Are gay clubs a thing of the past? Let’s talk about how a once-safe-haven for the LGBTQ+ community has turned into a not-so LGBTQ+ friendly space.
Now that we are more than halfway through Pride Month, I think it’s time to talk about some of the not-so pleasant things that surround the gayest of months. (Well, besides when either Ariana Grande or Lady Gaga drop an album—those are always very gay months.)
Sadly, many places designed for LGBTQ+ people have turned into spaces now largely dominated by straight people. These were once places where we as a community could feel safe and not have to worry about offending people who are not part of the LGBTQ+ family. Now that gay culture has essentially become popular culture, gay clubs or “straight clubs with a gay theme” have also become the new norm.
This brings up a very important question: With these cultural changes, is there a true place for the LGBTQ+ community to feel safe and accepted?
The Future of Gay Spaces
Now that gay spaces are subject to so much straightwashing, where does the LGBTQ+ community go? The answer is online. The digital space is full of great networks where LGBTQ+ can feel accepted and welcomed.
Facebook groups and the official LGBTQ+ Facebook page are a great place to find people in your community that are accepting and welcoming.
The Trevor Project is a great resource for anyone between the tender ages of 13 and 24 who struggles to feel accepted and needs a space to talk to peers and professionals.
I know what you’re thinking: Tumblr is so 2010. But the truth is that Tumblr has turned into more of a community environment where everyone—not just people of the LGBTQ+ community—is welcome to express their feelings, share the latest memes, and in this case, talk to people with the same interests or struggles.
So yes, while gay clubs may no longer be an exclusive space where you can enjoy good cocktails and dancing with all your LGBTQ+ friends, we still have online spaces that are ours. Spaces where we can quote Carly Rae Jepsen songs and not get the typical response of “Oh, the ‘Call Me Maybe’ girl,” but rather the underrated queen of the gays that she is.
So yes, straight people, I will still attend the “straight bars with gay themes,” and yes, I will still dance my little heart out and just pretend you aren’t there.
Heck, I made it through high school, didn’t I?