Richmond’s “Gayborhood” Map
The above image is an map overlay of LGBT-friendly and owned business with neighborhood designations. I have created an online and interactive map of the data. The data was compiled using the Richmond Business Alliances listings.
The data reveals three high concentrations of LGBT-friendly businesses. The first was the obvious result: Carytown. This is a local business district with business anchors like Babes. The second concentration was the Fan District, which is a generally a residential neighborhood. The final district was City Center; this area proved surpassing but intriguing for its possibilities.
Carytown was is an obvious example of a gay-friendly business location. A variety of its oldest and main anchors are LGBT-owned, like Mongrel, Nacho Mama’s and Babes. The space retains a strong emphasis on commerce as the Cary Street corridor is filled with businesses. Community spaces like parks, churches, or community centers are not readily available in the area.
The Fan is one of the largest major districts in Richmond. It is primarily a residential neighborhood with a variety of amenities like bars, restaurants, parks and thrift stores.
City Center provides a mix of community spaces from stores, bars, churches, and between colleges. This district may present some of the greatest potential for development. A majority of the properties are vacant and bare. It is a highly urban environment with its high-rise towers. The location is centrally between the city’s main colleges. It is between VCU’s two campus at MCV and Monroe. It is a few blocks away from the University of Richmond’s Downtown Campus. VSU is only 3 miles away and J. Sargent Reynolds is less than 2. Thus, it presents a perfect location for Richmond’s collegiate community to gather and live. Public transit traverses this space so it will remain accessible.
This collection of data points misses the residential distribution of the city’s queer population. Questions remain as to whether these points serve a primarily LGBT client base or not.
Jon Henry comes from the small town of Washington, Virginia. Xe finished xes degree at the University of Richmond and was named GayRVA.com's Out.Spoken. Richmonder of the Year for 2011. When not in class, xe is either in the studio or rabble rousing with other queer activists. Follow xem on Twitter.
We look forward seeing you all there! Happy Holidays.December 14, 2016
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