7 reasons why we still need gay venues

By | 2011/06/25

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Gay couple called faggots and discriminated against by a shop worker in the US.
  3. Arsehole lawmakers who make laws stopping other lawmakers from making anti-discrimination legislation.
  4. These bigoted cunts.
  5. Governments caving in to narrow minded religious groups.
  6. 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.”)
  7. 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.

2 thoughts on “7 reasons why we still need gay venues

  1. Christopher Banks

    We’ll always need our own venues and festivals, for the same reason that every other minority group does – because we are a minority group!

    It’s a bit like saying, knitting’s more acceptable now so we don’t need to have knitting groups. People can just hang out with other non-knitters and discuss perl stitch.

    If we want to get together and share stories, have fun, drinks, laughs etc with people who have been through the same stages we have in life, then gay venues and events will always persist.

    The ‘post-gay’ people are one of my major pet peeves, in my country they’re often chardonnay socialists in positions of power who’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a gay teenager in the back end of Shitsville, Nowhere.

  2. tim

    I don’t get the point. Every demographic has a tradition or location to gather around. Irish, Asian, Mexican, Gay, whatever – they have certain things that bind them together. This goes back hundreds of years. We will continue to have our events and there will continue to be areas in large cities with a higher concentration of gays than other areas. Personally you will never find me living in a gay ghetto (or what the popular kids call today “gayborhoods”) but there is a valid reason for their existence.


    I would be called the ‘post-gay’ crowd but I don’t drink chardonnay and not a socialist (tend to lean libertarian on most issues) – I find most gays lack a backbone and don’t understand that the freedoms that protect us also protect those that are against us.

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