There’s not a lot of data available on the number of Americans who identify as LGBTQ, or where those folks live. This has made the task locating and defining gayborhoods more of an art than a science. If you are wandering around a city and come across a store selling leather arm bands and video head cleaner, then you may have found a gayborhood.
Thankfully, the Census collects some limited (and imperfect) data which sheds a bit of light on this topic. Staring in 1990, same sex couples living together could identify themselves as “unmarried partners” on the 10-year Census. This was the only option, even if they were married or had a civil union. In 2013, the 3-year “American Community Survey” finally allowed married, same sex couples to identify themselves as married. While this has been a great step in the right direction, it still fails to count all the LGBT people who identify as single.
All of that said, here is a map I created to better understand the location and clustering of gay male couples living in New Orleans.
Using the 2010 Census, I have mapped out the total number of gay couples by census tract, and divided it by the land area of each tract to get the density. The digits you see are the total number of gay couples living together in each tract, and the color indicates the clustering, or density. Click here for the full size map.
Its lovely when data backs up observations and assumptions.
I have not run any statistical analysis on this map, but at first glace it indicates what anyone who’s been to New Orleans would expect: significant clustering of gay male couples in the French Quarter, Marigny and Bywater areas, and, to a lesser extent, the Lower Garden District. (shout out to Census Tract 41 in Mid-City for keeping it real, as well)
This is a nice start, but looking at ‘change over time’ is perhaps the more interesting question that I hope to dig into in the future.
I hope you enjoy this map, even if it does overstate the obvious. Let me know what you think.