Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The end of gayborhoods?

The New York Times notes the cancellation of the annual Halloween parade in the Castro district of San Francisco as emblematic of the decline of gay neighborhoods across the US. I've already noted that gay bars recently turned up on a list of "endangered businesses." Is this a good thing? Last week I went to a panel discussion organized by The History Project of Boston, and an older lesbian said that she couldn't deny that things were better now for the gay community, but she still missed the "excitement" of the time when socializing with other gays and lesbians had a forbidden air about it. Maybe there's a parallel with Red Sox fans, some of whom now miss being part of a "cursed" community. I certainly don't want to be cursed, but I do kind of miss the days when all gay people seemed to have something in common. Coming-out stories were always a good icebreaker when meeting someone new; these days, when a 20-year-old says that he just figured things out and told everyone in his life, you're back to talking about sports or TV shows, just as if you were at a gathering full of straight people.

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