The Advocate 7 September 1993
Tired of getting nasty looks from those uptight hetero-sexual down the street about the gay pride flag and flamingo lawn ornament in your yard? Maybe San Diego’s Azalea Park district is the place for you. Residents of the racially mixed working-class neighborhood not only tolerate gay and lesbian neighbors but want them so badly that they’ve launched a recruiting drive to get them.
The residents kicked off the drive in late July by marching in San Diego’s gay pride parade while carrying signs reading WE LOVE OUR GAY NEIGHBORS and GAYS WELCOME. They also distributed a fact sheet, titled “Expose Yourself to Azalea Park,” which noted that the neighborhood is just a two-step away from a popular gay country-western bar. At the parade the residents collected the names of more than 100 prospective gay and lesbian home buyers, and after making some follow-up calls, they set up a tour of Azalea Park and a nearby canyon for 15 of them.
There are a few run-down properties for sale in Azalea Park, and the residents hope that gays and lesbians will move into them and fix them up, thus boosting property values throughout the neighborhood. “Gays take care of their homes; there’s no other way to put it,” said nine-year Azalea Park resident Jim Doolittle, an unemployed bill collector. “They keep up their yards, and they tend to be active in the community. We don’t care about their sexual orientation at all.” Added ten-year resident Mark Pennington, a computer programming administrator for AT&T: “We know that gays are good neighbors.”
The Advocate 7 September 1993 Page 17