborhoods -- he says that gay neighborhoods are usually a higher income demographic since you often have two male wage earners under the same roof with discretionary income to spend on their house. It seems rather cynical for a straight guy to profit off of the liabilities that a woman brings to the household though I've never been able to get him to recognize the irony.

    RedKoste, I ended up moving into Lake Highlands...I chose it for the proximity to the lake (White Rock) and imagined early morning lakeside runs, sculling on cool evenings and mountain biking on the trails -- none of which has happened yet.
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    Aug 28, 2007 3:38 PM GMT
    Hmm... come to think of it, one of the worst things about the years that I lived in town was the sound of screaming kids 24/7. It might be worth it to seek out a neighborhood without that. But is the high density of screaming drama queens any better?
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    Aug 28, 2007 3:56 PM GMT
    My partner and I live in the gayborhood of Seattle.

    We use to live outside of the city and really enjoyed the area. After a while, though, we realized that for convenience with work, community service involvements and being closer to our friends, it would be more adventageous to live on "The Hill."

    We have a great condo in a highrise that is around 98% gay. It's a beautiful, quiet neighborhood, two blocks from the main strip, a 10 minute walk to downtown (where we both work) and we absolutely enjoy the enregy of the area and what it has to offer.
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    Aug 28, 2007 4:18 PM GMT
    Hehe mindgarden, what makes you think there aren't screaming drama queens in the suburbs? Ever been stuck in a grocery store checkout line or worse a supersized discount store during the back to school madness? Drama queens are everywhere in my experience even on the internet...I know I just heard a collective gasp. For the record, there are kids around my neighborhood but just not as many.

    Starboard, the outdoor things are a really great part about where you live. I was just worried about my commute which probably would have been ok afterall.
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    Aug 28, 2007 9:41 PM GMT
    Austin does not have a gay ghetto. Austin is also one of the gayest (for lack of a better term) cities in the USA.

    Here, we're simply integrated with the straight population. There's very little judgement in the air. Gay folks go to straight places yet remain gay, and straight folks frequent gay places and events.

    Because of this, Austin gay folks seem to resist the common practice of trying to look like a generic attractive male (in other words, "cloning"). They're more proud of whatever else they're into, and look the part.

    I really hope gays in other cities can one day be this liberated, because I firmly think that a gay ghetto is basically a societal vacuum.

    Yes, I am bragging about my city. I could never live in a gay ghetto, because I'd be afraid of losing touch with about 95% of the rest of society.
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    Aug 28, 2007 9:52 PM GMT
    I am moving to Chicago in the next couple of months and since I've never had the chance to live in a city with a gayborhood, I figure what the hell, why not? So I'm moving to the Lakeview area in Chicago kind of near Boystown.

    I personally don't think this is going to pigeon-hole me into just being around gay people, but can see how for others who don't have friends in a new city, this could be the case. Anyhow, in Chicago, everything seems close enough so that even if you are in the 'gayborhood' you're still around lots of other places in the city.
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    Aug 28, 2007 10:24 PM GMT
    Is being gay really important enough to require a ghetto? I'm an Episcopalian--it's an important part of my identity. But I don't want to live in an Episcopal neighborhood. My understanding of my homosexuality doesn't require that I separate myself from society. I no more want all of my friends to be gay than I want them to be Episcopalians. There are things I share with my Episcopal friends, but I have a life which doesn't involve them at all.

    I just don't see the point of a gay ghetto, or a gay city. I'm happy with a bookstore within driving distance.
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Aug 28, 2007 11:04 PM GMT

    I live in a former gay ghetto here in Boston's South End. Escalating real estate prices in my opinion caused the gay community to diffuses throughout the city. I also think that Provincetown (P'town) also influenced the community here. Although P'town is following in the South End footsteps now too.

    I used to live in Chicago's Boystown (ie Lakeview) which I completely loved (and still do when I return). It has the right amount of balance to it. irishkowboy, you're going to love it!

    Other ghettos like West Hollywood I haven't been crazy about although I've enjoyed visiting the Castro.

    Chicago's Boystown seem to have the right mix - somehow. Although I don't know how 'they' maintain it, to be honest.
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    Aug 29, 2007 12:48 AM GMT
    ATX is very right about Austin,

    I was born and raised in Dallas, and I feel that having the gay ghetto is part of what makes Dallas such a shithole city. It's just another form of segregation.

    Austin is a very gay and integrated city. I almost choked to death when I heard the only block in Austin that has more than one (read: two) gay bar referred to as 'the gay area'. That same block has 3 straight bars, and few trendy, I don't even know what they are, restaurants? But not gay focused, that's for sure. Only problem I have here is I find myself having to straight up ask people if they are gay most of the time. So if you want to make it work here, you gotta have some balls.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Aug 29, 2007 1:46 AM GMT
    Ever since moving to Texas I've heard a lot of good things about Austin.

    However, I am skeptical that it would be considered one of the "gayest" cities in the US. There are A LOT of REALLY GAY cities in this country. And certainly Texas...even Austin...has some catching up to do.

    My impression is that Austin is more "progressive" than it is "gay" (considering that I live in the "shit hole" that is Dallas, you should probably take my opinion with a grain of salt). The capital of one of the most homophobic states in the union, Austin seems to have been overwhelmed by the influences of academia (UT Austin) and a community of well educated, tolerant, creative individuals.

    I think that an example of a similar community would be Lawrence, KS (influenced by KU).

    Most communities in the US seem to naturally segregate themselves by various factors (ethnic, financial,etc.). I think that gay ghettos are the result of self-imposed social segregation -- just as young families tend to gravitate towards neighborhoods with parks and schools and seniors tend to live on golf courses.