I ‘like’ how this piece rushes over the suggestion that many LGBT people feel less and less that they can only socialise in ‘gay’ venues, as if it’s simply too absurd to countenance. In both Glasgow and London, I’ve noticed a hardcore ‘gay social scene’ full of people who are deeply conservative in their habits: they would tend to avoid ‘straight’ places, certainly, but also gay venues which are remotely outside of the designated ‘gay scene’. It’s for this reason (I would argue) that the venues on and immediately around Old Compton Street seem to be in no danger of closing while those even 5 minutes’ walk away are closing. Then there are issues with the dominance of gay males on the scene, immediately putting somewhere like First Out at a disadvantage.
I wouldn’t celebrate a place that people have loved going out of business but I do find this article a tad hysterical. The idea that people are at greater risk of being ‘discriminated against, bullied, attacked and murdered’ if a few gay venues go under is obviously nonsense. It also suggests that gay people themselves engage in none of those activities, which is again obviously nonsense. There are ‘straight’ bars where I feel hugely comfortable and gay ones which I wouldn’t set foot in. The difference between a bar where you may be called an unpleasant name and one where people are laid back is not one of sexuality.