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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gays To The Phoebus?

Civic leaders of Phoebus, VA recently requested a presentation from the Hampton Roads Business Outreach regarding the potential rewards of attracting Gay businesses to the township. The interest in seeking out an economic fix is due to the closing of Fort Monroe, one of the Army's oldest military bases in 2011.

This all occurred back in May/June but the reason for looking at it now has to do with their misconstrued use of a theory presented by Richard Florida in his book, The Rise of the Creative Class.

I must admit it is always nice to see governments large and small recognize the economic potential that the Gay community brings, however, it seems as if Richard's theory is being misrepresented.

In the Rise of the Creative Class, Florida indicates that cities and towns should focus on building up their cultural infrastructure in order to attract the Gay and Creative community which in turn will attract high-tech companies to their area. The high tech companies are ultimately the desired result in order to revitalize the economy.

To be clear, Florida's definition of "the creative class" does not just include the Gay community, but any individual who is interested in arts and culture as these folks are usually the ones that have the means of appreciating the finer things in life.

So, having a Gay-Night at the local bar every two weeks is nice, but I think in order for the Gay community to start moving in, towns and their residents really need to not only bump up their artistic flair, but also to promote themselves as a welcoming and inclusive place to live.

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