Why are both public and private interests within cities becoming increasingly supportive of the creation of “gay space”?
Based on the public interest, “gay space” is important to support creative and high-tech industries. San Francisco, Washington, and San Diego, are all designed as high-tech areas in United States. According to Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser’s statistical analysis, gay workers do a better job than heterosexual (?) individual (Gates & Florida, 2002). Thus, creating diversity and inclusiveness within the population of high-tech industry areas can help to attract creativity and talent in a wide labor pool.
For private interests, the gay space is perceived as a safer space than, say, the Granville Strip in Vancouver. On the heteronormative Granville Strip, women experience more sexual harassment and aggressively heterosexual behavior by hyper-masculine men. The gay space within the clubhouses on the Eastside of Vancouver is safer for straight women, lesbian, and queer individuals who seek the less or non-heteronormative culture outside of the Granville Strip.
Dancing on the Eastside of Vancouver is preferable for young people because the space is less crowded and more diverse. One female subject interviewed in a study noted, “I think there’s more transgendered sort of sexuality happening in the indie scene probably than there is in mainstream scenes” (Boyd, 2008, p. 77). Indie events are more open to and tolerant of different expressions of sexuality. Thus, the diversity of sexual performativity at indie events is supported by private interests because of those events’ reputation for safer spaces and less heteronormativite.
How are heteronormative spaces created within cities such as Vancouver?
To find an example of how heteronormative space is created in cities, one simply has to look at the line of nightclubs in Vancouver’s entertainment district, the ‘mainstream’ club district of the Granville Strip. The atmosphere in these nightclubs is generally an interaction between hyper-masculinity and hyper-femininity. Compared to patrons of the indie scene, women in mainstream clubs indulge in more hyper-feminine characteristics; they often dress like Barbie dolls, with very feminine clothing and heavy makeup to accentuate and sexualize their physical assets. The dancing performed by women in mainstream clubs is designed to attract the attention of males.
Conversely, hyper-masculinity (sometimes aggressive masculinity) plays an equal and opposite role to the hyper-femininity on display in the nightclubs of the Granville Strip. One example of this can be seen in the behavior of men on the dance floor who wait for opportunities to dance from behind with women they may or may not know. Furthermore, some women walking alone at night on Granville Street do not feel safe in the presence of a number of animated, drunken men aggressively showing their sexual tendencies or even committing sexual harassment. Most nightclubs are...