Speak Out: Why Are Gay Bars Disappearing?

(Photo Credits: Google)

Gay bars are important because it’s where the LGBT people found a sense of belonging, a community, a safe space to be while having a good time but if you’ve noticed, a lot of them are now closing down.

For example, the Divas Nightclub and Bar—a trans bar in San Francisco which is just one of three in the US—will be closing its doors after one last party on March 30.  Meanwhile, Blow Buddies—dubbed as the “largest sex club in San Francisco”—may have to close as well after almost 31 years in the business as its building has been put on the market for $3.25 million.

It’s not the first time this has happened and the list continues to grow. Moreover, it’s not just in the United States but also in other many countries. 

The phenomenon has got the netizens asking: why are gay bars disappearing? 

These are the questions that experts have been trying to answer for almost two decades now because whether it’s in the United States, Israel, or London, gay bars have been steadily disappearing. Is it because of gentrification as more and more gay bars are actually being converted into condos, high-end apartments, or stores? 

Or, maybe, is it because times are indeed already changing? Is it perhaps because the LGBT community is now accepted in these aforementioned countries that we no longer feel the need to be segregated and in a ghetto, that’s why most of our “gay villages” are dying? Is it because we can now go out and explore other places without the fear of being beaten up or bullied? Not to say that it no longer happens today, of course it still does, but the times are definitely better than before.

Or, at least it is for others, in some parts of the world. 

A few weeks ago, I spoke to a friend who is from Moscow, and he said that over there it is the contrary. That in Moscow, Ghettos are very much important and the gay scene is very strong and we know why. 

All that being said, why do you think gay bars are closing? Where are you from and are the gay bars also closing down in your area? Share with us your thoughts and awesome gay bar stories in the comments section below!

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  1. john Laubenthal

    I truly believe that the bars are disapearing in large part to apps such s this one and many others why go to a bar when you can do it from your couch…

    the upcoming generation does not know how to make small talk in a bar, they have learned to socialize in 140 characters at a time.

    • Brent Majors

      Yes. There are many different contributing factors in the demise of gay bars & clubs, but the internet is most likely the primary factor. However, a well-planned, extraordinary gay bar/club will survive–while the cookie cutter clubs fizzle out. ___ Let me use bottled Italian Sauces as an example. Bertolli, Prego, Barilla & others, are so good in flavors & textures, they have far reduced the number of marinara & meat sauces being made at home. However, the extraordinary Italian Restaurant will still hold its own! It will continue drawing loyal patrons, and this clientelle will steadily increase. Same with the internet usurping the so-so clubs. It will not close down the outstanding, real quality cubs.

  2. Mark

    I feel the gay bars are closing because 1. Straight people have found that there is more fun in the gay bar so it is slowly taken over. 2. And because we can now feel comfortable in any bar. But I believe gay bars are still important for the younger people because they are a place to go where you don’t have to control your touching and kissing in public and just be free to express which you still can not do in a straight club.

  3. Danny

    Maybe more ppl are just realizing that you don’t have to go out & get hammered whenever you want to get… hammered. It’s nice to meet guys without alcohol in the mix.

    • Barry-NJ

      Interesting. But, unless you’re factoring in apps, just where does one meet a concentration of gay guys where alcohol isn’t in the mix? Gay bars do provide an important benefit in that one’s gaydar doesn’t have to be perfect.

  4. Barry

    Gay bars are closing because gays are more accepted into the “straight” world. Gay bars are also closing because the younger gays hang out with straight friends at straight bars. They have no sense of belonging to a history that got them to where they are today. Gay bars are also closing because of the internet. You do not have to go out to meet people to hook up or date anymore. They just get on any number of online hook up sites to meet and get off. I am so glad I got to live in a time when the gay bars were popular and busy. I met so many great people and had so much fun.

    • Cody Mathis

      I get what your saying, but on the opposite side of a the coin, I don’t understand who wants to be “accepted” by a generation who feels they need to be “DL” and not even show thier faces. The conclusion, undoubtedly, is that over 50% of the generations over 40 years of age feel the need to be Dl; wether its because they are “straight”, married, or for whatever other reasons. You’re absolutely right in the opinion that many homosexuals fought for the right for us to be open and honest for who we really are; but I refuse to believe they fought for us to stay hidden and to use such deceitful ways to just get “laid”.
      Long story short: if someone can’t be honest with themselves and can’t live by the principles they helped establish in a more disturbing era, then I sure as hell dont want to be found standing next to such cowards – wherever that may be.
      I grew up constantly being belittled and abused for my choice of bieng gay. The fight is getting easier, but its far from over.

      • BT

        That 50 % of those over 40 are on the DL is your estimate. You don’t realize going to gay bars was a one way not to be hidden in the days before social media. The Stonewall Riots happened because the community refused to be harassed into being on the DL anymore. When the Stonewall was raided on June 28th 1968 It was a turning point in the USA and may other places around the world. The patrons refused to be arrested and stood in defiance outside the bar. As a cop tried to push a lesbian into a paddy wagon, he struck her over the head. She shouted to onlookers to act, inciting the crowd to begin throw bottles, cobble stones, and other objects at the police. Police, a few prisoners, and a Village Voice writer barricaded themselves in the bar, which the mob attempted to set on fire after breaching the barricade repeatedly.

        The fire department and a riot squad were eventually able to douse the flames, rescue those inside Stonewall, and disperse the crowd. But the protests, sometimes involving thousands of people, continued in the area for five more days, flaring up at one point after the Village Voice published its account of the riots.

        Though the Stonewall uprising didn’t start the gay rights movement, it was a galvanizing force for LGBT political activism, leading to numerous gay rights organizations, including the Gay Liberation Front, Human Rights Campaign, SAGE (Senior Action in a Gay Environment), GLAAD (formerly Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), and PFLAG (formerly Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

        At the time gay bars existed in many areas of New York City. Gay bars existed in Manhattan as well the other boroughs, not just in the confines of the gay ghettos. As some heterosexual bars cater to different crowds, so did gay bars. Many had mixed crowds drawing from the LGBT community but some drew certain subcultures. . These were visible businesses that catered to many different gay subcultures. There were gay bars that were predominantly female, male, transgender, older, or younger crowds. Bars with dancing, live shows, piano bars, cabarets, and hard core pick up bars.

        The new way of meeting people on apps is more conducive to remaining on the DL than going to a gay bar. Gay bars are public venues, Going to a gay bar is an opportunity to see people, being seen, meeting people, having real conversation and getting to know the LGBT people living around you as well as visitors. On an app maybe you can see a pic. You can see someone’s description of themselves or their lack of self description. You possibly can see a pic of their body and/or face. Maybe a pic of their cock or asshole. Maybe a pic taken a dozen years ago. They may very well be without manners and rudely ghost you because they are sitting in their living room and its easy to treat people rudely when not communicating face to face. You can spend time lounging with the bed sheets stuck in your ass crack looking for a hook up alone in your home. 75% or maybe even a higher percentage of those you message will just abruptly stop messaging or worse say they are coming to meet you and just don’t come over with no excuse or further communication.

        I don’t see any organizations that can help the LGBT arising from these apps. They segregate the different groups that comprise the LGBT community. Gay , lesbian, bi, and trangender people all have less exposure to each other because of this new way of meeting.

        What has made large numbers of people 40 to choose a DL existance has more to do with the Aids crisis than gay bars. The over 55 years old gay male generation were far more out of their closests and proactive than the generation in their 40’s and the present younger generation. Unfortunately the east and west coast lost a generation of the over 55 gay male population in the 80s.

  5. Jack

    Simple! Because of the internet, social media and dating sites like Grndr guys dont have to spend money on drinks, or deal with the pressure of finding a hookup in a bar. We can pick and choose naked in our beds with drink in hand!

  6. Nathan

    Bars, in general are closing, because of the severity of ‘drunk-driving’ laws and enforcement, and we have the internet…which really began, with AOL.

    Also, the mindset has changed: when I was much younger, gay bars were out-in-the-boondocks so there were adventures along the way. Straights new nothing of the bars and so the bars were our own adventure and exclusivity.

    Today, ‘gay-life’ is ‘mainstream’ which really means, we lost our control of it and it now belongs to the ‘Public-Domain’.

    Drugs are more readily available and if New Jersey passing its Marijuana Law, too many will get ‘wasted’ and hopefully know better than to drive ‘impaired.’

    Last, the Gay Meccas have become exorbitantly expensive…such as P-town; Rehoboth; Key West…et. al. When I was 25, a beer was a $1.00; today, it is $5.00> expensive to enjoy more than one and too expensive for the younger generation to spend. It is far cheaper to buy a keg…with everyone chipping in, and likewise, for the spirits.

    We are not an invisible entity and therefore, the gay bars do not provide the shelter, community or support that the bars did when I was a much younger male: so most have house-parties and drink, drug and sex-out parties.

    Freedom has its blessings and its curses, and I feel, that we Gays have been blessed and cursed: we have become main-stream.

  7. mountaindawg

    I think times at least in the US have changed, and we don’t interact personally like we use to. I pay for gas at the pump. I use the ATM machine for cash and have my SS/Pension check direct deposited. External factors such a zoning, sales of buildings also play a role

    I use this ap and others to see who I want to meet. Some people use self check out stands, – I refuse to, if I am going to self check out they ought to at least give me discount and some use payment aps. We use our computers and phones to book tickets — concert – airline – take out food -hotel and more. When we do use the phone it is often to text.

    The thing that may save or slow the trend of the closing is it is harder to catfish in person than on an ap. there is more but I will stop here.

  8. Shua

    That patrons at gay bars have an ugly attitude, if you try to engage someone in a casual conversation they immediately assume you are hitting on them and would brush you off in a rudely manner, is a freaking bar not a bathhouse,, that’s the main reason I stopped going to these places, I rather go to other bars where you have no problem talking to people in a civilized manner.

  9. Greg

    What keeps a gay bar open?

    Good location, affordable property, loyal customers, positive reviews, clear identity, reasonable prices, professional service–more?

    Why don’t I go out to gay bars much anymore (at least in Los Angeles)?

    High prices, drunk driving laws, being older (I’m 59), having older friends who don’t go out much anymore either, not identifying with today’s popular music, distance, professional reasons (not wanting to run into my students), etc.

    I’m looking forward to retirement in San Antonio, which has a more accessible gay bar scene.

  10. Roger

    My Partner and I owned and operated a gay bar in South Carolina and closed because we worked our asses off for the gay community and did not get the love from the family. And, the comments above about how easy to make a connection on-line is so true. Why go out of the comfort of your home to look for sex when you can have it coming to you with only a few clicks on the computer. Life is changing and so we must change to keep up. Bless those bars and clubs that are able to hang on. Thank you.

    • Jason Newport

      So you think the only reason people go to a bar is for sex? No wonder your bar closed.

      The reason people go to a club or bar is to be entertained, have a good laugh, leave the troubles and problems of their life behind for a few hours, and be happy.

      If you think just serving over priced drinks does that, you will not be in business long.

        • Jason Newport

          Maybe if you are old going to the bar is primarily for sex, but people in their 20/30/40’s don’t need a bar to get laid. No wonder bars are closing if bar owners are thinking like it was in the 70’s and before.

  11. Luigi Nonono

    Gay bars continue to be one of the most destructive forces in the gay community. What we need are community centers, organizations and interest groups so people can meet normally. The only exception to this is cabarets and piano bars, where music civilizes the atmosphere, and we need these in every city.

  12. David

    It is not just one reason but a number of them. DUI is one of the reason also the cost of going out for a few beers was a few bucks but now it is more like 5 dollars for a beer plus a tip. The cost of drinking in a Bar have gotten to be very expensive. The Bars at one time had Happy Hours and the Bartenders also had some personality and often talked with you and engaged you and other patrons in the Bars so that you got to know others so it got to feel like you were visiting with friends and possible a trick from time to time. Many Bartenders today open a bottle of beer and when you give then a Dollar tip you get a look from them. Different specials or events most nights also was a reason to go out and support the bar.
    Also the costs of the rents for the Bars has gone up since the Gay Areas were often older in need of repairs sections of major cities the Landlords were happy to have tenants who paid their rent.
    Now often the land has become so valuable that have raised the rents to high so the bars are closing.
    Plus the internet has made it so easy to get a trick without leaving home. I am always careful who I would take home from a bar. But you had time to check them out in the bar in much more detail. But on the internet you really have to be careful who you have come to your home. Often they are not as show and liars who are much older that what the claimed on line and once I had one man who smelled so bad I had to ask him to leave which he did –Thank God. plus you have to worry if the try to rob you or come back another time to rip you off.
    I still like the Bars but they do have some problems, If you recall Aids the Bars were a source of the Gays organizing and raising money to help those who were infected. They were an important part or the Gays becoming a force in local governments etc.

  13. NeedingSafeHaven4GayMen

    A lot of factors are playing into the “back in the closet” movement of the gay community.

    All communities are different. The larger the metro area…hopefully your large city still can provide a haven where you can take your man and have kiss and beverage.

    Communities with less population will lean more conservative….I dare every gay man to go to a small town straight bar and kiss or try and pick up a man.

    Social media is killing conversation.

    Churches that love Jesus and JESUS in general is winning. Just remember a church is not closing…and they are usually not opening their arms to welcome a gay couple. These CLUBS of church people are talking….are spreading hate….while the gay community seems to lose a club, tavern, bookstore, bathhouse, coffee shop….and you just wonder which will be the stronger of the two sides. The one that has building in which they meet.

    I am all for marriage of two men…but why would a gay couple, married, with purchased child, have any need to go to a gay social gathering?

  14. Eric

    It’s because the internet has turned the gay community so rude and bitchy and no one wants to confront that face to face.

  15. Matt

    I think gay men are tired of being defined by the camp nature of most gay bars. There are a lot of gay men who want nothing of the disco-flamboyant-drag-queen drama of a gay bar. There are a lot of gay men who do not want to be “closeted” in a gay bar when they go out to drink. There are a lot of gay men who are utterly normal men who don’t want to be marginalized like gay bars marginalize.

    • Brent Majors

      Agree. I only went to these bars/clubs because there are no alternatives–not because I enjoyed being there. I hoped other like minded men would also be there. A rare few were. Here, gay bars/clubs all gradually closed during the past 6 years. Internet is the only area option.

  16. Gregory S Mann

    1st. as now we can go party anywherw and be accepted into the scene.

    2nd what gat bar is not overrun with hetro couples, and millennials. it no longer feels like a gay bar. just a bar.

    3. yes anti social media.
    personally i can still get laid at a bar though conversation. why, when it’s easier to advertiseyour self and what you’reseeking. … even do a little investigation to make sure it’s the thing you need. …

    don’t get me wrong. I’m glad we can shout out loud.
    we asked to be like everyone else….
    it’s like it’s now history.
    “men’s bars” those are now legends, and or fairytails. Secret tea houses that the ladies/lesbians use to hang at. … history.
    no longer needed. I’m sure there’s a few left…

    I’m still old fashion. like a nice dinner date, a bar hop, and some conversation. my mind needs to be stimulated as well as my body.

  17. Brian

    After reading the comments, I am inclined to agree with all, but I feel that it is not one specific thing, but a combination of all of them. Just like with all other aspects of society, progress has it’s pros and cons, and the gay lifestyle is no exception. It’s just one of those things where we must either do something about the things we do not like, or learn to accept them. Unfortunately is is so much easier to just accept things, and keep on living our lives. Those who have the time to do something sometimes lack the resources, and those who have the resources sometimes lack the time. It’s unfortunate because some really place sentimental attachments to places and things, such as their first gay bar, or meeting a special person there. I will always have a special place in my heart for my first gay bar as well, it was in Columbia, MO, I first went in 1993, and have yet to find a bar or club that measures up to that. The atmosphere was so relaxing, and it had something for everyone. It’s a sad commentary that so many gay bars are closing down, but there are still some around, just have to do some research and find them, and make new memories and friends. If Gay men and women worldwide found ways to meet and satisfy their desires and go undetected, don’t you think there are still some ways to accomplish this goal?

  18. Roger

    I think it is mostly internet. On Grindr, etc, you post a pic and if you are not someone’s preconceived idea of a hunk, you won’t get a reply. In a bar situation, you buy a couple drinks, have a conversation, and get to know each other a little and, maybe, a lot. I still go to the few bars left in my area, but almost everyone there has their face in their phone, not even looking up or saying”hi!” Also, I have always felt that IQ drops several digits after entering a Gay Bar. Why are Gays afraid to be and sound intelligent?

  19. Bobby J

    We are so accepted everywhere that gay bars are not necessary anymore……every bar is a gay bar now. I started out going to a bar that was a straight restaurant/bar that had a lot of gay clientele so it was like a semi-gay bar. It was the best thing ever. Lotsa cool gays and lotsa cool straights that were super accepting. Sharps in Kansas City if anyone knew it. Sadly the gay owners sold it to a douche that is not quite so accepting. Gay bars were fun but we have to accept we are all mainstream now. It shouldn’t matter what you are…have as much fun with straight bi and gay. In fact we need to add another letter for straight…..sglbt….lol.

  20. Harry

    I’ve lived in SF for 30 years and this is the first time I have heard of Divas. Was it called something else before? Sad that brick and mortar meeting places are disapearing. Swiping left and right doesn’t meet the need for human interaction.

  21. Kirt28202

    Because, they don’t serve Meth and Weed, along with the Alcohol. The gay boys have to have all 3 at once.

    That was easy……..

  22. Richard C Sasser

    I came out in the heyday of gay bars, and actually worked in one in the mid nineties. It was already starting to happen then. We went to packed nights with standing room only, and within 3 years it was a ghost town. I am glad I came out in that era, it was a grand time. But it is gone. The real question I have heard is: If a vaccination for AIDS comes out, do you think the bar days will return again? Or has the culture altered too much?

  23. D

    We aren’t as social as we used to be. I can sit at home, watch Netflix while I text all my friends. Don’t always have to go somewhere to hang out.

    Also, a lot of people simply don’t have the money. Sometimes there’s a cover charge, drinks, and worrying about getting home. A night out can add up.

    Also, where I live drunk driving is becoming a serious offense. When I was younger people could easily drive home typsy with no issues. Now if you have anhnalcohol in your system, it’s over.

  24. Joe

    Its all from apps not necessarily adam4adam but apps like grindr , scrufff etc. And the costs have become to high that people cant afford to go out. And for the bar owners as well their costs have dramatically increased.. just the liability insurance and liquor lic. Is enough to make you feel better NOT!!
    I WISH we had community like we did wow i guess 30 yrs ago ,”the 80s” . Living on an island its pretty easy to disappear from the scene and to realize that im not missing a thing is truly sad…

  25. Rollo

    Bars and anon hookups as mentioned above, have gone to lots of hookup apps on phones. With drinking laws as mentioned above, boozing it up can get you into more trouble than cocksucking these days. It used to be the reverse.

    Drink or fuck? Many would prefer fuck without the drink, but getting your “courage up” was different back then. The gay bars of my youth were pretty hot for scoring because we had no other real place to make connections. Now we do.

    Blow Buddies wasn’t a bar, it was a bathhouse-ish place. Bathhouses still do pretty well if they’re run correctly, as do ABS and other places for quickies. No booze there, just cock. It was cock that we were looking for.

  26. slohiguy

    As Gays have become more acceptable & mainstreamed in the broader culture there is less felt need for Gays/Lesbians to ghettoize themselves socially. Personally, I think that’s a bit disappointing: Gays were in many respects *more interesting* when they created & occupied their own unique sub-culture. Some of the best bar nights in my life took place at The Stud, a Gay/Bi-friendly bar that used to rock San Francisco’s Mission District back in the early 1980s……(sigh).

  27. Tom

    As others have said already, I am “of the age” that I no longer seek out gay bars for a social outlet. Further, I would rather stay home than be in the presence of todays milennials. They have no clue what we went through to create the opportunity for them to gather socially and safely. I have them bitchy, rude and totally non-conversant with older gay men. Actually, they have no conversational skills whatever. Their heads are buried in their phones. I am a very masculine guy and prefer married men. I can find an abundance of them online who can satisfy my needs. Many have become good friends.

  28. Hunter0500

    Many reasons listed already are right on the mark. Some orhers:
    The growth of gays who don’t fit the typical flamboyant/fem model. They feel out of place in a gay bar.

    The existence of gay guys whose sexuality is secondary. They do not feel a need to be Out!” or to make their sexuality known or something anyone must accept.

    Gays who have no attraction to The Scene” or Gay Culture.

    Competitive bars with high tech game’s, big screen TVs and full meal menus.

    Pressure from militant gays for all gays to conform to one particular set of rules for beahvior and beliefs. These guys have a strong level of intolerance toward anyone not Confirming to their Narrow Gay Way. Why go to a bar and be harassed?

  29. Jason Newport

    It’s down to being entertained. My time is important.

    Unless you have some entertainment at the bar or club, why would anyone pay outrageous prices for entrance and drinks. Times have changed, people have lots of choices and bars just are not keeping up, they still think its 1970 and gay people are there to be taken advantage off and just suckers for a good rip off.

    At a regular Singapore gay bar I paid US$12.00 for a beer. In Bangkok, Thailand I paid US$9.00 for a beer at a show bar.

    Enough, I don’t need a gay bar.

    • Jason Newport

      And I forgot, I have to pay to play pool, pay to listen to music, and pay to shoot darts. I am just waiting for them to charge a fee for air conditioning.

  30. Calabro

    There is truth for me in so many of these responses. I also believe that there’s a number of cofactors which have are leading to the demise of brick and mortar social outlets for gay men, but to think that technology hasn’t provided its own method of society may not provide the full answer. Using technology to connect is different than what me and my fellow Gen X’ers grew up with, but not necessarily any less adequate.

    To my brothers who believe that gay rudeness and bitchiness are new…its not. Use of the word “Queen”, in describing a bitch or haughty personality type did not come from some old lady wearing bright colors and an empty purse. Think more like, “off with her head”! We are no more or less rude in person than online. However anonymity breeds unabashed honesty as the MAGA movement continues to prove. These bigots and fear-mongerers (now called internet “trolls”) are not new to us. They are simply more emboldened to speak their truth in a cloak of anonymity.

    To my brothers who believe that gays have changed, they have not. There were just as many “non-scene” guys as “flamboyant” (thought I hate this word as much as I hate the word promiscuous: flamboyant only means anyone who acts more “gay” than I do, just as promiscuous means anyone who has more sex than I do — check your self loathing at the door, please) and just as many as whatever is between those two types. You simply are more aware of the former because of technology and current the current forms of vernacular (speaking of self loathing) such as “DL” and “M4M Only”.

    To my brothers who believe that millennials are not a valuable and contributory part of our culture, I humbly disagree. Perhaps many of us have forgotten that the generation before us, the LGBT movement pioneers, many of whom disliked our ways as much as some of us seem to dislike that of millennials, were lost to the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic. We honor those men (and women). We thank them for creating our movement, creating the endowment to fund research that gave us HIV treatment/PrEP, and paving the path that has led us to more freedom and even the ability to use the term “mainstream” (though it makes me cringe). But brothers, let’s not romanticize our history so much to believe that we wouldn’t treat them as barriers to our own young progress and as mustachioed creepers when they would try to strike up “innocent conversation” with us young men, often half their age.

    Times change, norms are reevaluated and, as such, culture changes. If this were not true, we’d probably live in a much less interesting world. You’ve heard it said, though it clearly bears repeating: “The only thing constant is change” — (Heraclitus of Ephesus; c. 535 BC – 475 BC)

  31. Jay

    I was a club kid here in NYC, and remember sneaking into Limelight before I was 21. Clubbing was actually fun back then in the 1990s. (“Fun” back then didn’t exclusively mean sex BTW, kiddos.) I didn’t enter a gay bar until I was 21, because those were much more difficult to sneak into. I had fun the first few nights and met only a few guys, but that quickly faded away as the years passed by and I got older.

    I began to assume that the older guys at these facilities were only searching for guys younger or fresh faces to take advantage of. The guys I did meet were always older, though I did have a preference for them. Over the years, the drinks got more expensive, the music got louder, but worse. Straight or curious people started to invade our clubs and bars for their own amusement, at the end of the night, I had a better time at the bathhouses that were nearby. This was all before the apps came along.

    I’m 39 now, and I don’t miss these places. The only time I’m at a gay bar these days, is just for a convenience of getting a drink during happy hour, never looking for anything else.

  32. Brent Majors

    I don’t drink alcohol; don’t smoke, and like old fashioned dating–not anonymous hook-ups. I like masculine men, and avoid girly types. Virtually all gay bars cater to drag queens, DEAFENING LOUD music, and the flamboyant type. Before all the gay bars, clubs & cabarets here closed over the past 6 years, I went to my favorite–preferring to meet in person rather than anonymous on-line websites. Anonymous yes, because of widespread posting of bogus profiles & photos. In person, you can observe personality and behavior: who is friendly and courteous; who is a drama queen diva; who is an obnoxious drunk, who acts like God’s gift to the universe, etc. In person, you can either avoid or approach to chat with someone who you have pre-screened. You see what you get. (Not a 15 year old photo of a once handsome fit man, who is now obese, balding, and “desperate” for any willing hook-up. Or a photo of a pro model, cropped to hide the head, and posted as a scam)__ Body language is absent in on-line text. In person body language often exposes liars. So I endured the fems, cliques, & drag-queens for these in-person advantages. There were very few other men like me, who liked masculine men and dating, ever in gay bars. ___I was simultaneously a member on 3 popular gay date/hook-up websites. A common remark from the masculine guys is, “Not into the gay bar scene.” ___Therefore, one reason for the closing/failing gay bars is because they have not tried to draw clients from the complete representation of gay men. Gay men who find other manly guys, not females, attractive would prefer seeing hunk shows not drag queens. More quiet types would prefer a soft piano bar, to relax & chat with date-candidates. Non-smokers would like to avoid the health hazard of dense second hand smoke; and having to launder smoke-smelly clothes (which are not otherwise dirty, after being in these clubs.)___ These cookie cutter clubs varied only in physical size, layout & décor—but otherwise were all too similar in ambiance and drew the same type crowd. The straight public transfers this stereotype on to all gays. We’re not all alike. So with the majority of gay bars being all alike, you wonder why they go out of business? __ If all restaurants were burger joints, people who wanted seafood, salads, veggies, chicken, pasta, ethnic cuisines, etc. would have one option—stay home and prepare your own yourself. And so it is—gays outside the flamboyant, fems & drag queens stay away. Non-smokers stay away. Whoever wants to converse stays away (you have to exit these loud clubs to hear!) Who wants to pay a cover fee for a place they don’t like or don’t fit in? The internet with all its woes at least is free. I’d rather get annoyed for free – than pay to be annoyed!

  33. Michael

    Ok,I have too agree with many of you on all the reasons why most gay bars and clubs are disappearing. I must also say that many gay men feel intimated going into gay bars because of the superficiality and pretentiousness of the gay night life scene. Walk into any gay bar in the country and if you don’t fit the mode of a male model or shirtless muscle queen then you get sneered at and that makes most average everyday gays uncomfortable. Also the prescense of illegal drugs play a factor as well. Many people stop going due to tweaked out twinks and some stopped going because many are in recovery now from drugs and/or alcohol and don’t want to be exposed to it again because of the temptation. Social media has changed how me interact with each other and millenials typically live on their phones,since that is what they grew up with. Gay bars are now pretty much taken over by straight girls and couples and some straight men as well,so the sense of being of exclusive is not the same. As far as being “accepted” by mainstream society that may be true for some areas of the country and other countries as well but being from a small town in the deep south that is not exactly the case. Being “obviously” gay I don’t feel welcome in most straight bars,so that is not an option for me. The nearest gay bar is an hour and a half away and there used to be a slew of them there that I frequently visited a lot but now I only know of actually two. So even though many are closing I think its good that we as a community still have that option. I also think that specific gay bookstores and coffee shops and community centers and lgbt social groups are springing up all around the country in certain towns and cities,so not everyone feels the need to get plastered and look for a mutual connection. Hell,there’s even a gay bookstore in my small town,which the Southern Baptist and other denominations tried to shut down,but it didn’t work.Many colleges and even high schools have gay-straight alliances so its easier to meet other lgbt students there. In conclusion,I feel like these are the many factors why gar bars are starting to disappear. That ones that are still left need to be supported by the community in hopes of not becoming extinct.

  34. Joseph Compnotta

    Gay bars are disappearing because our lives are becoming more mainstream and gay bars will become fetish bars, I think it’s great to be able to go out any place and be yourself.

  35. Dave R

    The gay life has become more mainstream than ever before plus all the gay social sites make meeting so much easier. I, myself, would love to find a local gay bar, just to go out an flirt person to person, rather than through a computer screen.

  36. Jay

    Forgot to mention that from my own personal experience, the few come-on lines I’d used to get from guys at these venues, I don’t miss. I prefer the monotonous text messages of digital apps, over these cheesy liners in seedy environments. Lesser of the two-evils.

  37. Wayne

    I see that there is still hate for fems and those masculine men(TOPS) who love being with them. I don’t do the modern day type fems who are rude. They are not often career people who have class, grace, elegance and have it together without the need to draw attention. I do agree that many today like communication skills and live for drama.

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