The Neighborhood Council in L.A.'s Silver Lake district voted unanimously to remove "No Cruising" signs along Griffith Park Boulevard and Hyperion Avenue they say were products of a bygone era, The Eastsider LA reports:
“Cruising,” in this case, has been the euphemistic term for searching for sex partners. The signs were installed in 1997 following many years of complaints of gay men cruising for sex near popular bars. The signs, having long outlived their intended use, are now “an embarrassment,” as one community member put it. “They stigmatize the neighborhood,” noted board member Michael Masterson. The board voted unanimously in favor of removing the signs.
In the enduring subculture of men cruising for sex with other men, a few pleasant residential blocks of Griffith Park Boulevard had become hot. A nearby sex club had drawn crowds, as did the boulevard's mention in gay guides.
"In no way am I a moralist, but it would be embarrassing," said one exasperated condo owner who regularly got an eyeful from his third floor balcony. "I'd have guests over and guys would be having sex" in the bushes below.
Weary of seeing more than they cared to in the shrubbery, of being propositioned on the street, of having to clean up used condoms, residents demanded that something be done. A police crackdown ensued, largely quieting the scene–but also stirring dissension and complaints that authorities overreacted.
(image flickr wally grom)