Friday, May 2, 2008

GAY STUFF: Gay Bars Going Extinct?

This is fascinating, also via the Joe. My. God. Blog (Joe, I don't know if you read this blog at all, but I think I secretly want to be you...) -- here's the audio from NPR:

At this point in the recession, or slowdown, or whatever you want to call it, you're probably familiar with the term "business cycle." Business and businesses have life cycles just like everything else. Demand creates new opportunities, and then when that demand dries up businesses die.

Every year, Fortune Magazine releases a list of 10 businesses it thinks are facing extinction. Some of this year's casualties? Record stores, crop dusting and telemarketing. Oh, and gay bars, too. That one caught our eye because gay business in general is booming.

We talked a little while ago about the death of the queer city, the end of the gayborhood, and the fact that the internet is destroying real-life gay culture.

We have talked before about the dying "real life" culture of the queers. We're a side show, somewhere to go every now and again. With the growing acceptance of homosexuality, the need for our own space is disappearing.

This is not the gay life I signed up for.

You know, it's funny, I have not been to a straight bar in a long, long time. In fact, I had one explosive night at Cadillac Ranch downtown and a handful of experiences at places like the Gypsy Hut or the Northside Tavern, but it's just not the same. I like my gay people. I like knowing that when I am in a bar, and I am out and free, that I can be who I want to be and not worry about whether or not I'm in the "right kind of bar."

In fact, this seems to go against the very premise of Small Town Gay Bar.

I wonder, rather, if the development of gay centers is a step towards integration, and if there is a lesson in racial integration. But there are very few international or cultural hubs around the country anymore -- is Chinatown what it used to be? OTR used to be a German center, are there any more European-culture centers anymore? And, if we have an African-American center, it becomes a "ghetto." I want to live within my culture; I don't want to just visit it on the weekends.

I don't know, I don't like it at all. I like my homonormative life.


Anonymous said...

First time I ever got drunk was at Eagle Club on High Street in Columbus. First time I ever went out with my wife was to The Dock in Cincinnati. Don't know any gay bars in Houston but I don't go to any bars anyway.

valereee said...

But doesn't this seem like a good change? Not that I'd wish a dying industry on any businessperson, but isn't it good that it's now (relatively) safe for gays to hang out in regular bars?

Barry Floore said...

That is a good thing, but I like gay people. And I like big gatherings of them.

It makes me sad that the mainstays of our culture are going away.

valereee said...

Yeah, it's nostalgia. One day two guys will be sitting in some bar going:

G1: You know what I really miss? I really miss the Golden Bar.

G2: The G-Bar! Yeah, the G-Bar was great. Remember those three drunk rednecks outside the back door that one time, with baseball bats? And they clocked Jamey on his way out?

G1: And everyone ran out and beat them with their own bats? Yeah, I remember that!

G2: Yeah. :::sigh:::