Obit magazine covers a phenomenon that has long fascinated me in There Goes the Gayborhood:
Gayborhoods were born in the second-half of the 20th century in relatively run-down, forsaken parts of cities, away from the establishment that could give a damn about man-on-man P.D.A., and side-by-side with others who found themselves similarly sidelined: the poor, drug addicts, ethnic minorities. Sometimes referred to with the euphemism “artists,” gays became the Marines of gentrification, storming and conquering destitute places. Then, unencumbered with the financial burden of Huggie’s, ballet classes and lunch boxes, they dropped cash. Disposable incomes turned vacant factories into lofts and abandoned lots into community gardens. They brought a live-and-let-live attitude, a sense of style, and several places to eat sushi.
The article explains how the traditional Gayborhoods are now on the wane, having themselves been colonized by lots of other people looking for the attractions that they provide and rendered less essential by wider acceptance of gays in society.
On a related note, there was a documentary that premiered in 2003 on the racial tensions caused by gay gentrification of traditionally black neighborhoods called Flag Wars. It’s worth seeking out.