S.F.: Don’t Change the Gayborhood

The destigmatization of homosexuality — in fact, their total and complete victory in the Culture Wars — has led to LGBT people increasingly assimilating into mainstream bars and clubs, as well as straight people feeling more comfortable visiting gay bars and the like. Cue the ‘crisis‘ emerging amongst older gay bar types: throughout S.F. dedicated ‘gay bars’ are closing down at a rapid rate:

Amy Sueyoshi, 45, associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, says she now feels less safe as a genderqueer person walking around San Francisco and faces more street harassment. “Now, me and my friends step off Muni and we get called ‘dyke’ and ‘queer’ … It feels less loving … I do think that taking a walk on Valencia Street is not so great for me any more.”

“The Dyke March has become this huge frat party … All these straight dudes and their girlfriends are descending on the park and setting up hammocks,” Sueyoshi said. “It’s a little bit sad.”

She followed up with an email: “I do like to go to places in and around the Castro for Happy Hour or a snack and I’ve noticed more straight people making out at these places where I go deliberately to NOT feel like I am oppressed by heterosexuality. Really, straight people do you HAVE to make out in the Castro as well? Good Lord.”

A college Dean who is ‘oppressed by heterosexuality’ and is intolerant of straight people kissing in public. Isn’t this the type of antagonistic prejudice that usually gets someone fired? Oh yeah, only when it’s the other way around.

Some drag queens feel they’re gawked at more recently. Charlie Ballard, a longtime drag queen and comedian in San Francisco, said he now has to contend with straighter crowds that are less enthusiastic about LGBT topics. “Some of our LGBT performers have to deal with wishy-washy audiences of pseudo-hipster techie types. They’re just sitting there, and I’m like, ‘Dude, you’re not watching TV.’”

You’d almost think it was a general feature of human nature to not want to see one’s neighborhood change.

This entry was posted in Culture Wars. Bookmark the permalink.