metta8 saidIs the decline of the modern “gayborhood” a good thing?
Seems to me it's the OLD gayborhood that has declined, and a NEW gayborhood that's taken its place in many locales.
And what my older gay friends tell me is that modern gay communities are more publicly out, with rainbow flags flying everywhere, and less designed as they once were to deal with police raids and homophobic attacks. I'd call that an improvement.
Gayborhoods also tend to grow & diminish based on economics, and to migrate over time, not always disappear. Gays move into a depressed, rundown area and buy property at reduced prices, then improve it. Over time straights and real estate developers begin moving in and buying up what the gays created, reselling it at much higher prices and pushing the less affluent gays out.
Examples of that would be Miami Beach and its South Beach section, and Key West. In the case of SoBe the result was to cause the gayborhood to migrate northward. First to parts of mainland Miami, then to Fort Lauderdale, and now to Wilton Manors.
I tell our gay friends it's only a matter of time before Gay Central also leaves Wilton Manors for another place, as the same cycle continues. Once the straights discover what a great place we've created for ourselves, they move in and buy it all up. Some of that is happening already in WM.
In the case of Key West, however, there's really no place to go on the other smaller Keys. There's little actually gay left in Key West, and that's happened rapidly in the 8 years I've lived in South Florida.
The multiple gay & lesbian guest houses & clubs I knew are almost all gone, bought up by outside investors and converted to straight establishments. And residential real estate prices and costs of living have skyrocketed. You've gotta have deep pockets to buy & live in KW now.