Monday, January 28, 2008

It Takes a Village, People.

With the dawn of a new year comes a renewed sense of purpose. Or at least that's what my therapist says. So I'm taking the Supergay Detroit blog and expanding its scope.

The holiday San Francisco trip was important in many ways. First off, caught up on shopping. Secondly, reaffirmed gay solidarity. And thirdly, realized how much living in Detroit is working for me.

It also gave me a chance to discuss my personal gay agenda and my objectives for this blog with friends who agree with me on key points about our gay identities, and to look at ideas to effect greater change.

One friend, over dinner at the
hipsteriest East German restaurant ever, asked me, "How many gay people do you need to move downtown to create a difference?" Isn't that a good question? Thirty, I replied. Thirty this year. And then he said, "You need to create the Supergay Detroit Cultural Enhancement Program."

It was genius. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but in reality I am outspoken but stupid.

So this year, in addition to
social commentary, bar reviews, and timewasting youtubing, I am working to create gay change in the city of Detroit. This year, we are going to get thirty new gay people into three key neighborhoods with great gay potential.

Here are the guidelines:

* The goal is new gay residents - we're not poaching from other Detroit neighborhoods. Let's get people who "get it" to move in from the suburbs, and let's snag people moving in from other cities before they are unceremoniously directed toward Royal Oak by their relocation expert.

* We need gay folks who will be publicly engaged with the community - the goal here is visibility, gang, so gays who want to stay home all the time might as well nest in Brighton. We need gays and lesbians who will be out and about. Singles are great, since they are forced out of the house by their desperate loneliness, but couples who want to do more than watch "Lost" snuggled up on the sofa each week are also needed. This is more than hanging out at the bar, it's being gay at the Y, at restaurants, with community groups ... it's being a part of life in the city.

* Newly-hatched gay people who already live in the city count too! Everyone knows Michigan isn't the most evolved place in terms of accepting gays and lesbians, so it tends to take some people longer than others to pull it together and come out of the closet. Instead of shunning these folks, we need to reward their honesty (while secretly recounting their closeted foibles) and make them a part of gay Detroit. And encourage their move to a designated potential gayborhood!

Naturally, Supergay Detroit has taken the time to identify three neighborhoods with amazing gay potential. If you've been a longtime reader then you know my take on
gayborhoods. The areas I've selected have hit the mark on several key points, including a moderate gay presence currently, a variety of housing options, geographic desirability and potential for improvement on an individual resident level.

I have selected Midtown (for those skewing young), Lafayette Park (for the more sophisticated and mature gay) and West Village (frankly, for everyone) as Detroit's future gay neighborhoods. I'll take an in-depth look at these neighborhoods over the next few posts.

So these guidelines aren't that hard, are they? It's just about openly gay people moving into neighborhoods with amazing gay potential.

Your goal, gentle reader, is to encourage gay migration to these areas. And it won't be hard. People are tired of the generic homogeneity of Royal Oak. And they are getting frustrated by the lack of options in Ferndale. Detroit is the new gay frontier, (even though it's alway had a huge gay undercurrent), and I am all about pointing out options.

This is the foundation of the 2008 Supergay Detroit Cultural Enhancement Program. I strongly believe change starts from the ground up, so everyone stop waiting for leadership to text you an invitation and accept this one instead. Creating change is our gay birthright, so let's get to it!


Anonymous said...

I moved from the burbs to Boston-Edison recently.

SupergayDetroit said...

I love you.

Anonymous said...

I am moving to Detroit soon and I am interested in living close to work, which is at Wayne State. I eagerly look forward to your commentary on these neighborhoods and their gay potential.

D-Tales said...

Okay SG, you have your mission--now you need to market it. Seriously. This is something that major publications will latch onto in a heartbeat once they know about it. Then you can use their clout to set up a large-scale 2008 Supergay Detroit Cultural Enhancement Program Event. There could be flyers, and petitions--we could even contact our Congressperson! Between the Lines and the Triangle Foundation are good places to start, but from there--Model D, Hour Detroit, Metro Times, Real Detroit, the freakin' Free Press. If you're gonna do it, DO IT. Let's not just make this a cause, but a bonafide campaign. I'm on board. Let's do it!

D-Tales said...

Oh, and you could also get a developer on board, too! Someone who would agree to promote this campaign, maybe even be the ones to throw the special event! Like Crosswinds Communities or something; seriously, this could be HUGE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Supergay!!! I feel so guilty now. The cards all seem to be in place: I am a single gay 20-something, having just graduated from music school, who eagerly wants to be part of the local gay scene. I moved into an abandoned colonial in East English Village and fixed it up with lots of color and panache. So, alas, I am a new gay but in the wrong neighborhood :-)

Kudos on your proposal.

Anonymous said...

West Village? Cute, yes. But no retail, no bars..."walkable" in the sense that you can walk to someone else's house. Same with B-E. Might as well move out to Brighton.

SupergayDetroit said...

Hey East English gay, your neighborhood is great too, don't feel bad! Lots of us living there.

And West Village not good for the gayborhood? Interestingly, it's actually my numero uno choice, the reasons why I'll cover soon.

Read the "On Gayborhoods" post if you haven't. And remember that we are not the type of people waiting for something to be all Royal Oakified before we move in.

Anonymous said...

Fab idea! But, I think you forgot what a great gayborhood Woodbridge is... here is a link to a great Woodbridge condo that could be yours...

SupergayDetroit said...

You owe me a drink for that free ad babycakes.

Love Woodbridge, but just think these others have more potential. Woodbridge is rife with gay hipsters though!

Dutch said...

this is way better than my 2007 "gays who live in suburbs are pussies" campaign.

mle.inside8 said...

The University District is gay-friendly too. We tend to attract older settled couples (example, Jerome and Robbin of Blumz) ...bargain priced mini-mansions with lots of elbow room, 35 minutes to DTW, 20 minutes to everywhere else. But I like your focus on three 'hoods for this year, and I really like your walkability criterion. There's not quite enough retail here to give us a good WalkScore. Between security issues, winter, and the gotta-have-parking-in-front mindset of strip developers, there's no foot traffic for traditional retail to thrive on. So startup retailers have to have another way to connect with their customers, and that is done best by internet ads on sites like this! Great blog, keep it up.

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