As some of our dear readers may know, the National Sexuality Resource Center and American Sexuality Magazine are based in San Francisco, California. For us, the news of the world-renowned Halloween Party in the Castro strikes particularly close to home. The NYTimes has a fantastic piece about how the canceling of this party indicates a national trend of declining "gayborhoods."
“The Castro, and to a lesser extent the West Village, was where you went to express yourself,” said Don F. Reuter, a New York author who is researching a book on the rise and fall of gay neighborhoods, or “gayborhoods.”
“Claiming physical territory was a powerful act,” Mr. Reuter said. “But the gay neighborhood is becoming a past-tense idea.”
I mourn the decline of the "gayborhood" like I mourn the decline of snail mail. I'm happy that there's a better way to organize GLBTQ life, like I'm happy I can send emails rather than letters.
I think gayborhoods are becoming less necessary as the country's urban areas became to acknowledge that gay people actually exist. This is a good thing. Though there is a unique gay culture in the gay ghetto, wouldn't it be better if GLBTQ communities didn't have to run to safe zones like the Castro? We have a long way to go before the entire country is GLBTQ safe, but having more urban centers than just San Francisco and Manhattan is a great first step.
Opinions aside, I loved this quote in the article from a Canadian tourist.
Amanda Rankin, a 40-year-old tourist from Hamilton, Ontario, was taking a “Cruisin’ the Castro” walking tour with three lesbian friends the other day.
“In America there still seems to be a lot of sexual repression left over from Puritanism and the pilgrims,” Ms. Rankin said. “Then there’s San Francisco.”
GO SAN FRANCISCO!