Put down the pitchforks and stop the infighting and let’s come together to support our gayborhood

Chad MantoothThe recent attacks in the gayborhood have really scared me. But I’m not scared for myself or my own safety; I’m scared for the survival of gayborhood itself.

As these attacks have progressed over the last few months, I have worried about the impact they have not only on the members of my community but also on the businesses on The Strip.

The recent attacks have hurt individuals physically, I know. But I also know they have left a black mark on the Cedar Springs name — and that black mark must be erased.

Now more than ever, we need to flock to The Strip and support the businesses/bars/restaurants/retail stores there. We need to show them that we aren’t scared and that we support our own.

We need to lift each other up in this time of need.

I’m not suggesting that you put yourself in a dangerous situation or in a dark alley. But I do hope we will all show our support and stand in solidarity — with both our words and our pocketbooks.

I hope people in Dallas realize how special and unique having a “gayborhood” is. One definitely does not see something like this area in every city in the country. In fact, this area is one of the reasons I moved to Dallas.

The sense of community that just being in Oak Lawn makes me feel is unlike anything I felt growing up in the middle of Kansas. The gayborhood brings us together as a community and creates a special place for all of us to enjoy.

For many, the gayborhood is an outlet, “safe space” to go to with their spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends to shop and hang out and walk down the street holding hands without worrying about dirty looks or other repercussions. For others, it’s a place to go drink and dance and look for the love of their life.

What we have here in Dallas is special, and I hope you all know it. I hope you realize that how much time and money each of the businesses on our “Strip” have invested in our community. Now is the time we need to really patronize these businesses and show them that we are proud — proud of the time and effort and money they have put into giving us a great place to live, work and play.

We need to stop fighting amongst ourselves about the best ways to improve the gayborhood and make it a safer area. We need to put down the pitchforks and stop bickering and take the time to realize that, although we may not have the same methods for helping, we are all working for a common goal: keeping our gayborhood safe and thriving.


 Chad Mantooth is the associate advertising manager for Dallas Voice and an Oak Lawn resident.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 4, 2015.