A combination of the words gay
, this term has the straightforward meaning of ¨gay neighborhood¨.
With that said, it is worth pointing out that neighborhoods themselves are not gay; only living beings (in this case, people) can wear the gay label. Gay neighborhoods tend to have a very high percentage of self-identified homosexuals, but certainly, gay people do not comprise the total population. Furthermore, there are usually not very firm boundaries delineating which areas are the ¨gay¨ ones, and which are not.
Of course, with some possible rare exceptions, gayborhoods are found only in cities, since gay culture is, for the most part, centered around urban life. Gay men and women are often referred to as ¨urban pioneers¨, since gay neighborhoods are often born where real estate is cheap, and violent crime is high. But soon after a few gay-themed businesses open their doors in a ¨bad¨ neighborhood, (e.g., gay bookstores, gay clubs, etc.), or after a handful of gay people move into a concentrated area, a larger influx of gay persons with a higher financial standard of living occurs.
In short order, the neighborhood´s violent crime rate drops, and real estate prices rise dramatically. Non-gay persons who wish an urban dwelling will move in at this point, and the prices will go up even higher, so much so that eventually gay people, being a statistical minority, won´t be able to afford apartments and homes in such disproportionate numbers as before.
The term gentrification is sometimes used to describe this process, but without any necessary involvement of gay people. That term, though, has some offensive implications; specifically that less affluent residents were somehow less deserving of the real estate in the area, or that every one of those poorer residents was responsible for the high crime rate. These, of course, are not true; money and affluence do not equal personal worth or moral superiority. However, there is a link between poverty and violent crime rates; but in any case, the criminal element remains always a small percentage of the population, with the majority being law-abiding citizens.