In “End of the gay road” (The Age, June 23, 2011), we’re told:
TEN years ago, Commercial Road was indisputably Melbourne’s queer epicentre: a South Yarra hotspot teeming with gay bars, clubs, cafes and clothing stores. But in the past four weeks, the doors have shut on two of its iconic hotels: the Market and the Xchange.
The former will become an upscale nightclub that’s ”gay-friendly” but not gay; the future of the latter is still unclear.Their closures have sparked debate about Commercial Road’s continued viability as a gay hub – and whether there’s even a need for gay venues in 2011.
”If you’re gay, you’re much more accepted these days,” says comedian and Fox FM host Adam Richard, who was ”allegedly 18” when he first went to the Xchange. ”It’s not such a stigma to be out of the closet at high school, so you don’t need to run off to a club with your fake ID on a Saturday night.
I’m relatively new to the notion of going to gay venues – in fact, I’ve only ever been to one, but it’s now becoming my regular pub. That’s The Laird, in Collingwood. But in that relatively short period of time, I’d say there’s still a strong need for gay venues in 2011. There needs to remain places where gays, lesbians, etc., can go and feel completely at ease. Where a kiss or a hug doesn’t require a double-check to make sure there’s no disapproving stares or an urgent requirement to go somewhere else, and where you can be relaxed.
So here’s 7 reasons why we still need gay venues:
- The Israeli transgender teenager who was going to get the shit kicked out of her and filmed by all the arseholes mates. Lucky for her, she was a teenage Judo champion.
- Gay couple called faggots and discriminated against by a shop worker in the US.
- Arsehole lawmakers who make laws stopping other lawmakers from making anti-discrimination legislation.
- These bigoted cunts.
- Governments caving in to narrow minded religious groups.
- Persistence of the “gay panic defence” in Australian Law. (AKA “It’s OK for a guy to kill another guy if he makes an advance on you.”)
- Cowards in the Defence Force who hide behind anonymity to out gay soldiers.
Yeah, I’d say they’re 7 good reasons why we need our own venues still.