When I read the article in CURVE magazine about our lesbian bars and clubs closing, I could completely relate. I witnessed a club in Minneapolis called PI open it’s doors, then close 4 years later because of slow business. It was predominately a woman’s bar, but of course all were welcome. I loved PI because there was only one bar like it. The music/DJ was weak and the location sucked. But it was something about having a bunch of women (and alcohol) all in one place that makes everything worthwhile. On some nights it was like walking onto the scene of the L Word. Though some nights, you could hear a pin drop. There was dildo bingo on wednesdays, fundraising events, and even family brunches. They also tried to mix it up by having Country night (country music night) Salsa/Latin night and even a Hip-Hop night.
Also in a another article in CURVE there was a picture of a white model holding a sign stating: Gay is the new Black. Now I’ve heard this many times. Media, blogs, what have you. But it’s usually in the context of discrimination. Which is understandable. But after the discussion on why exactly gay/lesbian bars are coming to a close really struck me after glancing at the protest sign. Gay is the new Black. Sure the economy has effected the closure of these business. But what business hasnt been effected. My opinion: There simply isnt that need for them anymore. In the past the LGBT community needed places to go, to belong. Safe environments to dance, drink, socialize amongst our own without being harrassed and excluded. Gay is the new Black. Just like nowadays I don’t seek out exclusively Black clubs, the newer generation of gays and lesbians aren’t seeking out LGBT clubs anymore. What seemed like a great ideal in the past, now seems to be quite counterproductive. We (LGBT community, Blacks) want to be included and not stigmatized, yet we go out our way to exclude ourselves from the general population. With socializing with only our own, are we actually stepping further in the closet? I think the newer LGBT community is catching on. They don’t want to make an 45min trip to the closest gay bar, when a bar is right down the street with good music, good drinks, and *gasp* good people. No offense I don’t want to suffer through country music, alternative and techno simply to be at my local lesbo hangout. (Not saying lezzie joints all play this music, just most the ones I’ve encountered) While I love being surrounded by my gay peers, I don’t want to have to settle just to be around them.
Perfect example, this past week when me and a friend went to a birthday party that was being held at a club. I didnt know the birthday girl, but I assumed she was straight. I mean we were at a predominately straight club. However after later meeting up with her, she was clearly a baby dyke. After about 45 min or so she wanted to bounce cause it wasnt up to par. I asked her why didnt you have your thing at a gay club. (I mean duh, right) She looked at me like I grew a third eye, shrugging she stated, “Trust me, there’s plenty of gay people out there,” she said, motioning to the women on the dance floor. Hm. I guess she has a point. I wasnt sure of anybody’s sexuality that night. But she did have a point. I’m sure their were plenty of gay and lesbians out there. However, for her it wasn’t about that. The simple fact was that the club wasn’t poppin.
Point is, Gay is the new Black. Just like protesting and marching have died down for our community (however, not stopped) regarding our rights and inclusion. Something or the other has also died down in the LGBT community. Since the younger LGBT is now growing up in a more tolerant atmosphere, there’s less of the need to look for or create LGBT clubs/bar/cafes, what have you.
However, as a Black women living in 2010, I still deal with racism, but not to the extreme as my grandmother or my mother. The LGBT community still gets harrassed and even worse, but not to the extreme of those before us.
Maybe closing of LGBT clubs/bars is not such a bad thing. It may simply mean were evolving. Coming out the closet and not giving a damn. Going to straight clubs and dancing, kissing, socializing with our partners. And daring someone to say something.
Just like they say, “When one door closes, another one opens.”