Was legalized marriage the death of the gay community?

  • Triggerman

    Posts: 528

    Jan 21, 2016 5:25 AM GMT
    I have had this conversation with my buddies recently. Back in the day, gay bars and communities were the safe haven and meeting place of gay men. Like bars in Ireland it was where were met each other, socialized, felt safe and among friends.

    With the internet and now gay marriage, we really don't need gay communities and bars anymore. I lived in Hillcrest, San Diego, CA. a predominantly gay community when I moved here. It is still gay but down from 90% to maybe 15%. The great bars are gone for the most part. People meet online. Gay guys marry and adopt and move to the suburbs. Cool. Be accepted. That was the goal. But I think it has killed gay neighborhoods. No need. My old gay buddies have more in common with straight people with kids now. Just an observation. Neither good nor bad.

    Just a thought.
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    Jan 21, 2016 5:50 AM GMT
    Not in Canada.
  • SilverRRCloud

    Posts: 874

    Jan 21, 2016 6:07 AM GMT
    Spain, where I live, has legalized gay marriage since 2005. Relatively few gay men are getting married, and even fewer are adopting children. Though 66% of people claim to be Catholic, being gay (married or not) has become widely accepted. With so many people being divorced or living in all kinds of informal relationships, marriage has lost much of its relevance for the straight or gay men alike.

    The gayborhoods have been dying for a while now. Mostly because the more cumbersome, expensive and limited world of real life gay men interaction on all levels has been replaced by the less expensive, easily accessible, 24/7, very efficient cyberworld interaction.

    Bars, clubs and movie theatres, to mention the few, need a critical mass of sorts to sustain their operations. You have to generate so much income per month, one way or the other in order to keep going. For many business owners the figures are not adding up any more. The fact that they have very few clients is really no secret. So, when a guy ventures in, he sees that the place is really empty, and moves on, never to come back again. And the downward spiral is right there...

    There is little doubt that many factors spelled out the end of the once thriving gayborhoods in many cities and towns across the globe. The least frequently mentioned one is the massive failure of the business owners to embrace the modernity, and change with the times.

    A guy would open a bar with walls painted black, music of HIS choice blaring through the loudspeakers and an attractive barman or two with a nicely sized backroom, AND you got yourself a license to print cash!icon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gificon_eek.gif

    Enters the modernity, and the game changes. Your place with overpriced drinks, peeling black walls, and generally shabby decor gets emptier by the day, until you sell it and retire on the proceeds of the wealth you have already made. Game Over!

    Few, very few business owners thought of changing the game to work in their favor. Meeting real guys in real time has quite a few upsides, too. More complex, far more creative and imaginative business plans are needed now to start/continue earning the pink dollars/euros. The good, ole', black-painted bar with a backroom ain't really cutting the slack any more.

    SC




  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14359

    Jan 21, 2016 12:59 PM GMT
    Yes gay bars never really updated themselves except for the addition of the many ubiquitous big screen televisions all over the damned place. But many gay clubs have just become a hangout for all the old 60 something queens. That is not going to attract today's younger crowds. This is one of the reasons why I rarely go out anymore. These gay clubs for the most part have turned into a home for the aged.
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    Jan 21, 2016 2:46 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidIt wasn't legalized gay marriage. The breakdown of gay neighborhoods was the result of real estate prices going up to the point of making it impossible for the average renter or homeowner to live with among their own kind.

    In Chicago, where I'm from, gays originally moved into areas of the city that were once considered seedy and unsafe (e.g. Lakeview/Boystown). As they owned their "turf" the LGBT community gentrified the neighborhoods they claimed and in time property values soared and got out of control. Factor that along with general inflated real estate prices, inflation in general, wages that don't allow the average renter to afford city living any longer and you have the perfect recipe for the collapse of what city dwellers enjoyed twenty years ago. Small businesses like bars can't afford the rent.

    I once knew of one gay bar that was in Logan Square that had affordable rent. But when the owner of the building found out how successful the bar was doing, the rent was raised into the thousands. Prior to that the rent was only several hundred dollars. Sadly, that led to the bar shutting down.

    Also, the internet and hookup apps like Scruff and Grindr make going to the bars obsolete. You get to talk about sexual preferences, dick size, STD and HIV status all from the comfort of hiding behind your smartphone.

    I really don't think gay marriage has much to do with it.



    I think this is 100% spot on. I would also add that it is way safer for gays now than it was back in the day. So the need to be around your own tribe 100% has eased some.
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    Jan 21, 2016 4:07 PM GMT
    To me gay marriage is just a side effect of the HIV epidemic. Before HIV gays didn't care one bit about gay marriage; it was seen as something that straights did but didn't apply to us. But as one of the ways to reduce HIV infection the medical community pushed the idea of monogamy and for us to stop being the sluts that we had been. (Condoms obviously being the other way.)

    And I agree that the internet and the hookup apps have been a big factor as well.
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    Jan 21, 2016 8:23 PM GMT
    As far as San Diego goes, few if any bars have closed in recent years. I was there for 30 years. I worked at Flicks for many years. Pecs, the Eagle, Rich's, the Loft, Mos, Fiesta, SRO are all still there. #1 5th is still there, I worked there in 1982.

    I've seen other bars that closed: The Iron Horse, A Different Drum, the Grand on Garnet, etc. because they were too far away and DUIs were prohibitive.


    In the 60s Hillcrest was a run down area with a lot of seniors, but it was a good location with affluent Mission hills in the same zip code. 20 years later the Gay gentrification of Hillcrest was in full swing. 20 years after that we were our own victims of success.....it was too expensive for us to live. So we moved east to North Park, Normal Heights/Kensington. This was all in place pre-internet.

    What I have noticed, as we've become 'normal' Gay bars have become more inclusive. Straights aren't 'afraid' of a gay clientele anymore. Not a bad thing, but we've lost some of our character. Only the "Leather Bars" are Gay....but even that has been diluted. Certainly A4A, GRINDR, etc. have changed the MO of cruising, we still need to meet in a safe place. Bars have become more social, less of the initial meat market. It's kind of fun being in a bar, looking at GRINDR and recognizing that guy less than 5 feet away. LOL. And know if he's compatible.

    It's the price we pay for inclusion. We are included, so they must be included into OUR community too.
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    Jan 21, 2016 9:39 PM GMT
    woodfordr said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidIt wasn't legalized gay marriage. The breakdown of gay neighborhoods was the result of real estate prices going up to the point of making it impossible for the average renter or homeowner to live with among their own kind.

    In Chicago, where I'm from, gays originally moved into areas of the city that were once considered seedy and unsafe (e.g. Lakeview/Boystown). As they owned their "turf" the LGBT community gentrified the neighborhoods they claimed and in time property values soared and got out of control. Factor that along with general inflated real estate prices, inflation in general, wages that don't allow the average renter to afford city living any longer and you have the perfect recipe for the collapse of what city dwellers enjoyed twenty years ago. Small businesses like bars can't afford the rent.

    I once knew of one gay bar that was in Logan Square that had affordable rent. But when the owner of the building found out how successful the bar was doing, the rent was raised into the thousands. Prior to that the rent was only several hundred dollars. Sadly, that led to the bar shutting down.

    Also, the internet and hookup apps like Scruff and Grindr make going to the bars obsolete. You get to talk about sexual preferences, dick size, STD and HIV status all from the comfort of hiding behind your smartphone.

    I really don't think gay marriage has much to do with it.



    I think this is 100% spot on. I would also add that it is way safer for gays now than it was back in the day. So the need to be around your own tribe 100% has eased some.



    We are experiencing the same thing in London. Rents are rising in Soho and in Vauxhall which was home to the bear/late night clubs they are cleaning up the area as the American Embassy is being moved there.

    Pretty much all of the bars in the main centres are under threat.
    Most of the venues still get packed but there are less bars than they used to be.
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    Jan 21, 2016 9:55 PM GMT
    The gay bars here are about 20% straight now. And 90% of that are obnoxious straight women who think it's super hip to take selfies at a gay bar. I was talking to some people on the sidewalk the other day that were asking what bars to go to. One of the straight women asked where The Eagle was. For those who don't know, that's a dark men's only sex bar. They have sex right there in the bar. I informed her that she would not be welcome there but she insisted gay men loved her and it would be okay. So many women can't stand not being the center of attention and don't seem to give a shit about other's feelings.
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    Jan 21, 2016 10:50 PM GMT
    theantijock%20engage%20stalker%20reducti

    The decline came before marriage. It was not civil rights but convenience which dismantled community.
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Jan 22, 2016 4:49 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidIt wasn't legalized gay marriage. The breakdown of gay neighborhoods was the result of real estate prices going up to the point of making it impossible for the average renter or homeowner to live with among their own kind.

    In Chicago, where I'm from, gays originally moved into areas of the city that were once considered seedy and unsafe (e.g. Lakeview/Boystown). As they owned their "turf" the LGBT community gentrified the neighborhoods they claimed and in time property values soared and got out of control.


    This exactly. Gentrification happened. It's not just the gay neighborhood that's dying in major American cities...it's also the artist neighborhoods, working class neighborhoods, immigrant neighborhoods, minority neighborhoods, as well as light industry. All these urban groups are being pushed out of city centers by gentrification. Rising rents and real estate prices, as living in the city is becoming popular again, among the wealthy and the new upper-middle class. Not to mention big-money investors that further push up housing prices by buying units as a way of parking their money (sometimes to evade taxes or hide their wealth).
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    Jan 22, 2016 3:02 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidIt wasn't legalized gay marriage. The breakdown of gay neighborhoods was the result of real estate prices going up to the point of making it impossible for the average renter or homeowner to live with among their own kind.

    In Chicago, where I'm from, gays originally moved into areas of the city that were once considered seedy and unsafe (e.g. Lakeview/Boystown). As they owned their "turf" the LGBT community gentrified the neighborhoods they claimed and in time property values soared and got out of control. Factor that along with general inflated real estate prices, inflation in general, wages that don't allow the average renter to afford city living any longer and you have the perfect recipe for the collapse of what city dwellers enjoyed twenty years ago. Small businesses like bars can't afford the rent.

    I once knew of one gay bar that was in Logan Square that had affordable rent. But when the owner of the building found out how successful the bar was doing, the rent was raised into the thousands. Prior to that the rent was only several hundred dollars. Sadly, that led to the bar shutting down.

    Also, the internet and hookup apps like Scruff and Grindr make going to the bars obsolete. You get to talk about sexual preferences, dick size, STD and HIV status all from the comfort of hiding behind your smartphone.

    I really don't think gay marriage has much to do with it.



    ^ALL THIS.
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    Jan 22, 2016 5:07 PM GMT
    Death of the gay community as it was, is not, in my opinion, due to same sex marriage, it's equality. The reason for a community to form is to allow those with similar relatable lives to commune in a more comfortable environment. Doesn't matter if it's race, religion, sexuality or ethnic origin. The new generation is accepted and younger gays don't need a place to congregate to feel comfortable and accepted. The new gay community sees the old establishment as more of a novelty than a safe haven of yesteryear. Dating is accomplished more online, being together with your partner is acceptable anywhere (generally speaking) and many of the sexual fun is now either extremely limited (bath houses) or viewed as the old way of living and much less attractive to a new generation of gays that tend to side with the views of the majority (straights) more than the minority (gays) when it comes to sex. Even the historical value is being lost. It's unfortunate that many new generation gays have no idea what happened way back when (not so many years ago) so they don't find a specific area for 'them' as necessary.

    It's a two edge sword that one must think about when wishing for something. Inclusion means no exclusion, it's one or the other. With every gain, there's bound to be a loss or at a minimum significant change. I recall some complaints about straight women finding refuge in a new gay bar recently. The complaint was that it's a gay bar and they should go to their own bars and I thought, welcome to equality gents !
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    Jan 22, 2016 10:46 PM GMT
    Radd saidThe gay bars here are about 20% straight now. And 90% of that are obnoxious straight women who think it's super hip to take selfies at a gay bar. I was talking to some people on the sidewalk the other day that were asking what bars to go to. One of the straight women asked where The Eagle was. For those who don't know, that's a dark men's only sex bar. They have sex right there in the bar. I informed her that she would not be welcome there but she insisted gay men loved her and it would be okay. So many women can't stand not being the center of attention and don't seem to give a shit about other's feelings.


    That's what you call self-entitled narcissism. She is a narcissist.
  • Triggerman

    Posts: 528

    Jan 24, 2016 3:46 AM GMT
    Hey Tim, nice to see a face from back in the day. I agree with you for the most part but you are wrong about gay bars closing down. Some are still there, Hamburger Mary's/ Moe's, but go on any night and most patrons are straight/ straight female. Waterloo, gone. Top of the Park and Bourbon Street...two of the most popular are gone. Lei Lounge, gone. Wolf's? Gone. Montage still open but rarely gay...gone. Shooter's in North Park? Gone. I don't go to bars anymore but I drive by them. If they are still open they are hardly gay bars anymore. Mixed at best. I am cool with that.

    And to the poster from Chicago that said high prices drove them out? Yes, and that has always been the story since 1940. Gay guys move into depressed areas, be it The Castro, West Hollywood, Hillcrest on the West Coast. Bars open up due to cheap rent and low visibility for gays that did not want to be seen going into a gay bar. Guys move in and buy cheap houses and rent cheap apartments. The nucleus of a gay community back in the day. Gays move in, things get better, eventually straights follow, driving up rent rates as a place gentrifies. Younger gays cant afford it, so a new area starts up somewhere else.

    What has changed is the last step. Young gay guys do not start up bars and buy housing in rough areas anymore. They meet online, live anywhere they want, and socialize fairly openly in any bar with gay or straight friends. Not everyone, but enough to change the pattern.

    That is what visibility got us, gay marriage and all. I make no judgements about it. It is life and I fought for both gay marriage and increased visibility. But I recognize all the changes that it has created.
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    Jan 24, 2016 6:58 PM GMT
    I keep reading this as "legalized marijuana..." and thinking, "only if they're trying to drive after midnight."
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    Jan 24, 2016 7:03 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidI keep reading this as "legalized marijuana..." and thinking, "only if they're trying to drive after midnight."


    I actually read this the same way that's why I clicked the thread.