Housing is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for gay guys. While straight people may buy a first house in the city to be near fun places, eventually they move to the suburbs to be near good public schools. Then their children unexpectedly become larger and want their own bedrooms, and the straight people have to “find something bigger”, and they move into a McMansion in the exurbs that only twenty minutes before had been a thriving woodland ecosystem.
Freed from these imperatives by biological and legal handicaps, gay guys are able to funnel their resources into housing, and often into one specific house for most of their adult lives. Without chicken pox and soccer practice to talk about, they often focus on real estate in social conversations. In big cities this may take the form, among homeowners, of glee at rising housing prices or, among renters, of despair and disgust at the undeserved fortune and shallowness of homeowners. In smaller cities this may take the form of listening to an endless elaboration of the necessary renovations to a 7500 square foot turn of the century Victorian mansion with seven bedrooms and a dumb waiter to make it habitable for two people. In both cases, there will be much discussion of renovation costs, resale value, tradeoffs between new and old construction, the perfidity of general contractors, and how best to strip paint off a balustrade.