Monday, October 30, 2006

A clarification....

Well, finally someone other than myself has finally read this blog. One reader questioned the fact that gentrified gays were compaining about straight gentrification. The story is not gay vs. straight, but rather entitled vs. normal. It just so happens that the new wave of ultra-entitled pricks moving in happen to be straight. Three years ago, the straights and the gays got along in the neighborhood, socialized together, etc. The new entitled brats have no interest in doing that. In fact, I have witnessed very unaccepting (and unacceptable) behavior by my new straight neighbors, from complaining about copies of Bay Windows in various buildings and retail spaces to a bunch of empty nesters "tssk tsssk-ing" about magazines displaying shirtless men in the window of The Movie Place.

The gay population of the South End misses the day when they were accepted and not made to feel like they were on display in a zoo to shocked onlookers. We miss the straight neighbors who made us feel accepted and comfortable. Anybody who didn't know that there was a gay presence (albeit now a diminishing one) here must have been living in a cave.

The new Megan and Sean couples want nothing to do but be close to trendy dining spots, suck more $$ out of mumsy and daddy, push out an unruly tot or two, and then get out of the neighborhood.

I remember a day not too long ago when gay men had planted those wooden half-barrels on streets all over town with flowers to brighten up the neighborhood. I remember when a friend who was responsible for the plantings in several of those barrels was thanked by his neighbors (who lived in Section 8 housing) with a plate of home-baked cookies and the warm cameraderie between these neighbors. Another friend used to visit the elderly in a neighborhood housing project nearby. Somehow I don't think Megan and Sean will be doing anything like that between jaunts to Stella and The Butcher Shop.

But they know how to scream into a cell phone about how drunk they were last night while stumbling down Waltham Street (a/k/a "Fraternity Row") at 2:30 in the morning.


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January 16, 2007 at 6:14:00 AM PST  
Anonymous jm said...

I wish I knew who you were so I could bake YOU cookies. I am the female half of a straight couple; my boyfriend lived here before me. He is one of the gay-friendliest straight guys I know and has chosen to live in gay neighborhoods in several cities (ok, i know what you're thinking...but i checked his closet and it's empty).

On one of our first dates, we went to the Waltham - my god, what a relief from the Tremont valet clusterf*ck. Most of the folks you describe would never have set foot in there, but it was one of the few places where all kinds of people really mixed, where people could just relax and not worry about whether they were in the most "it" restaurant or where to buy the best organic dog food. (I love dogs but here's a newsflash: they eat their own sh*t. Do not buy them heirloom tomato pate.)

Sadly, neighborhood places and neighborhood artists are going the way of the Dodo (and I won't name the remaining holes-in-the-wall for fear of my meathead neighbors taking over). The always-theatrical owner of Lotus notwithstanding, a stroll down Columbus or Tremont does not yield very interesting people-watching. And if I see one more girl on the street sneering as she passes low-income housing, I will blow a snot-rocket at her pink RedSox cap. These "new urbanites" seem to lack an actual orientation toward city living: it's about investment in the neighborhood and its people (not investment in property and its appreciation). It's about supporting the well-being of your community, even if you might make a small sacrifice (ahem, Hurley debacle). With the freedom of homeownership comes the responsibility to contribute and participate - a value that I'm sorry "Kristen" does not have. (I doubt she even votes.) Behavior like hers is what happens when you get nice things you did not earn, when you are too young or spoiled to be grateful.

I wish I knew where the Great Gay Diaspora has taken the old neighbors - I have found that predominantly-gay neighborhoods frequently have a sense of community and progress - and devil-may-care audacity - that is inspiring. If I ever (gasp) breed, I *want* my children to live among creative, real, caring people.

April 7, 2007 at 4:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger thesouthender said...

JM - I think I love you. dump the straight guy and marry me instead. It would be platonic but think of the fun we'd have. I'll bet you and I have probably been sitting next to each other at the same very hole-in-the-wall places that I will NEVER mention for fear of the Chestut hill invasion.

Thank you for "getting" this blog and for your very funny and completely on target comment!!

April 7, 2007 at 10:43:00 PM PDT  
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