A friend posted a link on Facebook to the very handy New York Times "Mapping America" tool and made the observation that Boston-Edison is the gayest neighborhood in Detroit (at 7%), followed by Indian Village (5%) and Woodbridge (5%). Not necessarily a shock, but interesting nevertheless. If only because it prompts a little digging on the map to see where else rates.
It was no surprise to see that East English Village has a higher-than-zero number of "same-sex households" (3%) but seriously, who expected the area around the Detroit Medical Center (3%) to show up higher than Lafayette Park? I mean really, there are like six places to live there! And the neighborhoods just next to City Airport (4%!)? Random! Or Highland Park (3%). For real?
The map is full of surprises like that in the city, little pockets where same-sex couples are just going about their business and not making a big stink about gayborhoods (but probably leading their block clubs).
Just as notable are the areas that don't appear to have a significant gay population, like the Palmer Woods/Sherwood Forest/Green Acres area (0%? Really?). Or in Oakland County - Ferndale is only 1-2%! The winner in the OC is Royal Oak at a whopping 4%.
Remember, of course, that this only tracks households identifying as same-sex, which means couples. So if there weren't enough reasons for society to make you feel shitty about being single, there's one more. And the data is based on sampling - the real updated story from the 2010 census will be revealed in February 2011. I am trying my darnedest to figure out how to find the sampled population of each census tract so I can do a little math with these percentages, but for the son of two Ph.D.'s in statistics I'm not managing to find the right data very well.
And to wrap things up - if you are looking for the ultimate in gay living in Michigan, apparently you need to move to Ecorse, which rates 14%! If downriver is not your speed, there's always Pinckney (7%). Really.