The Queer Metropolis

  • Amin GhazianiEmail author
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


The queer metropolis has developed across three periods of time. During the closet era (1870—World War II), “scattered gay places” like cabarets and public parks were based in bohemian parts of the city. Distinct gay neighborhoods , such as the iconic Castro district in San Francisco, first formed during the coming out era (World War II—1997), and they flourished in the “great gay migration” that ensued following the Stonewall riots. Queer moral refugees of this generation romanticized gay neighborhoods as beacons of tolerance in a sea of heterosexual hostility. Today’s post-gay era (1998—present), however, is characterized by an unprecedented societal acceptance of homosexuality. Many existing districts are “de-gaying” (gays and lesbians are moving out) and “straightening” (heterosexuals are moving in) in this actively unfolding cultural context. This chapter reviews research on the dynamic relationship between sexuality and the city across these three sexual eras.


Sexuality LGBT Queer studies Cities Urban sociology Demography Post-gay Gay neighborhoods Gayborhoods 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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