The Gay Village, however, still has a “powerful symbolic role” for David Rayside.
Article by Kate Allen, Staff Reporter, The Toronto Star; Published On Fri Apr 20 2012
…David Rayside, a professor of political science and sexual diversity studies at the University of Toronto, says that angst over the death of the Gay Village is long-standing and largely overstated.
But the question of whether demographic change is diluting it beyond recognition carries much more weight.
“Is it becoming more respectable and therefore exclusionary? That’s a very good question,” he says, adding that this struggle reflects a larger anxiety.
“The drive to secure (gay) rights — including parenting rights — was widely supported. But there are lots of same-sex couples who have no interest in getting married. There is anxiety that this will reinforce the marginalization of people who cross gender lines, and who are non-conformist in other ways,” he says.
The Gay Village, however, still has a “powerful symbolic role” for Rayside.
“It’s a place that stands for a kind of visibility and assertiveness that remains unique in the city,” he says, including for gay “refugees” from hostile families, towns, and countries.
“There’s still lots of prejudice out there — much more than people realize.”
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