Urban Makeover

Sexual Imperialism in Lesbian & Gay-Friendly Towns

The sleepy town of Gulfport, Florida, located on Boca Ciega Bay on the southern tip of Pinellas County, was a quaint and charming waterside community of historical significance founded in 1910. Discovered by hippies in the late 1960s, it became a haven for artists and freethinkers seeking a laid-back, peaceful community. Gulfport was idyllic—seaside and picturesque, with the sweet atmosphere of a tropical island paradise. I visited there in 1979 at the invitation of an old friend and was instantly enamored. Two years later, I moved there and made it my home. I could think of no reason I’d ever want to leave.

In the late 1990s, a group of lesbian investors began buying up real estate in Gulfport and investing heavily in what was presented as a “revitalization project” to spawn growth and renew interest in the city. One by one, our long-standing local eateries and watering holes came under lesbian management. Soon afterward, houses and other properties were bought up and sold to affluent lesbians and gays suddenly attracted to our little city. New ordinances were passed to accommodate LGBT interests, and the city council was only too happy to oblige, considering the lesbian/gay tourist trade.

In fast, head-spinning succession, lesbian-owned shops were granted variances allowing sprawling additions to their establishments, permits were granted allowing regular lesbian/gay-interest fundraisers, and zoning restrictions were lifted to accommodate private after-hour parties.

Few seemed to notice or care that this prosperity came at the expense of the “straight” community who’d supported the city for decades. As was made painfully evident at our town meetings, our opinions and concerns quickly became irrelevant. We weren’t just being ignored; we were no longer a factor in the societal equation.

Over the next ten years, all but one of the original downtown shops disappeared, replaced with an upscale gift or specialty shop catering exclusively to lesbian/gay interests. This radical transformation not only changed the face of our picturesque little city, but it obliterated a decades-long economic balance maintained through locals patronizing our local shop owners. Many of us started shopping outside the city.

By 2010, most of the annual events and traditions that had long defined the heart and spirit of Gulfport had been replaced by events promoting LGBT ideals. Traditional holidays like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving took on a decisively lesbian/gay bent, marked by lesbian/gay parades (complete with lesbian/gay marching band), lesbian/gay fashion shows, and other pro-lesbian/gay events holding no allure for heterosexuals. Attention to the lifestyle became near-constant and unavoidable. During the months of March, June, October, and November, locals began visiting other cities whenever possible, just to escape the madness.

We began facing the sad reality that things would never return to “normal.” The only way to truly escape would be to abandon our homes and move on in search of a less lesbian/gay-oriented community.

In the late 1980s, when “same-sex marriage” became a fashionable topic of discourse, most enlightened, politically liberal citizens concluded that it came down to a matter of civil rights. Though not necessarily in support of the lesbian/gay lifestyle, they found it difficult to ignore the fact that while homosexual behavior flies in the face of Judeo-Christian beliefs, civil rights are a separate matter in the United States.

In retrospect, however, we greatly underestimated where that perspective would lead us. According to the gay travel magazine OutCoast.com, Gulfport’s population is now “rumored” to be over 50 percent LGBT.1

The Migration

Despite the tentative nod from political liberals, bills to legally sanction “same-sex marriage” in the United States in the 1990s repeatedly met brick walls tactfully erected by political conservatives, and a bureaucratic game of tit-for-tat continued throughout the nineties. In reaction to prevailing sentiment across the United States, same-sex couples began a concerted migration to more gay-friendly cities—San Francisco, Portland, Austin, New Orleans, Seattle, Boston, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Denver, Hartford, and Gulfport—not with the intention of finding acceptance and blending into the existing sociocultural fabric, but asserting their right to live where and how they pleased, and proceeding to alter the adopted city’s fabric to their liking. As a result, those cities, too, have undergone drastic transformations.

According to Census Bureau data, Portland, Oregon, now has the second-largest percentage (5.4) of residents identifying as LGBT of any U.S. metro area. Similarly, Austin, Texas (named by The Advocate as one of the “Gayest Cities in America”) now has 5.3 percent of its population identifying as such. Likewise, in New Orleans/Metairie, one of the fastest-growing LGBT centers in the country, 5.1 percent of the population identifies as non-heterosexual. San Francisco, of course, leads them all at 6.2 percent.2

While the non-gay population vastly outnumbers the LGBTs in each of these cities, one would hardly think so, considering the barrage of rainbow flags, purple-painted houses, gay sex clubs, and gay-pride events dominating the cityscapes. In many cases, the mainstream population is overshadowed by the sheer glitz and spectacle of the prominent gay lifestyle.

Under the guise of equal rights and freedom of speech, the LGBT minority has successfully managed to marginalize the heterosexual majority in many cities in a relatively short period of time. Though history provides examples of a minority culture dominating a majority one (the British over the Indians in India, Europeans over Native Americans in the United States, the Chinese Communist Party over the Chinese in China), these cases reflect religious and socioeconomic motivations—not sexual orientation. In this regard, the LGBT minority in the United States may well be setting a world precedent.

Celebrating All Things Queer

In recent years, the LGBT community has observed what they refer to as the LGBTQIA Calendar, a year-long itinerary of events celebrating some aspect of the LGBT agenda or lifestyle.3 These observations include, but are not limited to: Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week (February), International Transgender Day of Visibility (March), Lesbian Visibility Day (April), Harvey Milk Day (May), Pansexual and Panromantic Visibility Day (May), Nonbinary Awareness Week (July), Gay Uncle Day (August), Bisexual Awareness Week (September), National Coming Out Day (October), International Pronoun Day (October), Trans Awareness Week (November), and Pansexual Pride Day (December).4

These are in addition to LGBTQ Pride Month (June), Bisexual Health Awareness Month (October), LGBT History Month (October), and Transgender Awareness Month (November). In some communities, fashion shows, parades, performances, and other gay-related festivities are essentially non-stop.

High-Powered Hypocrisy

Although “same-sex marriage” is no longer the central issue—since Obergefell mandated recognition of such “marriages” in all fifty states in 2015—a number of new issues have been added to the broader, long-term agenda. Among them are defeating state and local laws deemed anti-gay, lobbying to reclassify various behaviors deemed anti-gay as hate crimes, and initiating lawsuits in cases where transgender individuals’ access to certain sex-specific jobs, restrooms, sports teams, or military service is met with restrictions.

In recent years, the LGBT contingent has garnered unprecedented, far-reaching legal and financial support to take on these issues. A number of wealthy business moguls have contributed heavily to furthering the agenda, including Jon Stryker (founder of the Stryker Corporation—$30M), William Johnston (chairman of Greenleaf Trust—$30M), and Tim Gill (founder of Quark software), who has invested more than $500 million for the specific purpose of turning Colorado from a red state to a blue one and garnering political support for the larger, long-term LGBT agenda.5 At this time, Wikipedia lists more than 80 national LGBT advocacy organizations furthering the agenda in the United States, and more than 60 functioning at the state level.6

Freedom of speech. Freedom of choice. Freedom of thought. Freedom of expression. If you believe the resounding rhetoric, these are the “basic human rights” LGBTs deserve but are being denied. But herein lies the hypocrisy.

Lesbians want the right to flaunt their sexual and gender predilections—but would deny anyone the right to express disapproval of them. Gays want the right to openly commit sodomy—but would deny anyone the right to openly condemn it on religious or moral grounds, or even to question its practice on medical grounds. Bisexuals and transsexuals want the right to take on the sexual identity of their ­choosing—but would deny anyone the right to consider that behavior an abomination. In a word: hypocrisy.

“Gay pride” flags and t-shirts are seen as expressions of free speech—while a “straight pride” flag or t-shirt would be considered hate speech. Pro-lesbian/gay events are emblematic of equality—while a pro-family event might be considered homophobic. Gay struggles are considered heroic—while other people’s struggles are irrelevant. In short, there is nothing “equal” about the human rights the LGBT activists claim to pursue. If we think the movement will take the non-gay population into consideration in its plans for the future, we should think again.

Enforced Acceptance

Given its name, the Equality Act sounds like a worthwhile endeavor for all. Upon analysis, however, it becomes evident that every aspect of the act said to benefit the LGBT community will have wide-ranging negative impacts. According to The Daily Signal, the Equality Act codifies enforced acceptance of the sexual and gender ideologies at the root of the LGBT lifestyle. It would by no measure provide broader equality to the American populace as a whole but would only serve to force the entire population to accept LGBT ideologies or face legal consequences.

For those not currently residing in one of the cities targeted by LGBT activists (which now include Cincinnati; Buffalo; Oklahoma City; Omaha; Dallas; Milwaukee; Albuquerque; Rochester and Albany, New York; and Richmond, Virginia), the notion of a marginalized heterosexual sector may seem difficult to swallow. But if the past three decades of the movement have revealed anything, it’s that the systematic marginalization many now experience is just the initial phase of the ultimate goal—acculturation, if not outright conquest.

Enlightened, liberal-minded citizens today would be wise not to underestimate the intentions of the LGBT movement as we did in the past.

1. https://outcoast.com/lgbtq-friendly-places-to-live-in-florida
2. thestreet.com/personal-finance/cities-with-largest-percentage-of-lgbt-residents-14605660
3. pinprick.shop/post/1000838582220/the-complete-2021-lgbt-calendar-a-list
4. glaad.org/blog/welcome-2022-lgbtqia-commemoration-calendar
5. firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/01/the-billionaires-behind-the-lgbt-movement; denverpost.com/2019/07/14/tim-gill-colorado-lgbtq-rights
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_rights_organizations_in_the_United_States

James Coffey is a Behavioral Scientist with degrees in both Psychology and Anthropology. He is a trained observer of human behavior and social trends who regularly contributes to both academic journals and fiction magazines.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #64, Spring 2023 Copyright © 2024 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo64/urban-makeover


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