The Success of Philly’s Gayborhood May Be its Undoing

When Heshie Zinman moved to Center City in 1979, the gay bars had no windows, and it would be decades before they did. Center City then still functioned like a cheap refuge: It was dirty, not entirely safe, a catchment of the city’s red-light activity and its more frenetic culture, and it caught those who found their environments unlivable.

The unlivable environment for Zinman was his marriage. That year, he came out of the closet, and he moved to be with those similarly situated who found few other places to go.

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