Is the LGBTQI-centric neighborhood still needed in this day and age?
Over the past few decades, city neighborhoods have changed. Developers have moved in, building condos and mixed-used developments that have displaced many residents and mom-and-pop businesses. When talking about this phenomenon, we normally refer back to the racial makeup of a city, but one of the consequences of these new developments is the almost complete obliteration of the gayborhood.
For those of us that can remember, the gayborhood represented many different things in gay culture. It was where we lived, sometimes worked and definitely partied. It was an institution, a safe space. In Columbus, we had the Short North, an artsy strip where gays and creatives could be themselves.
Fast-forward to the present, and we have entered a day and age when queer people aren’t restricted, with many unafraid to settle anywhere. So the question becomes, is the gayborhood still viable?
There will always be a need for queer spaces. If we expect to keep our culture alive, we have to be proactive in preserving those old spaces, in addition to creating new ones. And while there is nostalgia for the good ol’ days of gaydom, when you had to go to a specific section of town just to be out and proud, it doesn’t have to be an end-of-times scenario.
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