Reese’s Pieces » Blog Archive » Where is Champaign’s “gayborhood?”:
"We gays are pretty darn clever when it comes to language. After all, we had to spend most of high school playing with pronouns (”My ‘girlfriend’ and I had a fight over AOL instant messenger last night. ‘She’ said that if I take anyone else but ‘her’ to Wicked, we’re internet breaking-up.”), and all of those lonely years of being stuffed into lockers gave us lots of time to read what was in there. So its no wonder some of the best wordsmiths in history were part of ‘the family.’ Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare’s main contemporary, Christopher Marlowe–hell, even Shakespeare himself was a little bi–right down to Michael Stipe, to Lance Bass; the most talented lyricists always end up coming out eventually.
Eminem, I’m looking at you.
One of the most genius gaynventions is the convention of using “gay,” “-sbian” or “bi” as infix to queer up a word. A lesbian celebrity becomes a “celesbian.” Exploitation of gay or lesbian culture for financial gain only becomes profitable once its become “gaysploitation” or “lezsploitation.” A bisexual yuppie becomes a “buppie.” Aww! Isn’t that cute? We’re just so lez-cellent… I mean excellent at adorable language manipulation. I actually have a college degree certifying my Professional gay-i-fication of language credentials!
Along these lines, a “gayborhood” is often a term tossed about in the community to describe an urban neighborhood that is populated mostly by people who aren’t allowed to get married to one another. There are two types of gayborhoods: there are the traditional commercial gayborhoods, where all of the gay bars and boutiques and cafes and restaurants and Universal Gear and American Apparels are. For those of you familiar with the Wrigleyville area of Chicago, Boystown–the commercial district of Halstead north of Belmont–is such a gayborhood.
However, bars are loud, and one gets sick of cleaning the vom from the soles of your work shoes on a regular basis in the mornings. Over the last two decades, gayborhoods have been splitting in two. The “gappies/guppies” (GAP-wearing young urban professional gays) have began to migrate and congregate in new areas. Usually, these are neighborhoods that were formerly run-down so the housing prices were cheap. The guppies move in, and one by one, their old college roommates and clubbing friends partner up, get real jobs, settle down and become neighbors–and before you know it–housing prices go up, and you’ve got a trendy new neighborhood.
Generally–once the gays have done all of the work of fixing up the houses–the cooly-o progressive straight yuppies with new babies feel safe enough to move in, and the gays go find a new neighborhood to “Queer Eye.”
You’re welcome, straighties.
Does every city have a gayborhood? Well, no, not every city can really sustain one. However, any city of a certain size at least had one twenty-five years ago or so.
I’ll do another post about where the gayborhoods are around the nation, and why (guess what? It has to do with big, buff, butch soldiers!) but for now, I want to concentrate on the question of whether or not Champaign has a gayborhood..."
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