A recent Q-Notes article reported that Charlotte, N.C. was deemed to be one of the “top 10 Gay Ghettos.” (“Charlotte, Raleigh among top 10 ‘Gay Ghettos’”)
The number of Gay folks moving to a city, living there or requesting information does make any city a Gay Ghetto. For Charlotte the opposite is true. We do not have a truly Gay neighborhood like Dupont Circle in D.C., the Castro in San Francisco or Capital Hill in Seattle.
You can go weeks before you see another vehicle with a rainbow or HRC sticker. We have a goodly number of bigots on our school board and city/county councils who oppose anything Gay. The city cut off arts funding a few years back when a theater wanted to mount “Angels In America.”
We have a mayor that doesn’t have the balls to issue a Gay Pride proclamation. We have churches that have been ejected from peer group “conventions” for welcoming Gay congregants. A Gay men’s chorus folded a few years back due to lack of support. While it has been re-started, the greater Gay community is nowhere to be found when they have a performance; most of the attendees are members of the church where the performance is held or straight friends/family of the singers.
The community center almost folded recently due to lack of program and financial support. Mentioning the word “partner” in a straight gym gets you taken to task by another Gay person.
Sadly, Charlotte has ways to go before I would consider it a Gay Ghetto!
Barry S., Charlotte, NC
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