A Whiter Shade of Rainbow: a Rhetorical Criticism of Genre, Symbol and Ideology in San Francisco’s Castro District

A huge rainbow flag flutters overhead. Cool fog rolls down over two Twin Peaks that rise in the west, sending a chilly breeze between brightly painted Victorian row houses and down a wide boulevard toward a modern skyline of glass and steel. A streetcar bell clangs as two young men walk by holding hands; you’re in San Francisco’s Castro District. Pretty much anyone in the United States – and possibly even the world – upon hearing the words “the Castro” might immediately think of one word: gay. Whether they are staunch opponents of gay rights, oppressed gay people desperately trying to uncover their identities while locked in some small Midwestern town, or people who couldn’t give a corn cob either way, many people have explicitly linked the neighborhood to “the gays,” their culture and their movement for equal civil rights for at least the last 30 years. Most anyone will agree that if you’re gay, or if you want to understand or immerse yourself in gayness, the Castro is one of the first places you should go. Indeed, if we are to believe conversations in the gay community or on television, the Castro even appears to be lauded as a sort of grand epicenter of all things gay – a gay Mecca. But we must dig more deeply and unpack this status and glorification. If the Castro neighborhood indeed stands as an artifact that represents values of gay culture, we must ask whose vision or ideology of gay culture it represents and how it does so. We must observe what is physically present in the neighborhood, ask who built and maintains it, and analyze whose interests it serves. By doing so, we can draw objective conclusions about the message the Castro and other gay neighborhoods deliver to the world about gay culture as a whole – and if the message is inclusive and accurate.

In digging to find any consistent ideology lurking behind the façades of the Castro’s Victorians, we will encounter a disturbing reality and a research question pointing to the nature and function of gay neighborhoods. For a neighborhood that is generally understood to represent a panacea and a beacon of hope for gay people worldwide, the Castro appears to represent and serve the interests of one group of gay people far more closely than others – moneyed white men, most of whom are middle-aged. We’ll ask what rhetorical strategies are at work in gay neighborhoods and how they protect dominant paradigms. Borrowing ideas from feminism like “dominant paradigms” and “patriarchy,” we will perform an ideological criticism of the Castro by applying to it the characteristics of the gay village, or “gayborhood,” as author Donald Reuter names it in the first sentence of his book on the genre. We will then perform a close reading of the Castro neighborhood, charting groups of landmarks, businesses, and images that physically cluster around the neighborhood, drawing objective conclusions about the ideologies which form the foundation of the neighborhood – those of moneyed middle-aged white men.

Just what the heck is the Castro, anyway?  Background and Description of Neighborhood

First off, a foundational question looms – how can analysis of a neighborhood reveal insight into the communication process? In answering this question, we’ll establish the concept of “neighborhood” as relevant to communication studies by considering the definition of “rhetorical artifact” presented by Sonja Foss in the textbook Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice. Here, Foss defines a rhetorical artifact as a “tangible product” that is created by a symbolic rhetorical act (6). The curious researcher need not limit study to recorded speeches or pieces of art. While a neighborhood is indeed an evolving organism, certainly it is also tangible evidence of thought and action in the interest of communicating a message. The physical appearance and composition of a neighborhood is crafted first and foremost by the people who live in the district, the people who set up businesses in its buildings, and the people who gather there – the rhetors. And indeed, in progressive San Francisco, citizens have no problem speaking out against the presence of an object in their neighborhood. Take, for example, the recent crusade by the Castro’s Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association against a planned Trader Joe’s store in an empty storefront on Market Street. According to the Bay Area Reporter’s article on the affair, the complaints ranged from traffic congestion to a lack of disclosure about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employment policies (Baume). But the end result speaks volumes. Trader Joe’s bowed to public pressure and withdrew its plans to enter the Castro market. We see that the people who live or do business in a neighborhood have tremendous power over what is allowed to physically occupy the geographical space. Here, in the instance of the Castro, we will soon discover that the current iteration of the neighborhood has been crafted over the past 30 years by the “gay community” that continues to live there now. We will analyze this gay neighborhood as a rhetorical artifact to gain insight into which segments of the gay community are dominant and how they continue to craft the neighborhood, all the while controlling the messages it communicates and maintaining their dominance in gay culture.

The most effective way to get to know the Castro is to go there. A walk down Castro Street on a Sunday afternoon is to witness a vibrant neighborhood busy with commerce, entertainment and the pursuit of pleasure. Exiting the Castro Street San Francisco Municipal Railway subway station conveniently located at the headwater of San Francisco’s Market Street – a wide street bisecting the city and competing with the grand boulevards of the world – the first thing we notice is a huge rainbow flag flying against a bright blue sky, perhaps prompting one to ask, “are we at the end of the rainbow or somewhere over it?” Turning down Castro Street we find a busy neighborhood. A hulking chain clothing store, Diesel, sits beside the intersection. Across the street is a small business called Hot Cookie, which whimsically sells confections in the shape of penises and boobs in addition to chocolate chip cookies. A majestic old movie palace, the Castro Theater, anchors the block with an animated neon marquis, spelling C-A-S-T-R-O vertically in bright pink letters. Mid-block, forming a different sort of anchor, branches of Citibank and U.S. Bank face each other across the street like sentinels. More bars and restaurants lead us further down the slightly declining grade to a video store where a heavily muscled Caucasian man smeared with grease and sweat stands watch from a larger-than-life copy of a gay porn DVD cover in the window. Across the street is the storefront of Cliff’s Variety Store, which opens to reveal a buzzing neighborhood hardware store inside. A community bulletin board features posters advertising gay dance parties and community health studies. We continue down the street toward what is considered by many to be a great nexus of gay culture.

The intersection of 18th and Castro is guarded on each corner by a Walgreens, a soup restaurant, an awkwardly large Bank of America complex and a restaurant called Harvey’s. People cross the street on their way to their next drink at their next bar, or pause to take pictures of the street signs against the bright blue sky. On the corner in front of the Bank of America, there are often sidewalk demonstrations or events – perhaps one day an event held by Rocket Dog Rescue, complete with cages of puppies and adorable adoptable dogs, and the next an impromptu memorial to a deceased prominent community member or even a fallen pop star like Amy Winehouse. Heterosexual and gay parents stop to let their children pet dogs or examine memorials. Looking west, 18th Street rises towards Twin Peaks, but not before hosting a grocery store, restaurants and several bars pumping pop music and spilling men on the street smoking – some young and exuberant and others middle-aged and drunk. Looking east, 18th Street descends toward San Francisco Bay in the distance, lined again with more bars and restaurants and the Castro Country Club, a sober gathering place and social event space.

Looking back before crossing to the east side of Castro to continue up the block, we notice that rainbow flags hang from every flag pole all the way back up to Market and frame the view of the street as we progress south. Here, we find more of the same – restaurants, clothing stores, pet supply stores, an upscale shoe store, and a real estate office displaying tear sheets for million dollar homes beside another bank, Wells Fargo. Two lesbians embrace in front of a nail salon called “Hand Job” which sells t-shirts proudly declaring, “I Got a Hand Job on Castro Street.” A plaque on the ground in front of the next storefront reminds us that the establishment used to be called Castro Camera and was the headquarters of former San Francisco supervisor and unofficial “Mayor of Castro Street” Harvey Milk, who led a highly visible movement for gay rights in the 1970s. Milk was tragically assassinated by fellow supervisor Dan White in 1978. Inside, the store is now a headquarters and retail space for national LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. Banners in HRC’s colors, yellow and blue, adorn the inside of the store and detail gay history in San Francisco above t-shirts with the HRC logo for sale.

What messages do we receive during our delightful stroll through the Castro? Interestingly, even though much praise and criticism has been written about the Castro as a social space, very little has been written analyzing any messages it may communicate from a symbolic or rhetorical perspective – none that this researcher could find at least. There is, however, a simple, unsuspecting little book written by Donald Reuter that almost accidentally describes the genre of the gay neighborhood, or “gayborhood” – and we’ll borrow that term of Reuter’s from here on. In the book, Greetings from the Gayborhood: a Nostalgic Look at Gay Neighborhoods, Reuter examines the histories of major gayborhoods in the United States (New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, etc.), and outlines criteria for gayborhoods. In the introduction to the book, he includes a list that describes where gayborhoods will be found and what one will find inside them. He calls them “common gayborhood characteristics,” but the rhetorical critic will read “requirements for participation in the genre.” Reuter goes on to explain that “gayborhoods were and are where we all come to celebrate, be thoughtful, and seek refuge from a society largely uninterested in satisfying our ‘special interests’” (iii).

Now that our literature review reveals an existing genre of “gayborhood” and describes its purpose, we can assess the Castro against the genre. We can examine the Castro to see what is actually there. And further, we can ask the following research question: whose interests are gayborhoods built to serve, and what rhetorical strategies illuminate the dominant paradigms behind them? Using the Castro as a case study, we will find that gayborhoods are not necessarily functioning as the refuges that Reuter sees them as in his description of the genre – at least not for all genders and races that coexist in the “gay community.”

Applying the “gayborhood” genre to the Castro: Method and Analysis

Generic criticism involves examination and analysis of categories that can be used to organize rhetorical artifacts. According to Sonja Foss, generic criticism assumes that “certain types of situations provoke similar needs and expectations in audiences and thus call for particular kinds of rhetoric” and that “the generic critic seeks to discover commonalities in rhetorical patterns across recurring situations” (137). Further, she declares that the generic critic can describe a new or emerging genre, examine an artifact to determine if it participates in a previously described genre, or assess an artifact that has already been defined as participating in a genre by retroactively applying characteristics of that genre to the artifact (144). Here we will perform the latter of the three – generic application. We will apply the substantive and stylistic characteristics of the gayborhood genre to San Francisco’s Castro District in order to determine how closely it conforms to the genre. Looking ahead, genre criticism is especially well-suited to this analysis of the Castro because it allows us to establish the Castro as a clear example of a gayborhood — but with one glaring departure from the form. We can gain insight into how ideology steers this neighborhood and its genre. We can then carefully extend implications gleaned from analysis of this one neighborhood out to other gayborhoods and effectively address our research question.

To apply the genre of “gayborhood” to the Castro, we will address Reuter’s eight substantive and stylistic characteristics of participants in the genre, which he outlines in the introductory pages of his book. This is a worthwhile exercise to perform, since Reuter does not explicitly apply the characteristics to the Castro himself in his book.

First, Reuter expects gayborhoods to pop up within easy reach of sources of work and pleasure. The Castro certainly meets this requirement. It exists in the geographic heart of the city, nearly equidistant from all boundaries of the city and with easy access to regional transportation to other Bay Area cities for work or pleasure.

Second, he expects successive gayborhoods to “form a chain, economically and physically to keep progressive strength” (vi). The Castro meets this requirement as it grew as an extension of the Haight-Ashbury progressive gay community in the 1960s. It is linked by Market Street to a smaller, older gay enclave on Polk Street. Further, the Castro tends to follow Castro Street to Market, then down Market all the way to Octavia, forming a strip for commerce and pleasure.

Reuter says the borders of the gayborhood must be clear and easily traversed. The Castro meets this test, even though there are conflicting opinions as to the boundaries of the neighborhood, depending on which organization or person one asks. In any of the cases, there is very little dispute that its heart rests at 18th and Castro Streets.

Reuter sees gayborhoods as developing organically and still showing vestiges of the community that lived there before the gays. The Castro, again, passes the test. The Castro Theater is a shining and prominent example that the history of the neighborhood is intact. Also, the F-Market Street car preserves the history of the neighborhood, as do several businesses that advertise they have been in the neighborhood since the 1960s, such as the Castro Cheesery.

Reuter expects to find “seductive content and indication of ‘invert’ sexuality” in gayborhoods (viii). The Castro meets this requirement, but it has eroded as of late. Window displays containing graphic imagery of sexuality have been criticized by community members in the past few years. After the October Castro Street Fair in 2005, which is a yearly street fair celebration in the neighborhood, a controversy arose over a carved wooden sculpture of a man with his penis exposed in the window of a second-hand goods store. According to an article by Matthew Bajko in the gay “newspaper of record,” The Bay Area Reporter, “an anonymous man lodged a complaint because the penis was at his children’s eye level. The man then complained to the police” and a controversy ensued – which ended in the shop owner’s defiant display of the wooden penis until another anonymous person bought the statue (Bajko). But beyond this controversy, we still see shops proudly advertising pornography, sex toys and fetish gear in their windows right beside upscale boutiques and nice restaurants.

Reuter expects a promenade in a gayborhood, where people can see and be seen. Indeed, the Castro functions as one big promenade, all the way from 18th and Castro right down Market to Church Street.

Reuter sees gayborhoods springing up “often on the wrong side of the tracks,” sometimes with a railway or freeway as an explicit boundary both geographically and socioeconomically. Here, the Castro departs from the genre, and this departure is important to analysis of the function and message communicated by the neighborhood. The Castro was indeed a run-down neighborhood after white working class families fled the city in the 1970s in search of a better life of their own, allowing gays to move into the dilapidated Victorians and restore them. But it was no more run-down than other areas of the city. Now restoration is complete and the Castro is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in San Francisco. It rests on highly desirable real estate, even within the ever-hot real estate bubble around San Francisco, as evidenced by purchase prices for homes in the area that inch ever-upward to and beyond a million dollars. According to real estate web site trulia.com, “the average listing price for homes for sale in [the] Castro was $964,316 for the week ending Nov 23 [2011]” (“Castro Real Estate Overview”). Rents are also above average, as a quick search on craigslist.org will confirm. These housing prices immediately serve to deter young newcomers to the city and dabblers in counter-culture away from the neighborhood that is supposed to be their place of refuge and clearly reserves it for those who are established and financially successful.

Implications: Castro as Flagship of Gay Culture…but WHOSE Gay Culture?

Our quite literally “by-the-book” analysis of the Castro reveals on the surface a progressive, vibrant neighborhood joyously participating in the gayborhood genre. As such, we begin to expect of it those things we expect of the genre as a whole. Like Reuter, we expect it to be a refuge where gay people can congregate, celebrate and be thoughtful about their community as a whole. But even in just beginning to scratch the surface we uncover a proverbial red flag. The Castro has grown too expensive to be considered a viable place to own a home, and not just for some people but for most people, gay or not. And from here we must dig deeper. What, or who, is actually steering this ship in this direction, and who may be omitted or marginalized? In the following cluster analysis we will see that the current iteration of the Castro, even as it operates within the genre of “gayborhood,” serves a narrow group of people mirroring the patriarchy of financially secure white men that plagues mainstream heterosexual society.

Method and Units of Analysis – Clusters Around the Castro

We continue our exploration of the implication of categories at work in gay neighborhoods with a cluster criticism of the Castro. Sonja Foss describes this type of analysis as a method of teasing out the true motives behind rhetors’ handiwork in an artifact. It was devised by Kenneth Burke, who worked extensively with the concepts of identification and motivation within communication. According to Foss, performing a cluster criticism requires the critic to identify “key terms” in an artifact and then to chart terms that cluster around them. For our purposes here, we will identify key landmarks, businesses and images that cluster around the Castro neighborhood. These tangible pieces of evidence comprise the alphabet that builds the language of the Castro. Sampling from this alphabet, we can recreate and analyze the web of symbols and subsequent messages that a visitor to the Castro will receive, and uncover the motivation – not necessarily conscious – of the neighborhood’s rhetors. There is tremendous value in unpacking and naming these clusters and motivation as we know generally from our most basic understanding of communication, and explicitly according to Dr. Kristina Whalen, “language creates reality” and the symbols we see every day have tremendous power to communicate and influence behavior (Whalen). Within the Castro we will examine three key terms: monuments and symbols, businesses and images.

KEY TERM: MONUMENTS AND SYMBOLS

Clustered around the Castro neighborhood are symbols of the gay movement and monuments to gay civil rights struggles. First and foremost, we notice the huge rainbow flag flying above the MUNI station at Castro and Market Streets in Harvey Milk Plaza. This 20-foot by 30-foot flag flies atop a 70-foot flag pole and can be seen from various points within the city, according to web site Uncle Donald’s Castro Street. The flag is a symbol of diversity within the gay community, and was created in 1978 by Mr. Gilbert Baker for the Gay Pride Celebration, according to an entry in Wikipedia (“rainbow flag”). The flag also graces each light pole along Castro Street’s business district, and features prominently in storefront displays and tourist paraphernalia for sale even at the chain Walgreens. During June, which is Gay Pride Month, the city hangs rainbow flags on every light pole all the way down Market Street to the Ferry Building downtown. The rainbow flag is a very welcoming and inclusive symbol.

Similar to the rainbow flag monument, another cluster around this key term consists of plaques and historical markers. A plaque honoring Harvey Milk rests at the base of the aforementioned rainbow flag. Another plaque in Mr. Milk’s honor rests in front of his former camera store. Across Market, another monument in the Castro is Pink Triangle Park, which honors those LGBT people who were persecuted and killed by fascist regimes during World War II. You may notice that this “parklet” was not even mentioned in the description of the Castro district at the beginning of this paper. That is owing to the fact that this monument is curiously cut off from the rest of the Castro and is relegated to a small strip of land beside a real estate office across arterial Market Street from the rainbow flag. Few tourists – or locals – make the short but laborious trek to gaze upon the granite pink triangles standing up out of native grasses in honor of their persecuted brethren.

 

 

KEY TERM: BUSINESSES – BARS ‘N BANKS

Banks are a conspicuous cluster in the Castro. It cannot be ignored that there are four financial institutions on the two-block stretch of Castro Street between Market and 19th alone.  Two of these banks, Citibank and U.S. Bank, stand like sentinels across from each other guarding the middle of the block of Castro right below Market. And banks, while of course representing prosperity, can also be seen to represent mainstream culture, conservatism and exploitation. They are definitely linked with the image of the greedy banker counting his money behind a glass partition. This is a decidedly unwelcoming image to the young gay upstart looking for refuge from the pressure and judgment of the mainstream world, especially in light of recent events like the emergence of the Occupy movement. The conspicuous presence of these financial institutions begins to reveal a new motivation behind the architects of the Castro. The residents and business are clearly prosperous and want easy access to money and financial services, and may value that convenience over the emotional accessibility of their gayborhood to newcomers.

Shops and boutiques form the second cluster of businesses in the Castro. These range from upscale personal care product retailers to down-and-dirty porn shops. Clothing shops offer trendy clothes for young men. In fact, a very new trend is that the Castro is evolving as a “fashion destination” according to an article in the Bay Area Reporter. Matthew Bajko notes that “an infusion of new and expanded clothing stores over the last year in San Francisco’s LGBT district has attracted attention both locally and nationally” (10). As previously mentioned, porn shops have had to tone down their displays in the wake of the wooden penis scandal of 2005. We begin to detect a nudge toward conservatism and a bent toward retirement and leisure here. A dire recession has just wrapped up at this writing; we’re left wondering who can afford to shop for fashion at boutiques?  Most are lucky to have a job and shelter in late 2011. But apparently the drive and resources needed to shop until one drops are alive and well in the Castro community.

Seemingly integral to the Castro experience is a trip to one of its bars. However, there are actually fewer bars in the Castro than one might expect for an entertainment district. Historically, there was a plethora of bars, each catering to a different subculture within gay culture. There were leather/Levis bars, twink bars, Asian bars, Black bars, and ladies’ bars. But in the current iteration of the Castro, these subcultural strongholds seem to have vanished and we see hangouts that one might assume cater to everyone equally. Indeed, businesses have attempted to invoke this motivation by naming one bar The Mix, recalling not only cocktails but a healthy mix of types of people. This is a naïve and optimistic view. In reality, the bars now cater almost exclusively to middle aged white men. Nightlife gatherings for subcultures within gay culture seem few and far between and are relegated to weekly or monthly parties at the existing bars. A quick glance in any one of bars on any given day will reveal their main white male constituents. Female friends of this researcher are reticent to visit many of the bars because they begin to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. This situation seems exacerbated by copious advertisements featuring mostly white men, which leads us to another key term in the Castro – images of people.

KEY TERM: IMAGES – BOYS, BOYS, BOYS

Images of people are as plentiful in the Castro as pink boa feathers on Market Street the morning after the annual Gay Pride Parade in June. The images are presented in advertisements for bars, parties and businesses, and seem to break down along the lines of how true they are to the dominant ideology that we are beginning to see at work in the Castro. Some seem conflicted, trying to be inclusive while maintaining the moneyed-white-men paradigm, and so they appear calculated and as if they are trying too hard to present as inclusive. These images often feature white people with one token person of color, as in this advertisement for Moby Dick bar, or in the holiday display at Cliff’s Hardware Store:

Images that are more blatant in their loyalty to the dominant paradigm of white men as powerful and attractive are plentiful and feature exclusively white men in positions of power or attractiveness, as in these advertisements:

 

But then we find another cluster of images that are more transparent. They feature people of color as sexual objects, sometimes distilling a black porn star down to nothing but his penis, completely detached from his body, or placing a latin man in an ad for peripheral HIV drugs, or putting a heterosexual black couple in an advertisement for a study about meth use as in the center photo here:

 

Or perhaps most honestly, the images ignore people of color altogether and toss in a pretty white lady instead:

CLUSTER ANALYSIS

In the clusters around the Castro, we begin to see a neighborhood that is created with conflicting ideologies as motivation. There is evidence of motivation on the part of the rhetors to live up to the neighborhood’s status as a progressive panacea and refuge, as expected by its participation in the gayborhood genre; note the conspicuous inclusion of symbols of gay diversity and struggles for LGBT civil rights and careful inclusion of people of color in some images presented by some rhetors. But the fact that the Pink Triangle Monument is tucked away on a sliver of inaccessible and undesirable real estate gives the critic pause and invites investigation into other clusters. In examining the businesses clustered around the Castro, symbols of conservatism, wealth and leisure emerge. The conspicuous presence of these symbols, such as banks and fashion boutiques, serves to exclude those who are not necessarily established or financially secure. And most tellingly, we are confronted with the images of people that the Castro presents to its visitors. In the images scattered around the Castro, white men appear as the most plentiful and dominant images, while people of color are either often tokenized, sexualized, victimized or ignored altogether. People of color are constantly presented with images of whites. Indeed, images even suggest that we bleach our anuses to be free of “dark spots”:

Combined Analysis, Implications and Conclusion

With the preceding evidence and analysis in hand, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that people who visit the Castro gayborhood hoping to find a pot of gold at the base of the rainbow flag may leave disappointed. Directly underneath, they find a plaque honoring another white man. Harvey Milk was an incredible civil rights leader, but he was also a white man. Jewish, yes, but white. And as visitors walk down the block toward what this researcher sometimes calls “Gay Ground Zero” at 18th and Castro, they are bombarded with more symbols of the same moneyed, white patriarchal society that they may be desperately trying to escape. They come to the Castro because it is a gayborhood. They expect to find freedom to be who they really are. They expect to find more people like themselves. But instead they find a neighborhood built by and maintained for the wealthy white gay male elite.

We have now illuminated and developed a feel for the dominant ideology behind the Castro. We have discovered that by examining the expectations placed on the gayborhood genre and then closely examining the symbols that cluster around the neighborhood, we discover a disconnection and a tension. Even though the Castro is perhaps ideally intended by its rhetors to function as a panacea for all, as implied by its participation in the gayborhood genre, analysis of the symbols actually present in the neighborhood reveal it as built by and for white men who are financially secure. They have arranged their neighborhood to be convenient for themselves. They value financial security and high property values. They value personal appeareance and fashion. And they like to hang out with other white men like themselves. They maintain the dominance of their ideology by populating their neighborhood with monuments, businesses and images that feed their story back to them.

They have also arranged their neighborhood to make them feel good about themselves. After all, they live in one of the grandest, gayest neighborhoods on earth. All are invited in, of course – for a visit. It must absolutely be noted that the Castro does host people of color in the neighborhood on a daily basis; a walk around the Castro reveals people of all colors commingling – but the vast majority are white men. There are indeed services in the neighborhood like LYRIC for queer youth, and several other non-profits are allowed to make their home in proximity to the neighborhood.  We must remember that these white men aren’t necessarily aware of how explicitly their motivation is communicated in the artifact they have created in the Castro.

By extension, we see that gayborhoods across the nation and world are in danger of forsaking the purpose that their very genre promises – that of panacea and welcoming meeting space for all LGBT people. If the Castro is representative of the gayborhood genre, which our exploration of the Castro as a participant in that genre suggests that it will, white men continue to hold onto their control of gay culture and gay neighborhoods. This researcher strongly suspects that very similar circumstances have already evolved in many other gayborhoods. Additional research into the images that blanket gay culture and how they affect members of the community of all colors would be beneficial to making the culture more inclusive. And that is the goal, isn’t it? LGBT people will be well served to rally under the symbol of the rainbow flag and its physical manifestation that flies over Castro and Market Streets in San Francisco and fully embrace diversity.

Works Cited

Bajko, Matthew. “Clothiers find Castro a good fit.” Bay Area Reporter 1-7 Dec. 2011: 10+. Print.

Bajko, Matthew. “Merchant exposes statue’s penis.”eBAR. 09 Dec. 2005. <http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=410&gt;. 01 Dec. 2011. Web.

Baume, Matt. “Tensions flare over Trader Joe’s parking.” eBAR. 2 Feb. 2011. < http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=5468&gt;. 01 Dec. 2011. Web.

“Castro Real Estate Overview.” Trulia. 7 Dec 2011. 7 Dec. 2011. <http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Castro-San_Francisco/1394&gt;. Web.

Foss, Sonja K. Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice. 4th ed. Long Grove: Waveland Press, Inc., 2009. Print.

“Rainbow flag.” Wikipedia. 01 Dec. 2011. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag&gt;. Web.

Reuter, Donald. Greetings from the Gayborhood: A Nostalgic Look at Gay Neighborhoods. New York: Abrams Image, 2008. Print.

“Uncle Donald’s Castro Street.” Uncle Donald’s Castro Street. 01 Dec. 2011. <http://thecastro.net/milk/milk+20.html&gt;. Web.

Whalen, Kristina. City College of San Francisco. San Francisco. 23 Aug. 2011. Lecture.


One Comment on “A Whiter Shade of Rainbow: a Rhetorical Criticism of Genre, Symbol and Ideology in San Francisco’s Castro District”

  1. […] FarGays Don’t Stray FarMapping the New ''Gayborhood'' – Metro WeeklyA Whiter Shade of Rainbow: a Rhetorical Criticism of Genre, Symbol and Ideology in San Francisco&#82…Welcome to the Gayborhood in Black Rock CityHoustonia, We Have a Problem var TubePressJsConfig = […]


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