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Canterbury’s only gay bar closes

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  1. If Canterbury wants a community Centre then it has to prove that it’s needed. Do as were doing in Reading start by making their Pride Group a community group throughout the year and build it up. Then you will need to get funding for it but they won’t do the work for you.

  2. Simon Murphy 6 Jan 2010, 5:00pm

    Gay bars are a dying institution. When I first came out in my late teens about 15 years ago if you wanted to meet other gay people then you had to go to a gay bar. I travelled about 30 miles to get to Cork to go to the gay bar there. I was so nervous. But after I while I could relax and found that the bar was like a community centre.

    If I wanted to meet new friends or pick up guys for fun then it was down to the gay bar in order to do so.

    Since the internet gay bars are far less important than they used to be among queer people. People have far easier means of meeting other gay people – whether it be for friendship, sex, local events etc.

    Not surprised that Canterbury’s gay bar is closed. And it’s not down to homophobia. It’s just that gay people don’t NEED gay bars any more. If you want to go out then it’s just as easy to choose a decent straight bar; if you want to have a 1 night stand then go on to a website.

    Sad but inevitable

  3. Simon, I agree with that too. Gay Bars need to come into the 21st Century

  4. Simon, I said that on an earlier post about bars closing. Gay bars were an icon of their times, but because there are now so many alternatives, they tend to be empty, which doesn’t induce everyone to go. On top of that, there is a much higher proportion of smokers with gay men than the general populace, and frankly, standing outside in the freezing cold to have a fag is not my idea of a good night out.

  5. RobN, does that mean you don’t go out at all now due to having go outside for your fag

  6. The situation isn’t much better in Aberdeen. We have only one specifically gay (as opposed to ‘gay friendly’) bar. Whenever a second opens, one of the two will close doors within a few months. They’re just not very well supported. There is a gay club as well though.

    Also agree with above, as also in Aberdeen there needs to be a lot of improvements in terms of wider support/activities for gay people who aren’t too into drinking & clubbing as a primary way to socialise. There are people here working hard to provide other activities, I only hope they continue to grow & develop as they deserve.

  7. I would have thought there would have been enough clerics to keep it going.

  8. Lorna M: “RobN, does that mean you don’t go out at all now due to having go outside for your fag?”

    Well yes, the combination of no-smoking bans, empty bars and the need to have a second mortgage to buy a round of drinks means where I was once in Soho 2-3 times a week, now I’ll be lucky if I bother twice a year.

    The combination of unscrupulous bar owners, this nannying government and the whole internet gay subculture has completely wiped out most of the scene. Mind you, I won’t shed a tear, as most of it was pretentious crap in the first place.

  9. Simon Murphy 6 Jan 2010, 8:13pm

    I don’t think that gay bars will ever die out completely though. They just need to move with the times. Gay people will always go to gay bars so long as the service, atmosphere and prices in them are comparable to straight bars. But gay bars no longer have the captive audience they used to have.

  10. CantersMike 6 Jan 2010, 9:05pm

    The Pride in Canterbury (whoever they are) “chairman” is completely deluded. Co2 was awful, with blacked out windows, cheap naff decor and a staff more interested in their phones than the customer, why would you go? Canterbury has a huge amount of brilliant pubs and Co2 wasn’t on the list. Andrew Brettell is way behind the times. I’m in my early twenties and have lived in Canterbury for five years, I have never heard a homophobic word once. I’m open about my sexuality in public and without shoving it down peoples throats, I’ve never had as much as a dirty look. I and most other gay people I know go to the other pubs in Canterbury where we probably do much more to alter opinions than being holed up in a shady backstreet boozer bleating about how persecuted we all are.
    So if your reading this, don’t fear the non existant hordes of queer bashers; Canterbury is a great place to live come and visit!

  11. Manchester’s gay bars still do a roaring trade, as does Birmingham’s where 2 new gay bars have opened up. I wouldn’t say they are dyeing out at all.

  12. Sister Mary clarence 7 Jan 2010, 9:51am

    CantersMike – well done mate, but you’ll get your gay membership card revoked for not towing the “we’re a persecuted minority” line on here.

  13. inver boy 7 Jan 2010, 2:10pm

    we dont have anything in in inverness. we have a gay night on the first tuesday of every month, i mean a tuesday!!!! no one who is not local can make it because they cant get home or have to work the next day!

  14. BouncerManInBlack 7 Jan 2010, 6:10pm

    Inver Boy, Tuesdays are a very busy Gay Student Night in Brighton, with Mondays and Wednesdays being busy Metrosexual Student nights; The Wednesday night sometimes has a 3,000 attendance.

    Strange that our many many clubs provide alternative club nights covering SEVEN days a week between them and we have a good proportion of people travelling from up to over 50 miles away !!

    Perhaps Scotland is different?

  15. I have to agree with CantersMike, having been to CO2 numerous times it was always pretty much empty. I feel that if someone were to sink some real money into a proper gay venue it would be incredibly popular. Taking over an old strip bar and badly decorating it, stuck out of the view of all who may be offended just doesn’t cut it.

    I feel that Canterbury lacks a true gay community and until we rally together and do something about it, it may well stay that way. It doesn’t help that Canterbury’s first true gay night at the local studio 41 has also turned into an environment where you have blatant homophobia, and the alternative night rarely has more than 20 people. Until the locals support these events and turn up in force we will never have a thriving gay community.

  16. Like a few people already said, I think that gay bars arent completely necessary especially in cities like Canterbury where a gay person can just have fun in any bar. My Ex is from Canterbury and we have spent a lot of times there going to the city centre and having good time in pubs and all what there is. In fact, I felt more at comfort as a black/gay man in Canterbury than ever in London non-gay places. May be, they can borrow a leaf from my local Dalston superstore which is ‘gay-friendly’ even though it is a screaming gay place. But it gets everyone in… meaning I can take my straight friends there and still be the gay man that I am. No one wants to go to dingy places any more because that suggests that we all go in to frolick… not that one doesnt like that, but then, there is time for everything.

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