Cleve Jones is a gay activist and AIDS activist of some renown in San Francisco. The Guardian asked him about the Castro District, which has been "infiltrated" recently by people who -- shockingly -- are not gay. These outsiders have taken over his favorite bar!
“The tech bros had taken over The Mix. They commanded the pool table and the patio. These big, loud, butch guys. It was scary. I’m not heterophobic, but I don’t want to go to a gay bar and buy some guy a drink and have him smirk and tell me he’s straight. They can go anywhere. We can’t.”I’m not heterophobic, but I don’t want to go to a gay bar and buy some guy a drink and have him smirk and tell me he’s straight. They can go anywhere. We can’t,” Jones said.
The old bars from the 1970s are closing. Newcomers are coming in. Of course the bars of the 1970s are 40 years old and their proprietors are retiring. Newcomers are moving in.
The Castro District o named for Jose Castro, who opposed Anglos moving into what was then Yerba Buena, before the Anglos named the town San Francisco on January 30, 1847. By the 1880s, the Castro District was better known as Finn Town as so many Finns moved in. Then came the Russians and by World War I, the area was Little Scandinavia. After World War II, gays began moving in and taking over.
But after gaying up, the area is beginning to gay down. And like the Finns who resented the Russians, who in turn resented the Danes, Swedes and others, who resented the gays, the old gays hate the new gays and their straight friends.
From the story:
“The neighborhood is more professional gay now. Not that it’s less gay, but you gotta have money to move in,” said Hank Cancél, who lives on the corner of 19th and Castro streets, where he keeps a collection of gay erotic dolls in the window. “So now it’s Apple gay. Airbnb gay.”
The “faeries” – which Cancél defines as those in the artistic, eccentric gay culture, the sort who founded the Castro as a gayborhood in the 1970s – are now more rare. “There are so few faeries, we call it a unicorn sighting,” he said, unwittingly giving each other the same word given to startups valued over $1bn. “It’s such a rare magical thing to run into a fellow faerie in the city these days.”You know that for a town that prides itself on diversity, San Francisco sure seems segregated.
Hey, maybe wanted to stick to your own kind is normal....