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Castro's aide: But Presidente! America tried to kill you!

Fidel Castro: Ah, they're not so bad. They even named a street after me in San Francisco.

Castro's aide: *whispers*

Fidel Castro: It's full of WHAT?!!!

Where everyone really is gay. It's the part of a major city that a good portion of its GLBT community calls home. Rainbow flags hang from the streetlights, and the streets are lined with gay bars, boutiques, trendy cafes, and housing you probably can't afford. You're likely to run into any of the Queer As Tropes archetypes and their friends, see two men hold hands without fear of retribution, and meet butch lesbians and manly gays who'll beat the ass of anyone who dares try.

The Gayborhood is often an upscale district, feeding the stereotype that all gay people have money out the yinyang. Religious fundamentalists often preach about the evils of "that part of town," seeing it as a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah, where prostitution and drug abuse run rampant, depraved homosexuals have bare buttsecks out of seedy bathhouses, and where one can't so much as bend over to pick up change without having a Leather Man on top of him like white on rice (how they know all of this is a different story).

The more touristy gayborhoods are often known as "gay meccas," as in, someplace every gay person (...who makes enough money to leisurely travel and has enough interest in the scene) should visit at least once. These areas might be separate from a big city, and quite affluent due to the tourism. Stories based here tend to feed stereotypes that gay people (particularly the men) do nothing but lounge around pools and have sex all day.

Stories with a predominantly-gay cast are often based in this setting. Twinks in the midst of their Coming Out Story will visit the bars here on their first taste of the night life. Straight characters who come here for the first time are often in a state of wonder or paranoia towards the locals. The Gayborhood will often visually resemble San Francisco's world-famous Castro District, even if no other part of the city has a streetcar (and the famous cable cars don't actually run anywhere near the Castro). However, real-life gayborhoods are as diverse as the cities they're based in.

Examples of Gayborhood include:


Film

  • In Mambo Italiano, during his Coming Out Story, the protagonist visits this quarter for the first time. Quite important for him.

  His vain female cousin: "Give me an hour in the Gay Village and there's not gonna be a Gay Village no more!"


Live Action Television

  • Liberty Avenue in Queer as Folk, though this is not Truth in Television for Pittsburgh in Real Life.
    • And Manchester's Canal Street (Truth in Television - more than a few wags have tried to scrape the C off) in the UK original version.
  • Dantes Cove in the TV show of the same name, an upmarket island resort where the residents appear to do little else except have gay sex.
  • Everyone in LA on The L Word seems to be gay, bisexual, or transgender - at least the people the cast intervene with. Nevermind the fact that the cafe they all hang out at is a gay cafe.
  • Similar to the above example, the Los Angeles of the Noah's Arc universe is chock full of gay men. The vast majority of anyone the cast interacts with is gay.


Standup Comedy


Video Games

  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas has the Queens district in San Fierro, based on the Castro and San Francisco, respectively. It was a pleasant surprise to see the area treated with no more derision than usual for GTA. That is, there's no "Rampage" mission and it's treated as another one of the three cities' cultural districts. Still, there's not much to actually do there besides play a Rhythm Game in Gaydar Station.
    • On the other hand, Queens looks nothing like Castro Valley, a notable omission considering how many recognizable landmarks from San Francisco are included in San Fierro. Hashbury, for example, nails the look and feel of the Haight Ashbury to the T.
      • A bit of a stealth joke is the street layout. None of the streets in Queens is completely straight, it's all curves and turns.
  • Developers for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade reputedly based the Blood Elf capital Silvermoon City on West Hollywood.
  • In a similar vein, a few MMORPGs have unofficial "gay" servers, where GLBT players are invited to avoid the annoying homophobic comments one comes across every five seconds in other servers. Woe be upon the player who says "That's fucking gay" on Proudmoore or Victory.
  • It's possible to craft one of these in The Sims 2 and 3, though without the use of mods and hacks to eliminate the desired opposing gender it only works so much.


Western Animation

  • In an episode of The Simpsons where Homer and Marge separate, Homer finds a roommate in Springfield's gayborhood, though this doesn't occur to him even as he runs into Smithers rollerblading in hotpants and a trolley full of manly gays rolls by and calls him a bear.
    • Homer's Gaydar was never much good, though he recognized a dyke bar for what it was; his only complaint was its lack of fire exits.
    • Not to mention the time the Simpsons were being taken on a tour around town by a gay aquaintance and ran into Mr Smithers in one of these.
  • Rick and Steve (South Park WITH GAY PEOPLE!) is based in West Lahunga Beach, somewhere in Southern California.
  • West Quahog in Family Guy.


Real Life

  • As noted in the description, San Francisco's Castro District. Famous enough that it often gets conflated with the entire city in popular culture; many people consider all of San Francisco to be America's gayborhood.
    • As a bit of Truth in Television it really is rather upscale these days and you probably can't afford to live there. No matter who you fancy.
    • Gentrification, combined with the success of the gay rights movement, have led to this trope dying out in the Bay Area. Since gay people aren't hiding any more, there's no need to live in a special part of town for protection or to find partners. Bay Area news reports are full of how gay-oriented businesses in the Castro are dying, and how high-class clubs are causing long time residents to be angry at the drunks hanging around Sunday at noon.
  • Provincetown (for the boys) and Northampton (for the girls), Massachusetts. Boston also has the South End (which, incidentally, should never be confused with South Boston if you value your life).
    • P-town, ironically, is where the Pilgrims arrived in America.
  • Los Angeles' West Hollywood (amusingly attempting to brand itself as "WeHo"). Silver Lake also contains elements of this.
    • Palm Springs, out in the desert, is another example, serving as a retreat for gay Angelenos the same way Provincetown serves gay Bostonians.
  • Cleveland's Detroit Ave. and Clifton Blvd. (they run parallel), though the entire West Side where they're located is much more gay-friendly than the East.
    • The suburbs Lakewood (in the west) and Cleveland Heights (in the east) are also known for their gay populaces, with Cleveland Heights being the first city in the US to adopt a voter-approved domestic partner registry.
  • Columbus' Short North is half art district, half gayborhood.
  • 10th and Piedmont in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta. Also, Downtown Decatur has a thriving lesbian scene.
    • For that matter, Atlanta is often conflated into being the Gayborhood for the entire Deep South.
  • Amsterdam's Reguliersdwarsstraat.
  • Mykonos, Greece. Foreigners might assume it's Lesbos (as in "Lesbian"), but with its conservative Greek Orthodox church-going population, Lesbos is quite the opposite.
  • New York City's Greenwich Village. Made famous by the Stonewall riots, which are often viewed as the event that started the gay rights movement.
    • Has expanded to Chelsea in the last two decades.
  • Prahran in Melbourne.
    • And Oxford Street in Sydney.
  • Chicago has Boystown, with Halsted St. as the focal point.
  • The area around Nollendorfplatz in Berlin.
  • The stereotype is that Brighton is the Gayborhood for the whole of the UK - in reality it has one of its own in Kemptown.
  • Manchester's Canal Street, the setting of the UK Queer as Folk.
  • Hebden Bridge is a small village in Yorkshire that gets the same schtick as Brighton for its large LGBT population.
  • Wilton Manors, near Ft. Lauderdale, FL, has rainbow flags flying above every other storefront. South Beach near Miami and Key West also have Gayborhood elements to them.
    • Wilton Manors is really odd, because it's half gay people and half old Jewish people.
  • Vancouver's Davie Village.
  • The small gay district in Milwaukee, WI is actually referred to as "The Gayborhood."
    • As is the area from Broad to 9th, Market to Spruce in Philadelphia. Its "proper" name is "Washington Square West", but most natives will laugh in your face if you use that name.
  • Traditionally Dupont Circle in Washington, DC., although gentrification keeps pushing the gayborhood ever eastward.
  • Chuecas, in Madrid, Spain.
  • Shinjuku Nichoume in Tokyo.
  • Shadyside in Pittsburgh, not Liberty Avenue as depicted on Queer As Folk mentioned above, which is just an average downtown main street.
  • Toronto has Church Street, so called because it has a big church on it. St. Michael's Cathedral is probably the origin of the name, though there are also a couple other large ones in the area. Strangely enough, not Queen Street (lame joke). While the two do intersect, the Gay Village peters out around that area and it gets kinda ghetto.
    • Although a different part of Queen Street (Queen West) is starting to be called "Queer West".
  • San Diego has Hillcrest. In recent years, gentrification and shifting demographics have also expanded the gay-village boundaries into adjacent neighborhoods, North Park and University Heights in particular.
  • The Marais in Paris. Not all of it, but a section.
  • Montreal's Gay Village is centered on the eastern part of the Rue Sainte-Catherine, which is the main artery through Downtown. Montreal is actually really weird in this respect, because not only is the gay village on the main drag near the heart of Downtown, but so are a shit-ton of (straight) strip clubs.
  • Asbury Park, New Jersey is this for the Jersey Shore. To think that the Boss is actually from there...
  • A section of Buffalo, New York, is supportive of the LGBT community, and the gay community itself is rather sizable.
  • Tel-Aviv is, to some extent, trying to market itself as such, and it is indeed one of the most gay friendly parts of Israel, if not the most friendly (this, of course, exludes the poorer parts of Tel-Aviv, namely southern Tel-Aviv).
  • Dallas, TX has Oaklawn as its main gay neighborhood, with the Bishop Arts district rapidly becoming a secondary one.
  • The Glockenbach Viertel (Glockenbach neighborhood) in Munich, Germany used to be this. Nowadays it is still to a certain extent, but due to gentrification and a lot of clubs it has grown beyond the stereotype.
  • Capitol Hill and Wallingford in Seattle have the largest concentrations, though gentrification on the former is causing spillover into the Central District.
  • The Montrose district of Houston, Texas.
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