According to recent research by the University of British Columbia, which was published last week in Pink News, gay and lesbian spaces in cities are dispersing and diversifying rather than disappearing.
The study finds that only 12% of LGBTQ Americans older than 18 years of age currently live in gay enclaves “gayborhoods” in major cities and more than 70% (72% to be precise) have never lived in a ‘gay neighborhood’. In many cities same sex couples with children are choosing to live in more suburban settings. Provincetown, MA, North Hampton, MA and Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood where called out as top postcodes for lesbians (no surprise to anyone familiar with these places). However, top postcodes for gay men remain the largest gay, urban neighborhoods like The Castro and West Hollywood. But trends suggest that while the traditional “gayborhood” is changing it is reflecting a diversity that better represents the make up of the United States.
We will see what ultimately happens to the few remaining gay enclaves, but a diversifying neighborhood where gay individuals, couples and families call home and are both vocal and visible seems like a better alternative to disappearing.