Thursday, August 14, 2014
Matt Yglesias looks at the rise and fall of America's gay neighborhoods:
Ghaziani's research tells us that between the 2000 and 2010 Census, the number of same-sex couples living in key traditional gayborhoods declined, often as larger trends in urban life made those neighborhoods newly desirable destinations.
At the same time, the Census now finds same-sex romantic couples living together in 93 percent of America's counties. The gay population is becoming less concentrated as its legal, political, and social reality is increasingly accepted.
That acceptance itself is clearly a good thing. But the decline of the gayborhood may be a negative consequence of declining homophobia. Ghaziani notes that the American political system heavily rewards geographically concentrated voting blocks. Gays and lesbians are a relatively small minority in the United States, but when they cluster in hubs, the politicians who represent those hubs become key champions of their issues.