Monday, July 23, 2007

Gays Invading the Straight Hangouts

Another weekend reporting on Fire Island has come and gone. It's pouring as I prepare to go home to Bushwick but a New York Times article on the so-called "Guerrilla Gay Bar" which recently set up shop on Venice Beach grabbed my gay saturated mind. The article described in detail how a group of around 70 gay men set up their beachside shop -- and rainbow flag -- among the bodybuilders, bicycle riders and tourists who stroll the famous beach. The group adds its mission remains to overcome the boredom they say perpetuates so-called gay culture in West Hollywood and other traditional gay hangouts.

"There's a place for gay bars, but we feel gay people have become so segregated that some of them don't go out into the wider community anymore," "Guerrilla Gay Bar" organizer Matthew Poe said. "We want to suggest that the world is bigger than West Hollywood."

This notion is certainly nothing new as groups in San Francisco, New York and other places have proven over the years. So-called gay culture continues to permeate mass media -- and mainstream society -- through the "L Word," "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," "Sex and the City" and other cultural and pop culture phenomenons. Many activists within the movement for gay rights and others may question whether these programs distort the reality in which the majority of LGBT people live. Others may have significant investments within these pink cultural creations. The debate will certainly rage on. But who can deny the potential guilty pleasure of dozens of gay men spontaneously setting up their various pink accountrements in a traditionally straight refuge? It certainly flips the tables a bit in the broader scheme of cultural interaction and examination.

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