Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We are family

So, where was I? Oh yes, I established that young people were coming to the cities looking for work but I did not say that that was because America was moving from an agricultural society/economy to an industrial/service economy. My last post talked about the need for and growth of public entertainments and how these entertainments often featured gender bending and ''alternative'' sexuality. But what about housing in these cities and how it effected LGBT awareness.
    Well, lets take a look at the typical family structure before the industrial revolution. First, the family was the economic center of ones life. Unmarried people of all ages lived with and were economically dependent on their biological families, even in urban settings. But the industrial revolution not only brought a new economic base to the U.S. but a new social structure. Unmarried people were beginning to live in or rather reside in their own spaces. Cheap boarding and rooming houses, flop houses and residential hotels were all over the cities, and some of them provided meals and laundry/cleaning services with the rent. I picture these places being run by headstrong, independent women who didn't take any crap and who would kick you out at the first sign of any trouble! I can also picture the young men and women living in these places as being or becoming friendly associates, or something of a makeshift family. What I am saying is that this new way of living apart, or away, from ones biological family did provide a new example of how life could be lived. Unmarried people did not have to reside with and depend on their biological family they're entire lives. To quote Mr.  Bronski's book directly, because I can't think of a better way to say it, ''nonmarried single gender groups were creating spaces and situations that concretely led to the formation of communities of people who desired their own sex.''

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