Thursday, July 14, 2016

Interactive map shows Detroit's gay bars since the 1930s

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 11:16 AM

  • Paris | Photo/Eaton Blumenstein

So this is pretty interesting. The folks over at WDET recently published a pretty cool timeline-map that allows users to see the locations of metro Detroit gay bars from 1930 until present day.

We published some screenshots of their interactive map below, however, we also recommend heading over to the site where it's hosted, as it's sort of cool to watch the map of locations expand (and sadly) contract. 

The interactive — which was created with data compiled by historian Dr. Tim Retzloff and his research document “Historical directory of gay & lesbian bars in metro Detroit" — was published as part of WDET's most recent "CuriosiD" whose question was: "Did Detroit ever have a Gayborhood?" (aka a designated and known gay neighborhood). 

WDET's short answer: 
"After World War II, downtown Detroit was a hub for gay bars. Then, starting in the 1950s, the gay population began following the migration pattern of many Metro Detroiters, heading northward. By the 1970s, there was a community in the Palmer Park area that thrived until the late 1980s. But by the 1990s, a mostly-White segment of this population moved to suburbs like Royal Oak and Ferndale. Today, the area around Six Mile Road and Woodward Avenue has remained a hub for the African American gay community." 

Their long answer, which is quite fascinating, can be listened to here

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