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Move over, West Hollywood - Silver Lake is the true gay mecca

Could gays of the 1980s imagine what it would be like to be gay in 2013? From the Supreme Court pondering marriage equality to NFL players weighing how best to come out, the way we're gay today is nothing like it's ever been before.

And for that modern gay man, West Hollywood may not be the mecca it once was. Instead, young gays are flocking to Silver Lake and other low-key Eastside neighborhoods.

Frank Rodriguez argues as much: "The gay ghetto is dead," he declares to me one morning, gesturing at his phone. "This," he says, "is what's replaced it."

Throughout history and beyond all things homosexual, Silver Lake has always been a reaction to the ideals of the Westside. Its culture, style and politics provide a necessary counterweight. And so while toned bodies reign supreme on the pristine streets of WeHo, untamed bars and the East's fringe culture offer a place where pretensions are easily shed.

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