SURF

Andrew Levine-Murray

Community and Exclusion in the Gay Mecca

The Castro District in San Francisco, California is frequently referred to as the Gay Mecca, a home for those of us who have been pushed to the margins because of our sexual orientation. However, demographics of and race relations within the Castro tell quite a different story, as people of color are largely absent or excluded from the community. Thus, my research question asks how queer people of color who congregate in the Castro neighborhood perceive their membership within the community. To answer this, I will conduct participant observation within the Castro, both in areas where queer people of color congregate as well as in a community organization, and I will interview queer people of color who congregate in the community. Ultimately, I hope to better illuminate the mechanisms through which queer people of color are either included or excluded in queer enclave communities such as the Castro.

Message to Sponsor

Im honored and thrilled to participate in the SURF program as it has provided me with the opportunity to conduct my own independent research that Im deeply passionate about an opportunity rarely afforded to undergraduates here at Cal. Through SURF, I will be able to rigorously engage with the research process and gather data for my senior thesis, all under the supervision of wonderful mentors. Most importantly, though, SURF has provided me with the opportunity to make visible inequalities and struggles that have thus far been largely invisible in sociological literature and common knowledge. For that, I am most thankful.
  • Major: Sociology
  • Sponsor: JSB Fund
  • Mentor: Sandra Smith, Sociology