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Queer Town

Census Data: Lesbians More Likely to Live in Norcal, Gay Men in SoCal

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Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM

click to enlarge Do WeHo gays scare the lesbians away? - PATRICK RANGE MCDONALD
  • Patrick Range McDonald
  • Do WeHo gays scare the lesbians away?
Last week, NYC beat California to marriage equality. (Well, unless you count our fleeting sliver of justice in 2008.) So, for one honorary week, we'll refrain from calling it New York Shitty. Though that won't stop the Onion from picking up where we left off.

Anyway, while the topic is hot, the Williams Institute, a UCLA think tank devoted to LGBT law, has taken the opportunity to release some pretty graphs showing where most gay/lesbian couples live, where they don't live, how many babies they have, etc. One odd California stat in particular caught our eye:

According to 2010 Census data, the vast majority of lesbian couples live in NorCal, while gay couples tend to gravitate toward the bottom of the state.

Oh, shit. Is SoCal unfriendly to girl-on-girl action? (No, not that kind. Obviously.)

It's no secret that same-sex couples tend to avoid the rural deserts and farmlands of eastern Calfornia -- and the folks out there made it very clear, on their Prop. 8 ballots, that the feeling was mutual. But aside from that, we're a little perplexed by these LGBT migration patterns:

click to enlarge THE WILLIAMS INSTITUTE
  • The Williams Institute
It's important to note that lesbian couples outnumber gay couples overall. After accounting for that difference, though, the data clearly shows that girls are clustered up north, saturating counties like Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt with their out-and-proudness.

Man couples, on the other hand, are a little more spread out. But their biggest concentration is throughout SoCal -- in Los Angeles, San Deigo and Riverside Counties.

The two groups overlap in San Francisco, but we could have told you that.

Most disconcerting is the fact that lesbian couples show up scarce in L.A. County -- one of the most popular spots for gay men. (FYI: Probably because it includes so many conservative rural bits, L.A. County actually voted majority "yes" on Prop. 8.)

So. Do lesbians feel unwelcome here? If so, this might speak to recent feminist upset in West Hollywood, L.A.'s token gayborhood, where some complain it's gotten too boy-centric. Thus the push to name itself "Boystown," and the noticeable rarity of girls' nights on the club circuit.

The trend would also reinforce the stereotype of woodsy, au naturale granola lesbians living in Humboldt and its surrounding hippie hoods, while plastic Gaga gays work on their abs/tans down south.

What do you think? What draws the chicks northward? Could they feel less safe than gay men among the SoCal Republicans? We're actually hella curious, so yeah. Do weigh in if you've got a sec.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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