Tuesday, June 9, 2009

visibility at what cost: gay marriage and gay night life

My pal over at the Gluten Freeway sent an interesting article about the demise of the Boston gay bar scene. While the internet and online social networking has been described as a contributing factor, the acceptance of gay marriage is also thought to be nurturing mixed-orientation socializing at the expense of gay bars.

This raises the issues of "visibility at what cost?" Enclaves, whether religious, ethnic, or sexual, are created when a group of people is "othered" or differentiated on the basis of a specific characteristic. This is why I believe that Judaism is alive today--because of the vicious and even more subtle forms of Antisemitism that have followed Jewish people throughout history. Tolerance and assimilation would not have forced into preservation a strong identity and rich cultural heritage the way fierce hatred excluded and thereby cultivated a growing and strengthening sense of Jewry over time.

I think it's far too utopian to suggest that the acceptance of diverse sexuality will lead to the magical disappearance of gay bars. Exhibit A: Prop 8. However, I think communities will face changes differently at different times. And while many people choose to assimilate, others still choose to self-segregate--and some prefer a hybrid of the two.

1 comment:

liminalD said...


I've been saying this very thing for years ;)