The Gayborhood: From Sexual Liberation to Cosmopolitan Spectacle explores the lived experiences of LGBT+ persons in an era of heightened visibility. Gay urban enclaves, known colloquially as gayborhoods, illustrate the evolution of LGBT+ political capacity building. Since their emergence after World War II, gayborhoods have homogenized at the expense of women, transgender, and nonwhite persons due to neoliberal policies promoted by urban planners. Thus, their popularization and economic vitality correlate with a loss of collective identity and space for some inhabitants. While gayborhoods were once diverse and inclusive spaces that rejected normative institutions of marriage and assimilation into dominant society, the stakeholders of these areas have now unashamedly aligned themselves with conformity and profitability to legitimize their existence. The contributors within The Gayborhood invite readers to reflect on the future of LGBT+ politics and look beyond the commercialized rainbow spectacle of gayborhoods to the communities and aspirations within.
Christopher T. Conner is visiting professor of sociology at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Daniel Okamura is a doctoral candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Introduction: Queering the Sociological Imagination
Christopher T. Conner and Daniel Okamura
Chapter One: Performative Progressiveness: Accounting for New Forms of Inequality in the Gayborhood
Adriana Brodyn and Amin Ghaziani
Chapter Two: Style and the Value of Gay Nightlife: Homonormative Placemaking in San Francisco
Chapter Three: The Triumph of Collective Intimacy—Gay Collective Sex in New York City from the Late 1800s to Today
Étienne Meunier and Jeffrey Escoffier
Chapter Four: Gayborhoods as Criminogenic Space
Vanessa R. Panfil
Chapter Five: Disappearing: Gay Spaces and the Gay Singleton
Chapter Six: Erotic Capital and Queer Men of Color
Omar Ali Mushtaq
Chapter Seven: The Whiteness of Queer Urban Placemaking
Chapter Eight: Beyond the Homonormative Framework: How Two-Mother Families in Poland Deal with Social Invisibility and Related Anxieties
Chapter Nine: When the Gayborhood Isn’t Enough: How Trans Youth Utilize the Internet to Make a Digital Trans Neighborhood
Chapter Ten: Gays Under Glass: Gay Dating Apps and the Affection-Image
Chapter Eleven: Gayborhood Change: The Intertwined Sexual and Racial Character of Assimilation in Chicago’s Boystown
Afterword: Somewhere Beyond the Gayborhood
Mapping the field of gayborhood studies, this volume is a masterful one-of-a kind collection that invites readers to rethink what they know about queer communities. The rich contributions from a wide range of scholars fill an important niche and makes it a must-read. A wonderful accomplishment.
The Gayborhood: From Sexual Liberation to Cosmopolitan Spectacle, edited by Christopher T. Conner and Daniel Okamura, is a provocative collection of essays that collectively provide an outstanding overview of the historical evolution of the sociology on gay urban enclaves. The contributions push the debate beyond the simplistic question of “are queer urban spaces disappearing?” to explore many social, technological, and cultural forces reshaping them. Most important, the volume challenges us to think more seriously about the many ways that race, class, and gender stratification are driving change in contemporary queer urban communities. The essays are wonderfully engaging and well written, and the collection is a welcome contribution to the fields of urban sociology and the sociology of sexualities.
The Gayborhood is a valuable contribution to the study of gay neighborhoods, helping to map the growing body of scholarship on LGBT-identified localities. The book’s chapters could be assigned for undergraduate or graduate courses in sexualities, LGBT studies, and urban research. The book will be particularly helpful for scholars who study queer life, the intersection of sexuality and race, and space.