And of course no Last Thursday* is complete without some white people making grotesque and unfeeling assholes of themselves, but yesterday’s was much worse than normal:

After a shooting outside my friend’s house, in which three kids were shot, the area was cordoned off and this couple thought it would be a charming and appropriate place for a photo shoot. Drag them hard.

*last Thursday is where white gentrifying tourists come out to play, and white people who can’t sell their wares on etsy line the streets with their dream catchers, henna painting, clown art, &c. It’s a nightmare.

This hurt me so bad. Seeing the gentrification of Harlem first hand feels like losing a loved one. The first thing that popped into my head was the Azalea Banks interview. “I don’t want to share this with them” I wish I was able to better articulate how much the Apollo means to me as a black Harlem girl and why this is so painful for me.

tfw this guy stands behind you in line even though you have like 12 items and he has three and both of the express “10 items or less!” cashiers are open, unhindered, and seven feet away, and you just know it’s because your shorts have ridden up your ass and are exposing lower asscheek in a way that that one asshole celebrity might take a photo of and then tweet about what a sweet bum you have or whatever.

and tfw you get outside and there are these nicely dressed white people walking around at 10 pm and you just feel sort of disoriented and confused and then ANGRY because for the longest time it was just people of colour and semi-crusty or very fabulous broke white queer punks walking around here and not very many of them at that and these people would have been TERRIFIED to walk down this street at ten pm.
And now even when there is a shooting instead of being scared they fucking take selfies by it.

Why lesbians and gay men don’t share space.

By Lisa Wade, PhD

Last month’s edition of Contexts had a fascinating article by Amin Ghaziani titled Lesbian Geographies. Most of us are familiar with the idea of a “gayborhood,” a neighborhood enclave that attracts gay men. It turns out that lesbians have enclaves, too, but they’re not always the same ones.

The image above shows the frequency of same-sex female couples (top) and same-sex male couples (bottom) in U.S. counties. Census data tracks same-sex couples but not individuals, so the conclusions here are based on couples.

What are the differences between where same-sex female and same-sex male couples live?

First, Same-sex female couples are more likely than their male counterparts to live in rural areas. Ghaziani thinks that “cultural cues regarding masculinity and femininity play a part.” As one interviewee told sociologist Emily Kazyak:

If you’re a flaming gay queen, they’re like, “Oh, you’re a freak, I’m scared of you.” But if you’re a really butch woman and you’re working at a factory, I think [living in the midwest is] a little easier.

If being “butch” is normative for people living in rural environments, lesbians who perform masculinity might fit in better than gay men who don’t.

Second, non-heterosexual women are about three times as likely as non-heterosexual men to be raising a child under 18. Whatever a person’s sexual orientation, parents are more likely to be looking for good schools, safe neighborhoods, and non-postage stamp-sized apartments.

Finally, there’s evidence that gay men price lesbians out. Gay men are notorious for gentrifying neighborhoods, but data shows that lesbians usually get there first. When non-heterosexual men arrive, they accelerate the gentrification, often making it less possible for non-heterosexual women to afford to stay. Thanks to the gender pay gap, times two, women living with women don’t generally make as much money as men living with men.

Or, they might leave because they don’t want to be around so many men. Ghaziani writes:

Gay men are still men, after all, and they are not exempt from the sexism that saturates our society. In reflecting on her experiences in the gay village of Manchester, England, one lesbian described gay men as “quite intimidating. They’re not very welcoming towards women.”

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

The problem is that there’s lots of evidence that gentrification doesn’t benefit low-income people. The new arrivals mark the beginning of higher rent and offer no quick promises for better education. By the time the neighborhood has the chance to address these problems, it’s likely that all the people who needed assistance the most will be gone.

3 Ways To End Chinatown’s Gentrification

What’s been happening in Chinatown has hardly been silent, even if outsiders have been quiet about it. While neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Harlem have all become synonymous with encroaching gentrification, Chinatown probably elicits little more than an acknowledged existence in most New Yorker’s minds. We know something has been changing there, we may have even seen a headline once talking about it, but the large neighborhood covering parts of the Lower East Side and Two Bridges hardly gets its deserved attention.

Many are failing to recognize that if the gentrification happening in Chinatown can be stopped, and neighborhood development managed in a way that benefits all community members, the same can probably be done elsewhere…

Think journalism like this is hard to find? Well, supporting it starts with seeing the whole story.


San Francisco Now 2015

This drawing illustrates the current gentrification problems we have in San Francisco. Over the last 3 years there has been nothing but demolition of buildings in the Mission and having them replaced with more condo lofts for incoming Techies and Yuppies. Accommodation for the Google Buses with stops at every active area in the Mission which causes great pollution. Renting of a public park. Destruction/ Arson of the apartment complex on Mission and 20th. Outrageous acts of violence by SFPD.

My pride for being born and raised in San Francisco and culture is being crushed by assholes who have absolutely no respect for me or the families who’ve worked their asses off to survive. They walk in with money, landlords raise the rent, evict the people, and make new housing only affordable for the techies.This is our culture, our home, our community, our voice. Involve yourself. Viva la Misión


Rally to #SaveNYC: Save #1MillionHomes – Working class New Yorkers are losing their homes to developers, landlords, and gentrification. The affordable housing crisis and gentrification have brought millions of New Yorkers to a breaking point. Hundreds of people marched from Manhattan to Brooklyn to demand stronger rent laws and housing for all.

The gentrification of Brixton unites an eclectic group of protesters

The main objection of the demonstration is to “gentrification”, which means people who have lived in this area for decades being edged out by the only people who can afford a place on the Victoria line. But when you look at the range of the people involved – Anafo, a club promoter who also has a small business in Brixton market, Arnie, from the direct action group, London Black Revs, who would like 1,000 people to occupy Lambeth Town Hall until election day, and Ravi, a private renter in Dorchester Court, Aurelie Hulse, from the Knights Walk campaign, it becomes plain that, as Anafo says, “It’s no longer the dreaded ‘g’ word. It’s hyper gentrification – it’s far more aggressive”. 

Hi my name is Kaylynn, I am 21 years old and newly homeless.

What is being homeless like? It sucks. The only place you’re really welcome is the library and anywhere else you’re loitering.

It is actually illegal to sit or sleep on the sidewalks in San Francisco, thanks to new laws enacted by the gentrifying population that has taken over the Bay Area, my home.

In calling around to several shelters hoping to find a place to sleep, I have been told the following:

“we do not accept singles (I don’t have children, therefore I am single)”

“if you are not in immediate danger we can not help you (I am a victim of domestic violence and even though I was displaced because of this, my aggressor is in jail and so I’m not considered important enough to take in)

"there are people with more problems than you”

“you have to be able to afford the rent to get assistance (um sorry, if I could afford rent why would I need assistance???????)”

“honestly everything in this area is out of your price range, you may want to move from the county (there are no jobs outside of the county and this is my home!!!)”

How did I become homeless?

In July 2014 I discovered I was pregnant. While living at home my family decided they did not approve of the father so they asked me to leave. I had just lost my job and luckily was granted enough unemployment to secure an apartment in Modesto. I lived there for 5 months before my boyfriend at the time beat me into a miscarriage. My family knew about the violence and encouraged me to come back home. So I did.

I have been facing mental health problems since 2013 and part of the reason I left is because I didn’t want to bother my family with those problems. Anyway I returned home and my family realized the extent of my mental health issues and kicked me out on the street. If I knew they were this unsupportive I would have stayed in Modesto and endured the abuse. Sadly it didn’t happen that way and now I am facing the streets if I do not find help.

I am not asking for money, I am just asking that you keep an ear out. Any agencies that can refer me to a shelter, and rooms you know for rent in the San Francisco Bay Area, ANYTHING. Please. I am working but what I make is barely enough to feed myself let alone pay rent.

If you know of any services that can help, have a spare room or just want to send me a note of encouragement, THANK YOU.

Gentrification and the City

Gentrification, the rehabilitation of old and degraded neighborhoods as wealthier households move in, is one of the more flagrant manifestations of the inequalities that mark the early twenty-first century. The phenomenon can hardly go unnoticed: it affects more and more cities, from New York and San Francisco to the capitals of Europe and now South America, as changing lifestyles and the transformation of commerce brutally reorganise public space. Racial minorities and the working class today are relegated ever further into the periphery or, for the very poorest, into the insalubrious interstices of the city. But if concern for this phenomenon is mounting, it’s also because part of the middle class, spending an ever-greater portion of its income on housing, is no longer spared from these pressures. The slogan “the right to the city” seems more timely than ever more in the planet’s great conurbations.

From Sylvie Tissot’s forthcoming book Good Neighbors: Gentrifying Diversity in Boston’s South End