Gay neighborhoods, like the legendary Castro District in San Francisco and New York's Greenwich Village, have long provided sexual minorities with safe havens in an often unsafe world. But as our society increasingly accepts gays and lesbians into the mainstream, are "gayborhoods" destined to disappear? Amin Ghaziani provides an incisive look at the origins of these unique cultural enclaves, the reasons why they are changing today, and their prospects for the future.
Drawing on a wealth of evidence--including census data, opinion polls, hundreds of newspaper reports from across the United States, and more than one hundred original interviews with residents in Chicago, one of the most paradigmatic cities in America--There Goes the Gayborhood? argues that political gains and societal acceptance are allowing gays and lesbians to imagine expansive possibilities for a life beyond the gayborhood. The dawn of a new post-gay era is altering the character and composition of existing enclaves across the country, but the spirit of integration can coexist alongside the celebration of differences in subtle and sometimes surprising ways.
Exploring the intimate relationship between sexuality and the city, this cutting-edge book reveals how gayborhoods, like the cities that surround them, are organic and continually evolving places. Gayborhoods have nurtured sexual minorities throughout the twentieth century and, despite the unstoppable forces of flux, will remain resonant and revelatory features of urban life.
Amin Ghaziani is associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of The Dividends of Dissent: How Conflict and Culture Work in Lesbian and Gay Marches on Washington.
"As gayness moves from the closet to the mainstream, the social and spatial structure of the gay community is inevitably changing. Social transformations are always expressed in the urban landscape, and gay neighborhoods are no exception. In his superb new book, Amin Ghaziani offers a nuanced and perceptive guide to the changing nature of gay life in contemporary urban America. As a former resident of San Francisco's Castro neighborhood during its heyday, I read it with great interest and much appreciation for the power of Ghaziani's sociological imagination."--Douglas S. Massey, coauthor of Climbing Mount Laurel: The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb
"Through the lens of gayborhoods, Amin Ghaziani offers a provocative and insightful new analysis of the gay experience. He combines historical documentation, popular media accounts, and empirical data to tell a compelling story of how gayborhoods shaped LGBT and urban life in America and considers what might be next for these enclaves in a post-gay society."--Gary J. Gates, coauthor of The Gay and Lesbian Atlas
"What happens to cities when gay life moves out of the closet and into the streets? In this important book, Amin Ghaziani examines the cultural politics and political economy of the gayborhood, charting its emergence as a safe space in a hostile environment and its evolving role in the gentrifying metropolis. There Goes the Gayborhood? is original, timely, and provocative. It's destined to spark a heated debate."--Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo and Heat Wave
"There Goes the Gayborhood? contributes to the important and growing literature on sexuality, moving past questions about individual identity and social-movement activism to address broader questions about daily life, social interaction, and the spaces in which people live."--Robert Wuthnow, author of Small-Town America