Are Gayborhoods Going Straight?

There Goes the Gayborhood coverNew research finds that traditionally gay neighbourhoods are becoming increasingly “straight” places, and could be at risk of losing their distinct cultural identity.

Fewer same-sex couples reside in historically gay neighbourhoods compared to 10 years ago, according to one of the largest studies of sexuality in the U.S. Led by University of British Columbia sociologist Amin Ghaziani, the study found the number of gay men who live in gay enclaves has declined eight per cent while the number of lesbians has dropped 13 per cent.

Ghaziani’s research, which is collected in his new book There Goes the Gayborhood, suggests that San Francisco’s Castro district, New York’s Chelsea, Chicago’s Boystown and other “gayborhoods” are changing as growing numbers of heterosexual households join or replace gays and lesbians. He offers several reasons for the shift, including gentrification, changing attitudes among gays and lesbians, and growing acceptance of same-sex couples.

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