San Francisco, the gay capital of America, is facing invasion from so-called “tech bros,” according to residents of the city’s famous gay districts who are upset by the growing number of straight people in their communities.
Historically, the LGBT community had forged its own path in the city, creating its own culture in San Francisco “gayborhoods.” Open homosexuality was still not accepted by much of mainstream society, so they stuck together in neighborhoods such as the Castro district.
However, the past decade has seen a dramatic shift in how the majority of Americans view LGBT citizens: with the legalisation of gay marriage in 2015, most Americans now have come to accept gay people. This has led to a much greater integration into the mainstream populace of the LGBT community, which many would believe to be a good thing.
Except some members of the gay community quite like having their own special place. They don’t want to have to cater to straight people the same way that heterosexual folks have accepted them. Quoted in The Guardian, Cleve Jones, a gay activist, saw something that “shocked him” in his local gay 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,” he said.
“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,” he said. “They can go anywhere. We can’t.”
Some in the LGBT community is having a tough time accepting the new era of integration, and an odd kind of anti-heterosexual intolerance is now occurring.
As the pace of social change accellerates, the gay community is being inexorably drawn into mainstream society. For gay people who liked living the life of outsiders, this represents an existential threat.
Charlie Ballard, a drag queen comedian, complained about the fact that he has to “deal with pseudo-hipster techy types.” Amy Sueyoshi, the associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, claims she feels “less safe” because of the increase in heterosexual people in her neighborhood.
Sueyoshi went so far to say: “I do like to go to places in and around the Castro for Happy Hour or a snack and I’ve noticed more straight people making out at these places where I go deliberately to NOT feel like I am oppressed by heterosexuality. Really, straight people do you HAVE to make out in the Castro as well? Good Lord.”
No modern-minded straight individual would consider a gay couple kissing near them to be “oppressing them.”