Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Michigan's Gayest Square Mile

Many people think of suburban Ferndale as the gay part of Detroit. Like much of the population, the white LGBT community gradually moved north until they left the city altogether. However in the early 1970's the Palmer Park area was the center of gay culture and there still is a sizable African-American gay community in the area.
The above map via WDET, was originally featured in a 1972 travel magazine. There are some nice pictorial elements but unlike many pictorial maps, the accuracy does not suffer from these details. The radio station's CuriosiD page includes this map along with stories, audio and an interactive map showing the movement of gay culture since 1930.
If the gay community has largely moved to the suburbs then the above map suffers from not including those areas. The only clear pattern is a general spreading out from downtown. There is a cluster of activity in Palmer Park* but it does not stand out from other areas. The color scheme is also not great for visualization.

*Palmer Park is immediately north of the jagged shaped hole in the city that includes the independent cities of Hamtramck and Highland Park.

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