NYC must support the LGBTQ+ New Yorkers who have found community in our city for decades.
New York must develop more safe and affordable housing, while preserving LGBTQ+ enclaves in neighborhoods where LGBTQ+ people can find safety in numbers, access to affirming social services, and a sense of community.
There is a story about LGBTQ+ communities in New York City. The story is that LGBTQ+ people – typically gay, White, cisgender men – moved into low-income neighborhoods, rehabilitated the housing stock, and drove gentrification. This is misleading, and speaks to the importance and complexity of rethinking housing affordability as it pertains to LGBTQ+ people. Though of course there are wealthy LGBTQ+ people living in New York, the city owes its primacy as a world destination for LGBTQ+ activism, culture, and history largely to low-income communities.
In addition to the well-known neighborhood enclaves in Chelsea and the West Village, there are thriving LGBTQ+ communities all over New York City’s five boroughs. It is not that these neighborhoods are wholly affordable, or even entirely safe, for LGBTQ+ people. Rather, these neighborhoods have allowed LGBTQ+ people to find some affordable housing and build community with one another in a concentrated geographic location.