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If you want to Have a Gay Old Time...

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 in his ear]
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 LGBT+ 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.

Due to gentrification, 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.

In real life, gayborhoods got started under the threat of homophobia. Gays were motivated to live close to each other so they could have a community that wouldn't judge them. Many also wanted to minimize interaction with hostile police departments. For example, West Hollywood became a gayborhood because it used to be unincorporated territory under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff's department, who at the time were much less oppressive than the then-notoriously homophobic LAPD. In other cities, gayborhoods are either upscale parts of town where gay couples with two incomes and no kids could settle and make their lives, or working-class neighborhoods neither expensive nor crime-ridden, where gays would renovate the houses and open businesses, gentrifying the area over time until it became upscale, for better or for worse. But now that gay tolerance is becoming more mainstream (in the western world at least), there's less motivation for gay people to move to the nearest gayborhood. Some people are worried that widespread tolerance, though obviously a good thing overall, will reduce the population and uniqueness of the gayborhoods and their associated culture. Indeed, thanks to this effect, gentrification, or both, some gayborhoods have become The Theme Park Version of their former selves.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece has even islands full with homosexuals. Amazon Lily is an all-women island where reproduction only happens outside of it. All women are in love with Empress Boa Hancock, and many of them admire the other Boa sisters, too, Sandersonia and Marigold. And Okama Kingdom is a island where everyone is either a transgender woman or a transvestite.

     Fan Works 
  • The Discworld fanfic Coming Out is about the development of Ankh-Morpork's LGBTQ+ community in an area that becomes known as HubMor (for Hubwards Morpork), the Hamlet, or Kelsey (no-one's sure where that last one came from), centred around the Brickwall Tavern.

  • Mary in Mary and Max mentions how her husband Damian takes her on honeymoon to Mykonos. Mykonos, famous in Europe as a gay tourist destination. Also, Damian wants to be in the theatre and is oddly reluctant at first to consummate their marriage. No wonder he eventually leaves Mary for a (male) Kiwi shepherd.

    Film—Live Action 
  • In Mambo Italiano, during his Coming-Out Story, the protagonist visits this quarter for the first time. Quite important for him.
    His vain female rival: "Give me an hour in the Gay Village and there's not gonna be a Gay Village no more!"
  • South Beach in The Birdcage. When it's suggested to get Camp Gay houseboy Agador out of the house for a while, Armand shoots it down.
    Val: Um, Dad, could we hire a, say, a straight maid for tonight?
    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.
  • The Times of Harvey Milk, a documentary about Milk the gay rights activist and gay politician, also documents how the Castro turned into the first gayborhood as gays and lesbians like Milk came to San Francisco in their thousands.

  • 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 costume party (at which men dance with men, call each other "darling," and gush over a Judy Garland record). He invites ultra-ultra-conservative (and definitively straight aside from quirks, but also definitively a "character") Ignatius T. Reilly to said party. Hilarity Ensues.
  • These Words Are True and Faithful: Ernie enjoys being seen with Sam here. Later, Ernie's indiscretion is discovered here.

    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.
  • Dante's 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.
  • In an episode of Dharma & Greg, Greg runs for Congress. At the end of the episode, his opponent comes out of the closet:
    Greg: Think this is gonna hurt me?
    Dharma: Honey, this is San Francisco and unless you can turn into Judy Garland right now, you're through.
  • Little Britain has Llandewi Breffi, where apparently the entire population is gay. Focus character Daffydd has failed to realize this and insists he's "the only Gay in the Village" because he's the only one who dresses and acts stereotypically; he's been seen to turn down dates rather than admit other gay people exist.

    Standup Comedy 
  • Comedian Dat Phan has a bit about living in a Gayborhood, because it was a nice place, affordable, relatively safe, and he didn't realize until after he moved in. As of his first Comedy Central special, his mother (who thinks that earrings mean guys are either gay or in a gang, depending on the ear) still hadn't realized that he was gay-adjacent.
  • Brendon Burns had a bit which provided the former page quote for Discriminate and Switch. He is talking about a particular upscale Gayborhood, and mentions that he saw a lot of gay men living there but very few lesbians (and felt ripped off because of it). He theorizes that, in general, 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."
  • Todd Allen lived in a gayborhood with his girlfriend, and they adopted a cat together: a very fat black cat named Steve. One day, Steve escaped out the window and ran off. Todd ran outside after him.
    Random Gay Guy: Forget him, honey. You can do better!
    Todd: No, I'm looking for Steve. He's black, and he's about this big. [approximates the size of a very fat cat with his hands]
    Gay Guy: [eyes get wide and runs off excitedly] STEEEEEVE!

    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 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 series, though you would need to use mods and hacks to eliminate the undesired opposing gender. In The Sims 3, this can happen if a sim enacts a same-sex romantic interaction, especially with an inactive sim.
  • The Castro is a prominent location for the Prime_Eight quest line in Watch_Dogs 2 as a gay bar is the favorite haunt of Lenni, the leader of the opposing hacker group to DedSec.

    Web Comics 
  • In Fur Piled, the cast visits West Hollywood from time-to-time.
  • The Ironically named Straight Street area of Noirville in Cliche City
  • Market Square, the setting of Goodbye to Halos.

    Web Original 
  • 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.

    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 lesbian 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 & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World (South Park WITH GAY PEOPLE!) is based in West Lahunga Beach, somewhere in Southern California.
  • West Quahog in Family Guy.

    Real Life 
  • In the United States:
    • 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, and then the general Bay Area housing crisis, 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.
      • Oh and the Simpsons page quote notwithstanding, the neighborhood is obviously not named after Fidel Castro.
    • 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 first arrived in America; they signed the famous Mayflower Compact in Provincetown Harbor and sailed to the West End of Cape Cod (where they would found Plymouth) shortly thereafter.
    • 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 ANA Inspiration, 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 the border region between the city proper and the western suburb of Lakewood, which is itself popular with gays. Its east side counterpart is Cleveland Heights, which was the first city in the US to adopt a voter-approved domestic partner registry in 2004, a mostly-symbolic recognition of same-sex unions before the US legalized marriage equality in 2015. Note that Cleveland Heights should never be confused with specific town of East Cleveland.
    • 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 proper is a rough part of town.)
    • Columbus' Short North (along High Street between the Statehouse/downtown area and Ohio State University's main campus) is half art district, half gayborhood.
    • 10th and Piedmont in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta. Also, Downtown Decatur has a thriving lesbian scene. Little 5 Points is also known for being a haven for gay people as well as others who may not fit in. For that matter, Atlanta is often conflated into being the Gayborhood for the entire Deep South. All major Southern cities have their own gay scenes, but "Hotlanta" has one of the largest and most diverse in the country.
    • 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.
      • Is now expanding into Hell's Kitchen, which has been aptly named 'Hellsea'
    • The Windy City has Boystown, with Halsted St. as the focal point.
    • 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."
      • Older gays with money have tended to migrate a few blocks south to the Bay View neighborhood. There's even a sign directing people to the ferry.
    • 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  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.
    • Historically, New Hope, PA (a Quirky Town roughly halfway between New York and Philadelphia where the Old York Road crosses the Delaware) was popular with gay Philadelphians and (to a lesser extent) gay New Yorkers as a weekend/short vacation getaway. This is less pronounced today, but the influence can still be seen.
    • Traditionally, Dupont Circle was both the gayborhood and the art district of Washington, D.C., although gentrification keeps pushing both ever eastward.
    • Pittsburgh has Shadyside and not Liberty Avenue as depicted on Queer as Folknote . But since Shadyside is also one of the most expensive parts of town, gays have spilled into the entire East Side. Altogether, Pittsburgh's GLBT community is much less centralized than in other cities.
    • 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. (For the record, The Boss approves.)
    • Allentown, in 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 at least partially a gayborhood, for the more well-heeled confirmed bachelors. (For a snapshot in the development of the French Quarter's relationship with the LGBT community, read A Confederacy of Dunces, listed in "Literature" above.)
    • 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.
    • Subverted in San Antonio, Texas, despite the claims of any neighborhood with two or more adjacent Gay bars. San Antonio's opinion on homosexuality changed practically over night, so by the time the city would actually allow a gay neighborhood there wasn't really a need for one. So while a few neighborhoods try to capitalize on this trope, there isn't really a gayest place in the city.
      • However the city did have one along N. St. Mary's street for a while. N St. Mary's was once the busiest part of town but a death caused by an accidental discharge of a firearm both destroyed consumer confidence in the area (it was falsely reported as a murder in much of the media) and caused the city to crack down on pedestrian traffic in the area. As a result dozens upon dozens of bars and restaurants that had lines out the door suddenly had no patrons. While most shut down, a small stretch between Ashby and Stadium Drive became a string of gay hangouts and much of the area surrounding them gay residences. Eventually though the LGBTQ scene diffused throughout the city and this stretch is now mostly more secular restaurants and bars.
    • Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove on Fire Island are popular with the gay community. (In one story, David Sedaris talks about a guy whose apartment he once cleaned used references to Fire Island to signal that he wanted to have sex with Sedaris, not realizing that he had mixed up Sedaris—who actually cleaned apartments—with a gay "house cleaning" service that actually...well...they didn't so much clean your house as "clean your house".)
    • "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.
    • Phoenix has the Melrose District, traditionally focused on N. 7th Avenue between Indian School and Camelback Roads.
  • In Europe:
    • Amsterdam's Reguliersdwarsstraat note .
    • 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, and modern-day residents prefer to be called "Lesbosians" specifically to distance themselves from the queer connotations.
    • 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. The whole region surrounding it is referred to as the gay village so often that it's almost the official name of the distract. Often called "The village" for short
    • Old Compton Street in London.
    • Hebden Bridge is a small town in West Yorkshire that gets the same schtick as Brighton for its large LGBT population.
    • Bournemouth is often stereotyped as a Poor Man's Substitute for Brighton, with more old people. It has its own Gayborhood, known as the Triangle.
    • Chueca, in Madrid, Spain. Though an odd mix between an expansion and a de-centralisation has rendered the whole Centro District with a remarkable even ratio for gay towards straight people. At times it would seem that everybody is gay in such iconic places as Puerta del Sol. But still, Chueca remains as a get-go term for Madrid's homosexual population.
    • The Marais in Paris. Not all of it, but a section.
      • The whole of Paris is sometimes Flanderized as this for the whole of France, although mentioning "le Marais" is as explicit (even outside of Paris, and among straight people) as mentioning "Castro Street" in the US.
    • Nice on the French Riviera seems to have a fairly consistent reputation as gay mecca although oddly enough it's also quite conservative, the Riviera being to France what Florida is to the US.
    • To the extent that Angers, France can be said to have a Gayborhood, La Doutre would certainly qualify; although most bars are in the old city, the few gay bars are in what used to be the seedy, medieval, Drug Addicts And Hookers neighborhood across the river from the city centre and is now largely gentrified.
    • 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.
  • In Canada:
    • Vancouver's Davie Village.
    • 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).note  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" because it's getting way too expensive to live on Church St.
    • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Gay Village