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Thread: Gay Village

  1. #1

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    Gay Village

    Can a city really promote a Gay Village? Is it wrong to encourage one group of people to relocate to a certain area? What incintives should be offered that would make Homosexuals want to move to a certain area? Would a Gay Village show up on tourist maps the way that "China Town" does on may city maps? Why do we not celebrate "Mexican Town" or "Afro-American Neighborhoods" as great places to shop and eat?

  2. #2
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Good points. I guess it depends upon the group if the area is celebrated or not.


    Off-topic:
    Is there some significance to the Raney in your username? If that is your sir name, we are probably distant relatives.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Why does a city need to "promote" this? In Chicago, Boystown happened on its own, and was recognized my the city after the fact. Other metro areas, no encouragement needed. Cleveland has Lakewood, Milwaukee has Bayview, Ft. Lauderdale has, well, Ft. Lauderdale. Oh, Welcome to Ft. Lauderdale Rumpy Tunanator! My point being, like any other minority, there's a midset amoung some gays to flock into enclaves without encouragement.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    What Chet says is basically right. These neighborhoods happen in the same way that any other neighborhood may become Polish or Hispanic or whatever. Maybe a difference is that while people may not want to move from Toledo to Chicago's Irving Park because it is a German neighborhood, you will see people wanting to move from Green Bay to Boystown. This was the goal of a college friend of mine who moved to... Little Rock.

    There are now some developers who are developing subdivisions or condominium developments catering to gays and lesbians. I think there is one near Santa Fe. They would seem more likely to appear in a handful of the more liberal cities across the country. Is this any different, though, than retirement communities built for seniors, or even those built for Catholics or Lutherans?

    I know of a city or two that has misinterpreted Richard Florida's work to think that the secret of economic success is to have a large gay population. As a result, they have created ridiculous programs around trying to attract gays to their city. Other cities have capitalized on their appeal to try appealing to the gay travel market.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RaneyOnline
    What incintives should be offered that would make Homosexuals want to move to a certain area?
    Uhhh... you need to ask!?


  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by RaneyOnline
    Why do we not celebrate "Mexican Town" or "Afro-American Neighborhoods" as great places to shop and eat?
    You could probably write a couple novels trying to answer this question. American culture celebrates the immigrant. Asian Americans are viewed favorably in popular white culture-- they're the "model minority" after all. White middle class suburbanites visit the city and dabble in what's deemed to be the "exotic" and "mysterious" culture of the Orient. Soccer moms aren't going to cry from their minivans, "Oh, look honey. It's a black ghetto, let's stop and get some Crown Fried Chicken!" Black culture isn't "exotic" and "foreign." After all, most African Americans have been living here for as long as most whites. And that's the part that makes whites uncomfortable. To celebrate African-American culture is, to some extent, to recognize the fact that it is a product of years of institutionalized racism. That Chinese Americans who don't speak proficient English or have homegrown educations should be segregated into their own community is no embarassment (after all-- our Polish, Irish, Italians, faced the same barriers, many reason), but recognizing that years of continuing institutionalized racism keeps poor blacks confined to service-poor parts of cities is crossing that line into a spiral of white guilt.

    America's history of slavery and segregation sets African American blacks apart from minorities who voluntarily immigrated. The same attitudes can be seen in trends in transracial adoption-- i.e. why so many white couples adopt Asian children yet black/white adoption remains relatively rare. (It's not just that little girls get thrown into the river).

    And as for celebrating Mexican neighborhoods, a lot of cities do have Mexicantowns which see business from whites. See Detroit's http://www.mexicantown.org

  7. #7
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RaneyOnline
    Why do we not celebrate "Mexican Town" or "Afro-American Neighborhoods" as great places to shop and eat?
    Well we do.

    In So. Fla if you want good Mexican Food you go to Homestead, becuase that is where the Mexican population and rests. are. (though there is a good Mexican place on 8 St, aka 'Little Havana' as in Cuba, as well ).

    As far as "Afro-American Neighborhoods", I think Auburn Ave. in Atlanta is celebrated as a place to eat and shop.


    As for your original question, I think it is a fine line between promoting and area for a certian demo and segregating. Most 'villages' form on there own, not because a city says, "ok, this is where the Chinese will live and this is where the Gay folks will live, and this is where the Italians will live"... etc..."

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by RaneyOnline
    Can a city really promote a Gay Village? Is it wrong to encourage one group of people to relocate to a certain area? What incintives should be offered that would make Homosexuals want to move to a certain area? Would a Gay Village show up on tourist maps the way that "China Town" does on may city maps? Why do we not celebrate "Mexican Town" or "Afro-American Neighborhoods" as great places to shop and eat?
    Except in very few cases, no municipality in the United States could away with actively providing taxpayer supported programs that catered specifically to the Gay Community. The outcry would from conservatives and even most of the mainstream would be deafening. One only has to look at what has happened with Gay marriage, which is nothing but allowing certain legal rights, to discover that most straight people are not really interested in providing equal opportunities to Gays

    Even though this is the 21st century, the idea of two Gay men setting up a household is still too much for many people. Gay villages happen because Gays want a place to live in peace.

  9. #9

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    I'd agree with Chet on this one; the communities spring up and grow over time and are then recognised and sometimes celebrated by the town/council.

    This has certainly happened here in London (Soho) and Manchester (Canal Street area*). Because these areas are now celebrated by the local authority many tourists, gay and straight, visit the areas now.

    *The street sign for Canal Street has now been subtly altered by the first letter of each of the words being blacked out!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by noj
    Because these areas are now celebrated by the local authority many tourists, gay and straight, visit the areas now.
    They visit now becasue it is cleaner and safer thanit used to be.

  11. #11
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by metroboi
    Except in very few cases, no municipality in the United States could away with actively providing taxpayer supported programs that catered specifically to the Gay Community.
    But ... what would they be? Don't say "bathhouses," because they serve as a place to meet others for later sexual activity; it would be the equivalent of a government-funded singles bar. (Are there even still singles bars around?) Besides the last municipal bathhouses in the US closed in the 1960s; by that time, everybody had indoor plumbing.

    I can't think of a "Gaytown" in the same way as a Chinatown or Little Italy. "Hey, let's go to Gaytown and get some gay cuisine at a gay restaurant. I also heard that the hair salons there are gayer and more authentic."
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I don’t think that a city should promote it. I think that it could be taken the wrong way, and cause more problems than good.

    One of the few successful neighborhoods in Reading PA was the Centre Park Historic District. This area promoted an interactive, artsy, and diverse residential community, with great historic detail. Several homosexuals started to move into it because of the character of the neighborhood, and now they are a significant part of the neighborhood. I also think that it helps that the population is open minded and welcoming.

    It became the desired place to be regardless of your sexual orientation.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    I can't think of a "Gaytown" in the same way as a Chinatown or Little Italy. "Hey, let's go to Gaytown and get some gay cuisine at a gay restaurant. I also heard that the hair salons there are gayer and more authentic."
    Then you have never been to Boystown in Chicago or Provincetown in Massachussets.

  14. #14

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    Well: would stores like "Nancy Boy" or (a bookstore) "A Different Light" be anywhere in San Francisco but The Castro.

    To agree with michaelskis, the reality of The Castro is that is a beautiful residential neighborhood.

  15. #15
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    I can't think of a "Gaytown" in the same way as a Chinatown or Little Italy. "Hey, let's go to Gaytown and get some gay cuisine at a gay restaurant. I also heard that the hair salons there are gayer and more authentic."
    Is it really so different in principle from chinatown or any other ethnic enclave? After all, both are merely areas within a city which reflect a concentration of individuals belonging to a particular culture and the businesses and dwelling arrangements are reflections/expressions of these cultural values.

    I don't think its so cut and dry. There are definitional arguments for and against both ways. Chinatown has butcher shops with decapitated poultry hanging in the windows and 'gay' areas find higher concentration of alternative bookstores. Yet, both are still expressions of their respective values. Is there a "Chinese" lifestyle - well, yeah actually.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    Then you have never been to Boystown in Chicago or Provincetown in Massachussets.
    Although it was never called that, I did live in "Dyketown" during my tenure in Denver. There really wasn't a lesbian equivalent to Denver's fabulous Capital Hill neighborhood, but there was a larger-than-normal concentration living in the West Highlands neighborhood. There was a good assortment of New Age bookstores and independent coffeehouses, but no lesbian bars,

    Seriously, are there any real Dyketowns that would have the same concentration of lesbians as famous gay neighbrhoods like the Castro or Capital Hill? Rist Canyon in Larimer County, and similar rugged yet accessible areas were supposedly popular among more militant lesbians, but what about their urban systers?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17
    Cyburbian MitchBaby's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Seriously, are there any real Dyketowns that would have the same concentration of lesbians as famous gay neighbrhoods like the Castro or Capital Hill? Rist Canyon in Larimer County, and similar rugged yet accessible areas were supposedly popular among more militant lesbians, but what about their urban systers?
    though not as recognized as Vancouver's West End in and around Davie Street, the area known as upper commercial drive has a very high lesbian population... I don't know the stats, but its probably 50% as dense as the West End's gay population...

    That's what I've been told anyhow...
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  18. #18
          mentarman's avatar
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    Part of this is answering the question of whether there is a gay culture that can be promoted. There isn't really gay cuisine or gay crafts. Thus there are no gay restaurants or markets or stores selling just gay goods. (Though there is usually an "edgier" store with pride stuff as well as cards and naughty gifts and such that appeal to straight folks too.)
    The towns I've lived in that had a specific locale with a concentration of Mexican peeps tended to celebrate it for its bakeries, markets and restaurants.
    There are usually famous soul food places in most towns, but I would agree they usually don't amount to a district and aren't as celebrated as the Chinatowns, Little Indias and Little Tokyos out there.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RaneyOnline
    Can a city really promote a Gay Village? Is it wrong to encourage one group of people to relocate to a certain area?
    As unheard of as it sounds today, cities used to require ethnic minorities to live in a only certain part of town. Gay "villages" that you know of today were more like urban ghettos in their infancy. The resulting effect, however, was that the redevelopment of these "ghettos" was forcing the native residents out of the area due to the rising market values, which in turn led to higher taxes.

    A resource that RaneyOnline may also want to look into is the recently established APA Chapter, GALIP (Gays and Lesbians in Planning).

    Quote Originally posted by RaneyOnline
    Why do we not celebrate "Mexican Town" or "Afro-American Neighborhoods" as great places to shop and eat?
    As others have already stated, there are many ethnic events where good food, shopping and culture exist. Other than a "gay-owned" or "gay-operated" restaurant, you're not going to find a gay "cuisine." It still goes back to the ethnicity of the food, IMHO.

    Quote Originally posted by RaneyOnline
    Would a Gay Village show up on tourist maps the way that "China Town" does on may city maps?
    Many of them do; Boston, San Fran, San Diego and Chicago to name a few. And even Chicago went as far as allowing streetscape elements to be incorporated into the PUBLIC rights-of-way recognizing this. While Chicago wouldn't specifically state "Boystown", Chicago does recognize the Lakeview neighborhood.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  20. #20
         
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    I don't think people can be "encouraged" ....they gravitate toward places that are comfortable or have a list of desirable attributes making it attractive to move there. Of course, a "Gay Village" would end up being more desirable as we are the purveyors of Fabulous.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DJ Queenie
    I don't think people can be "encouraged" ....they gravitate toward places that are comfortable or have a list of desirable attributes making it attractive to move there. Of course, a "Gay Village" would end up being more desirable as we are the purveyors of Fabulous.
    Welcome! Interesting first post - please introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum.

    Is it really possible to be a purveyor of Fabulous? Just what would that be, funky shops, rainbow flags and feather boas? I recall a certain street on our Laefest Tour of Toronto - Tranplanner, Donk or someone help me out with the name - where there were many of these eclectic/eccentric shops, but I do not think it was overtly agy, at least as far as I could tell.

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  22. #22
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    That is a PRICELESS picture of Dan, by the way!

  23. #23
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I recall a certain street on our Laefest Tour of Toronto - Tranplanner, Donk or someone help me out with the name - where there were many of these eclectic/eccentric shops, but I do not think it was overtly agy, at least as far as I could tell.
    That's Augusta Ave, in Kensington Market. That's not actually where the main gay village in Toronto is, but the shops in Kensington cater to a wide range of lifestyles.

  24. #24
         
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    Many of them do; Boston, San Fran, San Diego and Chicago to name a few. And even Chicago went as far as allowing streetscape elements to be incorporated into the PUBLIC rights-of-way recognizing this. While Chicago wouldn't specifically state "Boystown", Chicago does recognize the Lakeview neighborhood.[/QUOTE]

    Toronto's Church and Wellesley neighbourhood (or Gaybourhood as some have called it) has the rainbow flag incorporated into the street signs as well as hanging as banners throughout the neighbourhood. I honestly haven't paid more attention to see if any other streetscaping details have been included as well.

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