Love of Gay Bars Will Tear Us Apart, AgainS

An article in the latest issue of Out says that more gay bars are popping up all over the country. That is very true, and it could be the worst thing to happen to gay culture since Judy Garland Died.

One of the gay community's biggest secrets is that there is no such thing as a gay community. Instead, the country's gay populace is made up of tons of little factions divided by race, ethnicity, body type, socio-economic status, and whether or not they love a good dance remix. The only thing they had to bring them together was going to the same, gigantic discotheque on the weekend to score drugs and try to get laid.

In the article (not yet online), Gawker alum Joshua David Stein writes that instead of taking up residence for the entire weekend in gigantic clubs like Twilo or the Roxy like gays did in the '90s, they're now going to smaller lounges and parties that are catered more towards specific gentlemen's tastes. Yes, my friends, it is officially the end of the monolithic gay culture.

Instead, the boys will be hanging out at parties like Manthrax!, a New York event that caters to guys who like guys who like heavy metal, and Main Man, a weekly night for homo hipsters on the Lower East Side, that is so disdainful of gay culture that it sells itself as a "gay party for gays who hate gay parties." Even better is the Tall Gay Agenda, a monthly party for 'mos who thanks to genetic accident are 6'2" and taller (and their admirers, of course).

Sure, the endless Lady Gaga tracks at your typical gay bar in Chelsea or Hell's Kitchen are as annoying as a bad case of the crabs, but there was something to be said for the old days, when, at least once a week, everyone had to hang out under the same roof, listen to the same lousy house music, get harassed by the same drag queens, and generally tolerate one another. Now the only shared experiences we will have are taking it up the ass and Madonna concerts.

Stein, who is straight, channels his inner gay:

As groups of all types of people—from gay indie rockers to gay minimalist techno geeks—reach sustainable critical mass, identifying as gay is no longer as interesting or as useful as it once was. We can be many identities simultaneously.

Isn't that a little sad, especially because—for the culture at large—we're still seen as gay first? As queer culture goes quietly into assimilation with the mainstream, instead of being defined by our orientation, we're going to be defined by the music we like, how tall we are, or some other sort of cultural affiliation. If we're going to get stuck with a label, it might as well be one that matters the most.