The election of Donald Trump portendsâ€”if not darker daysâ€”certainly more gloomy days ahead for Americaâ€™s LGBT community. President-elect Trumpâ€™s proposed policy agenda seems designed to marginalize minority groups, and Vice President-elect Pence has a demonstrated track record of vigorously working to restrict LGBT rights. The tone set by their transition team has already proven to be disappointing news for Americaâ€™s lesbian and gay community members, many of whom live, socialize and patronize businesses in or near gay neighborhoods in urban centers squarely within progressive â€œblueâ€ territory.
Gayborhoods â€” Chelsea and Greenwich Village (NYC), South End (Boston), North Halsted (Chicago), West Hollywood (Los Angeles), South Beach (Miami), and Dupont Circle (Washington, D.C.)â€”along with countless similar neighborhoods in medium- and large-sized urban centers, are vital places in urban America. These neighborhoods emerged after the 1960s sexual revolution and concurrent violence against gay men and lesbian women, including landmark events such as the Stonewall riots in New York and the UpStairs arson in New Orleans, in which more than thirty patrons perished.
A desire to live in accepting communities galvanized gay men and lesbian women to become â€˜urban pioneers,â€™ the first group to occupy older and declining central city neighborhoods as affluent residents fled cities for the suburbs. Gay and lesbian residents established communities in these neglected urban areas, where rents were inexpensive, space was plentiful, and safety was strengthened by numbers. Over time, through dedication, hard work and often in the face of adversity, LGBT residents invested in these gayborhoods by renovating homes and apartment buildings. New businesses and other investment were soon attracted to these vibrant neighborhoods, and the combined community-building efforts richly enhanced social and cultural life.
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