cover image There Goes the Gayborhood?

There Goes the Gayborhood?

Amin Ghaziani. Princeton Univ, $35 (360p) ISBN 978-0-691-15879-2

In this survey of gay neighborhoods in the U.S., University of British Columbia sociologist Ghaziani (The Dividends of Dissent) offers passionate and refreshing insights on a politically charged issue. Taking the “gayborhood” as his subject, Ghaziani analyzes the phenomenon of “gay ghettos” using rich statistical data, historical analysis, a comprehensive review of news reports, and in-depth interviews with gays and heterosexuals. The result is a panoramic view of both the dimensions and cultural evolution of the gay neighborhood, and a response to the titular question: are gayborhoods and their once rich cultural vibrancy in decline? Ghaziani’s answers refuse easy scapegoats or facile conclusions, and suggest that the cultural evolution of gayborhoods need not entail their demise. He brings much needed nuance to heated debates about the role of gay neighborhoods in wider patterns of gentrification, and illustrates how the growth of tolerance is not evenly distributed across the country, making the need for “safe space” especially urgent for some LGBT constituencies. Much of the book focuses on the Chicago gay enclaves of Boystown and Andersonville, limiting its scope somewhat, but the findings are not to be missed. [em](Aug.) [/em]