Saturday 6 October 2018

Gay Bars versus Apps

I randomly came across this video (click on link above to hear the discussion from Rise and Fall of “Men of the Den” on YouTube). You make good points.

As a disabled and queer person, I do not see gay bars in quite such a rosy light. I live in the suburbs of Manchester, England, which has its own gay Village. For me the vast majority of the venues and in some cases the actual streets are inaccessible to me.

When I have visited, prices are high - too high! And the area is inundated with groups of young wimmin, supposedly seeking safer spaces. Many LGBTI folk have deserted the Village and prefer to mix with straights in the less expensive, boho Northern Quarter. From my perspective, this area is far more disabled-accessible and thus disabled-friendly.

Living in the suburbs, there is a dearth of gay bars. However, I am fortunate to reside in an affluent and tolerant community. Nonetheless, it is very often difficult to know who is queer or straight these days for various reasons. So, for myself and others, using apps helps us make friends and acquaintances, folk with whom we chat online about art, politics and so forth. In my case, my housemate & I also have been introduced to queer neighbours and arranged a meet-up in our local pub. I have also used apps to make friends with folk in foreign lands prior to visiting on holidays.

Apps usually do not discriminate against disabled queers; bars often do discriminate due to lack of accessibility. For me there is no real-world gay community; there is however a very real online one.


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