Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do we really need gay bars?

The last ten years there has been a growing straight friendly “gay village” in Athens. Vibrant and funky Gazi (Γκάζι) is a neighborhood located next to Kerameikos metro station and close to the Acropolis. Everyone hangs around there but do we really need it? Discussion has two reversed sides, yes and no.

Those who are advocating gay areas and bars say that indeed we do need them. Until every LGBTQ person feels safe to be who they are with whom they choose to be, in every area of the town, we need places like Gazi. Being in the gay bar is seen to be more relaxing and fun than other average places, and it has a special kind of atmosphere you cannot find from any other place on town. People share information, get to know other tolerant people and unite while having fun with better awareness.

Then again, some people are still in the closet or exploring their sexuality and do not wish to be seen openly. There are bars for everything but for many people going out means meeting someone special. With a good luck an average bar can have about 10 % of their clients gay. Arguably, at the gay bar your percentage to succeed to share the same sexual orientation with the person you meet will raise a bit. 

Why some people are against that? They say that these areas and bars promote everything LGBTQ ideology and awareness is against. They are decreasing diversity, transparency and acceptance but increasing discrimination. Gay bars are not just fun and laughter; they are also places for homogeneous boredom where trends and gossips have all too huge meaning in a one little merry-go-round because of limited amount of people visiting them. 

More and more every day people and role models kick thier closet doors wide open and most of the people seem to become more tolerant for that. From that point of view these bars are outdated and even having opportunity to explore one’s sexuality does not necessarily require gay bars to do the trick anymore.

So, what do you say? Should there be more or less gay areas and bars in the future?

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