Lucas Hilderbrand is Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and author of
Somewhere There's a Place for Us: Urban Renewal, Gentrification, and Class Conflicts in Boston
2023. "Somewhere There's a Place for Us: Urban Renewal, Gentrification, and Class Conflicts in Boston", The Bars Are Ours: Histories and Cultures of Gay Bars in America, 1960 and After, Lucas Hilderbrand
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Gay bars have served as gay neighborhood's anchors and beacons as they emerged in the 1970s and after. In the contexts of urban renewal and gay gentrification, conflicts between bars and neighborhood residents revealed classed divisions within the LGBTQ community over the right to assemble and claim access to public space. This chapter focuses on 1970s disputes in Boston between the queer clientele of popular venues Jacque's and the Other Side and their residential neighbors who sought to shut down the venues. Gay neighborhoods and their gentrification typically have been understood as white gay male cultural phenomena that expose fundamental racisms, sexisms, and classisms. The subsequent interlude examines the ways patrons at working-class gay bars in Seattle resisted new gay liberation-era ideologies and community services in the early 1970s.