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?!!!
A Cast Full of Gay in real life. 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 overpriced housing. 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 Leatherman 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.
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In Mambo Italiano, during his Coming-Out Story, the protagonist visits this quarter for the first time. Quite important for him.
South Beach in The Birdcage. When it's suggested to get Camp Gay houseboy Agador out of the house for a while, Armand shoots down the suggestion.
Val: Uh, Dad, could we maybe hire a straight maid for this evening?
Armand: There are no straight maids in South Beach.
Two deleted scenes from Freddy Got Fingered shows that Gordy's boss and his boyfriend live in one.
A Confederacy of Dunces has this as an Unbuilt Trope. The novel focuses on the French Quarter of New Orleans, which while never a Gayborhood in its entirety, was noted even then (the early '60s) to attract "characters", of whom many were gay. The character (both senses) of Dorian Greene is rather important to the story, and the gradual development of the gay community there is noted by the presence of Greene's party. He invites ultra-ultra-conservative Ignatius T. Reilly to said party. Hilarity Ensues.
Brendon Burns had a bit which provided the former page quote for Discriminate and Switch. He says that in general, you will find many more gay men living in the Gayborhood than lesbians, because lesbians can't afford to live there, while gay men can, because they usually have a lot of money. "Why is that, you ask? BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE A FRIGGIN' GIRLFRIEND! That's right, at first it seemed like I was going to be homophobic, turns out I'm just sexist."
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 the Castro, 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.
In the Whateley Universe, an area known as "The Square" is home to many GLBT (mostly T) residents of Los Angeles that features mainly in the Phase stories. In Whateley Academy itself, the entire Poe Cottage is designated as a secret GLBT dorm house.
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.
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. As gay people receive more acceptance from mainstream society, there's less 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), though Jamaica Plain has been seeing its share of runoff in the face of mounting gentrification in the South End.
P-town, ironically, is where the Pilgrims arrived in America.
Los Angeles' West Hollywood (amusingly attempting to brand itself as "WeHo"), where the community exists somewhat uncomfortably alongside The Mafiya (who have colonized the more dilapidated parts of the neighborhood). 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.
Palm Springs is also a popular gathering spot for lesbians when the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the five major championships in women's golf, comes to town every spring. This gathering, both for golf and for general partying, has led to the event occasionally being called "spring break for lesbians".
Cleveland's gayborhood is nebulously defined, but its rough focal point is Clifton Boulevard in the West Side, which is much more gay-friendly than the East.
The suburbs of 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.
Cincinnati LGBT likely will gravitate towards Northside, which is also a very artsy part of town. And something of a rough part of town (but then, most of Cincinnati is a rough part of town.)
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.
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.
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. (Then again, a lot of Florida is "half X and half old Jewish people.")
Walker's Point in Milwaukee is sometimes explicitly referred to as "The Gayborhood."
The one in Philadelphia—the area from Broad to 9th, Market to Spruce, forming an approximate square immediately southeast of City Hall—is usually called "the Gayborhood." Its "proper" name is "Washington Square West", but most natives will laugh in your face if you use that name.note Technically, Washington Square West includes some bits that aren't Gayborhood, but nobody cares about those areas. Then again, most natives will laugh in your face for just about anything.
Tourists often stumble upon it by accident as it's in Center City ("downtown") between the Independence Mall (where Independence Hall and all that touristy Revolutionary stuff are) and the main business district surrounding City Hall, and are surprised to find that even the street signs have a rainbow theme◊.
Traditionally, Dupont Circle was both the gayborhood and the art district of Washington, DC, although gentrification keeps pushing both ever eastward.
Averted in Pittsburgh. As stated earlier, Liberty Avenue is just an average downtown street in real life, and the city has no central gay district. Some neighborhoods, like Shadyside and Lawrenceville, are more popular among gays than others, but gay-owned businesses and organizations are scattered throughout the city.
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.
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.
Dallas has Oaklawn as its main gay neighborhood, with the Bishop Arts district rapidly becoming a secondary one.
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.
In New Orleans, the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods just downriver from the French Quarter are famously gay. The French Quarter itself has been said to be the world's only entertainment district where both the straights and gays party right next to each other. When you cross St. Anne street (The "Lavender Line" or the "Suck-sum Dicksum Line") the bars and clubs suddenly change over from straight to gay. The French Quarter itself is a gayborhood, for the more well-heeled confirmed bachelors.
Baltimore, Maryland has the neighborhood of Mount Vernon. Mt Vernon is also a designated National Landmark Historic District.
Rochester, NY has a very large GLBTQ community with a ton of history. Most of this population is concentrated in the Southeast Quadrant of the city, particularly the South Wedge, the Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Avenue, and Upper Monroe neighborhoods.
Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove on Fire Island are popular with the gay community.
"The Grove" district, centered around a portion of Manchester Avenue in St Louis. Houses a string of gay- and lesbian-"friendly" bars, art venues, and shops. The strip also houses a branch of the renowned soul-food restaurant Sweetie Pie's (link to The Other Wiki). Not actually in or adjacent to either of StL's neighborhoods with "Grove" in their official names.
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. (The name does reference the island, but the native of Lesbos who inspired it is literally ancient history.)
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.
Hebden Bridge is a small town in West Yorkshire that gets the same schtick as Brighton for its large LGBT population.
Chuecas, in Madrid, Spain.
The Marais in Paris. Not all of it, but a section.
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.
Hamburg-St. Georg is sometimes claimed to be this. Part of it actually is.
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".
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. Of course, Montreal is weird in general. Awesome, but weird.
Prahran in Melbourne.
And Oxford Street in Sydney.
Shinjuku Nichoume in Tokyo.
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).
It's certainly the most gay-friendly city in the Middle East, but that isn't saying very much—even within Israel.