Gay-Orientated Neighborhood to be Marketed in Stapleton

With home building scheduled to start this year on the last large undeveloped area in south Stapleton, Forest City is considering creating a neighborhood marketed specifically to gay and lesbian buyers. The Filing 16 neighborhood would be called “Gaypleton” drawing on a longstanding nickname used by homosexuals who reside in Stapleton, said Charlie DeAngelo of the Forest City marketing department. “We’ve been aware of the Gaypleton nickname for several years,” said DeAngelo. “Quite frankly, we didn’t know what to make of it at first, but clearly GLTB (gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual) home buyers have been an important market segment to us in Stapleton.” DeAngelo explained that, until now, Forest City never formally tried to market to gays and lesbians. “We realize, of course, that many of our builders decorate their model homes with very gay-friendly themes, and it goes without saying the HGTV dream home sweepstakes really put Stapleton on the map with gay and lesbian buyers across the county,” said DeAngelo. “But Gaypleton is proactive. We just think it’s time for Forest City to come out, so to speak, and show we’re not taking the gay and lesbian market for granted.” DeAngelo also concedes that Stapleton has lost some favor with GLTB buyers as the demographic of Stapleton has skewed heavily toward white, heterosexual couples obsessed with raising their children. “By marketing an actual neighborhood under the ‘Gaypleton’ name, we really want GLTBs to know they are welcome to make their home in Stapleton– and we have an especially fabulous neighborhood awaiting them.” DeAngelo stressed that Gaypleton would not look too much different from the rest of Stapleton, but there would be subtle differences. “We envision a large number of Martha Stewart type homes, similar to Central Park North,” said DeAngelo. “We also have our eye on the David Weeklys and on those edgy Wonderland homes—the ones with the fountain in courtyard–being built in Central Park West.” “We’d do without playground equipment in the pocket parks but instead offer amenities such as beach volleyball courts,” said DeAngelo. “If we do a pool, it would be small but we would include a huge sun deck with lots of bar-b-que grills.”  Mark Ellis, who is gay and moved to Stapleton in 2003 with his partner Chaz, likes the Gaypleton concept. “Stapleton was really cool when we first got here. But the place kind of got taken over by straight couples and their kids.” Ellis said a gay-orientated neighborhood would help recapture the early ambience of Stapleton when hundreds of gays relocated from all parts of the Denver area. “The place just isn’t the same as it was 7 – 8 years ago.  It would be so nice to have a neighborhood again where you can sit out on the front porch with friends, open a nice bottle of red, share some tapas and not have the evening ruined by a bunch of screaming kids riding their tricycles up and down the street all evening,” said Ellis. “Don’t get me wrong – I like my straight neighbors and their kids, but I’m a nervous wreck about my carpet and furniture if they bring their children into the house. And I can only stand so much chat about what kindergarten is best or the injustice of not having enough openings on the Stingray swim team.”  Adam Carlisle, who lives on Uinta Street with his partner Steve, opposes Forest City’s plans to create and market a gay-orientated neighborhood in Stapleton. “We moved out of the Cheeseman Park neighborhood a few years back because we were tired of living in a ‘gay-etto’,” said Carlisle, noting that he and his partner like the novelty of being the only gay couple on their block. Carlisle said he and Steve often get invited to parties when neighbors want to “show off” to visiting relatives from places like Castle Rock or Oklahoma how open-minded they are to live on a block with a gay couple. “What Forest City doesn’t understand is that Gaypleton is a community, not a place,” said Carlisle. “You don’t even have to live in Stapleton to be considered a Gaypleton member. “ Carlisle added that monthly socials under the Gaypleton name are not held in Stapleton, but at a bar off of East Colfax. “We wouldn’t be caught dead holding our FACs at Toby Keith’s, Famous Dave’s or the Islamorada Fish Co.” “Maybe Stapleton isn’t as gay as it used to be but it’s still plenty gay,” said Carlisle. “Forest City should leave well enough alone.” Syrha Singleton, a lesbian who lives on Galena Street, is also not pleased by the Gaypleton neighborhood concept. “Just consider the name: ‘Gay’-pleton. As usual, gays are getting all the attention, while lesbians, bi’s and transgens are lumped together as if there isn’t any difference. Well there is a difference.” DeAngelo said it would be impractical to come up with additional neighborhoods catering to sexual orientation subgroups and hopes that lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders will take to the Gaypleton concept. DeAngelo also said the success of marketing a neighborhood to a specific group may lead to other initiatives. DeAngelo noted that the Jewish community in Stapleton has adopted the nickname “Jewpleton.” He said they may consider building a Jewish-orientated neighborhood when homebuilding starts north of I-70 in a few years. ]]>

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