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October 30, 2007

Richard Florida

Gay Shift?

« Education 'Fix' | Main | Putting the Buff in Tor-Buff-Chester »

The New York Times asks can gay neighborhoods maintain their relevance in the face of gentrification or are they becoming "passe'." The story draws heavily from the research of my long-time collaborator, UCLA demographer, Gary Gates.

There has been a notable shift of gravity from the Castro, with young gay men and lesbians fanning out into less-expensive neighborhoods like Mission Dolores and the Outer Sunset, and farther away to Marin and Alameda Counties, “mirroring national trends where you are seeing same-sex couples becoming less urban, even as the population become slightly more urban,” said Gary J. Gates, a demographer and senior research fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. At the same time, cities not widely considered gay meccas have seen a sharp increase in same-sex couples. Among them: Fort Worth; El Paso; Albuquerque; Louisville, Ky.; and Virginia Beach, according to census figures and extrapolations by Dr. Gates for The New York Times. “Twenty years ago, if you were gay and lived in rural Kansas, you went to San Francisco or New York,” he said. “Now you can just go to Kansas City.”


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Michael Wells

On the same day, the Portland Tribune ran the following story about Gay clubs moving from "The Gay Triangle" to the less expensive Old Town district. There's no one neighborhood where gays & lesbians live in Portland, although most of the concentrations are close in.

The Times story starts with the annual Castro Halloween street party being canceled. In the early 1960's and I don't know for how long before, when gays were still closeted in SF and men could get arrested for cross-dressing, there was an annual Halloween party in a North Beach club called Finnochios, where all the customers would dress in drag.

Michael R. Bernstein

I have a strong intuition that in another 10 years or so you'll be able to make a similar 'Kansas' statement about technology startups and Silicon Valley.

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