The gayborhoods were already disappearing. Before the pandemic, geographical centers of LGBTQ+ people like The Castro and West Hollywood were becoming straighter and more mainstream as rent prices rose and these neighborhoods became increasingly more difficult for queer people to afford.
Subsequently, smaller cities in red states, including Salt Lake City, Louisville, Norfolk, and Indianapolis, have some of the fastest-growing LGBTQ+ populations in the U.S. Throughout the pandemic, I've been wondering — and worrying — about how 2020's ramifications will affect and transform our queer neighborhoods. Will it be the final death nail in The Castro's coffin?
Cleve Jones says, "Trans kids who are fleeing Trump's America, where do they go? They can't come to The Castro. A little crappy studio apartment in the Castro's going to cost you $2,500 a month."
And what will happen to the queer communities in places like North Carolina, where I grew up, that had an HIV clinic and a single gay bar three towns over?