Thursday, August 7, 2008

Equality on Ice, and the Future of the "Gayborhood"

Two stories today that are worth a read. First, from the "Land Down Under" comes the story of a Cinderella on Ice production...with a twist. The show features a gay male couple. And this has some groups up in arms such as the Australian Families Association, who said "We need to protect our children. They don't need to grow up any quicker." I imagine we'd hear the same tired arguments from the American Family Association if the show were here in the States. Of course this rhetoric entirely dismisses the millions of children of GLBT parents, as well as GLBT youth themselves. Why not let all young people see positive role-models in the arts and entertainment? Because it might actually teach young people that everyone is equal?

In another story out today, takes a look at the changing demographics of the "gayborhood." While most large American cities have a center of the GLBT community, things are slowly changing. I can attest that here in Washington, D.C., our hot spot - the legendary Dupont Circle, has slowly gentrified and taken on a different flavor. It still serves as an epicenter of gay nightlife, but I increasingly see GLBT people living in neighborhoods further away.

"Thirty years ago, if I lived in the Midwest and I was gay, my thought was I would go to San Francisco or New York," says Gary Gates, a demographer for the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA that specializes in sexual orientation and the law. "Now, a person can go to Kansas City and find a fairly active and open gay community."

I'm not sure if gay people are necessarily flocking to the suburbs as this piece claims. But overall it will be interesting to see, as GLBT people achieve more acceptance and equality, how that changes where and how we live.

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