Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Odd times bring odd problems: How ‘Gay’ Should a Gay Bar Be?

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And I’m not denigrating the problem in the least. It is a problem, and the evolution of social memes in the new directions still lacks a clear winner. Jim Farber reports in the NY Times:

The website for the Abbey touts its role as a two-time winner of Logo’s “Best Gay Bar in the World” award. But how gay is it? Some of the regulars believe the increasing number of straight people who go there has diluted its reason for being.

“My older gay clientele were saying, ‘Gosh, there are so many straight people in here,’” said David Cooley, the bar’s owner. “My argument was, we’ve been fighting for equality for all these years. We can’t reverse-discriminate and say: ‘You’re straight. You can’t come in here.’”

The Abbey, in West Hollywood, Calif., is not alone among gay bars in facing an identity crisis. In this time of increasing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, gay establishments across the country are grappling with an influx of new visitors.

The newly diverse crowd at these formerly exclusive environments has set off a debate within the community about the meaning and purpose of such bars today. Something that seems to come up a lot in the discussion are the groups of straight women who consider gay bars as the perfect setting for bachelorette parties.

“They use the space to become ‘wild girls,’” said Chris McKenzie, a 35-year-old computer programmer in West Hollywood. “It’s not at all in concert with what the gay men are there for.”

Continue reading the main story

Some men feel the women stereotype them. “They think of us as ‘fun’ and ‘free,’” said Vin Testa, a 27-year-old educator in Washington, D.C. “It seems like they’re coming in to find their next accessory, like a new handbag.”

Straight men enter these environs less frequently, it seems. Those who do come, regular patrons of gay bars said, tend not to draw much attention to themselves.

The debate over the evolution in the clientele touches on not only the role and history of gay bars, but also on the struggle to weigh the concerns of inclusivity with the need to retain L.G.B.T. spaces. It even begs existential questions: What does it mean to be a gay bar in the age of sexual fluidity? With the mainstreaming of L.G.B.T. people, and the wider variety of people identifying with “queer” issues, who rightfully owns a space once simply called “gay”? . . .

Continue reading.

Any bar would struggle if it suddenly acquired a large clientele of people who were not in tune with the bar’s character but do enjoy each other’s company. What if jazz fans suddenly became a large proportion of the clientele at a country & western bar? What happens when a large number of bicyclists becoming patrons of a sports bar that mostly has a football crowd? Cops becoming patrons at a biker bar?

Written by LeisureGuy

24 June 2017 at 11:44 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Memes

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