‘Gayborhoods’ fade with growing acceptance of LGBT

Patty Corono of Hammond, Ind., walks with her children including Jennifer Castaneda, at right, Natalie Ornelas, 6, and Alexander Ornelas, 7 months, during the Northalsted Market Days festivities in Chicago's Boystown, the nation's first municipally recognized gay village.At one of the oldest gay taverns in the city’s Boystown neighborhood, the regulars were sharing a laugh over what they had seen the night before at their watering hole: a gaggle of straight women.

“It was like they were at a gay museum,” joked James Davies, 61, who has been a regular at Little Jim’s for most of the 39 years it’s been in business. “They came to see if we fossilized.”

Call it a sign of progress, or as University of British Columbia sociologist Amin Ghaziani describes it, the “de-gaying” or “straightening” of America’s historically gay enclaves.

In the midst of 20 straight wins in federal courts for same-sex marriage and polling that demonstrates Americans’ growing acceptance of LGBT people, scholars and demographers say there are signs that the draw of the so-called gayborhood is fading away.

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