FOCUS

What’s Killing ‘The Scene’?

There has been a noticeable decline in LGBT bars and clubs in recent years, with many closing due to fall in profit and lack of interest. So we have to ask the question… Have gay hook-up apps killed “The Scene”???

Some of us over a certain age might remember a time before smart phones, when going out on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night (O.K. every night of the week) meant your chance to pull and possibly even find “the one”. The problem is, the year is 2016 and it couldn’t be easier to find that next hook-up because Grindr, Tinder, Scruff and so many other location-based apps are free to use on your iPhone. These apps have cut out the middle-man and given you the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people you’d never have the balls to speak to IRL. The decrease in LGBT footfall has led the bars and clubs to re-think their client base and direct their attention to the straight community. The Nottingham scene has seen bar after bar and club after club either disappear or rebranded as “gay-friendly” and for a city that had a limited scene in the first place, it’s been decimated in the past five years to literally one late-bar and a couple of pubs. Bigger cities such as Birmingham and Manchester have taken less of a hit but surprisingly, the biggest cull of gay bars and clubs has been seen in London and in particular, Soho.

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We don’t even have to get showered and dressed to meet guys. We can do it from our bedroom, whilst binge watching OITNB on Netflix and stuffing our faces with Maltesers
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The problem with Grindr is that now we don’t even have to get showered and dressed to meet guys. We can do it from our bedroom, whilst binge watching OITNB on Netflix and stuffing our faces with Maltesers. It even controls us when we do eventually go out! My mates are always flicking through the grid, comparing who they think is hot and who they think is not! As Millennials we live our life online and it’s become the norm to get everything we want from the 5 inch screen that’s permanently attached to our hand. Don’t get me wrong I’m not completely against Grindr and Hornet, I’ve met some of my closest mates and my boyfriend online, I just feel we could all be living life off of our phones and in a more social way.

So the next question is… Why don’t we do something about it? Isn’t it time to get off our arses, get back out there and experience life how it should be experienced? We all moan about how shit the gay scene is, no matter what town or city we’re in, but why are we not willing to change it ourselves? I know it can’t all be down to us, we need the bars and clubs to keep us interested and a crappy themed night and the chance to meet a 90’s Z-lister every now and again isn’t going to cut it. We need entertaining, we need the best acts and DJ’s, we need rock-bottom drinks offers and fully functioning (clean) toilet facilities! The bad experiences of being in these bars and clubs are turning customers away because as a generation, we expect so much more.

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We have to stand together as an LGBT community but also with our allies in the straight community. We have never been stronger than what we are now, equality is coming and we’ve seen that more and more in recent years with the gay marriage act being passed in 2013
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Now I’m all for inclusion and have always taken my “hags” out with me drinking and dancing, but I knew that I could feel safe and secure in a club or bar specifically aimed at me and my fellow queens. In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando, where 49 people were killed by an anti-gay terrorist, I have been shown that we have to now stand stronger than ever before. We have to stand together as an LGBT community but also with our allies in the straight community. We have never been stronger than what we are now, equality is coming and we’ve seen that more and more in recent years with the gay marriage act being passed in 2013. But this is just the beginning, if our culture and the gay scene disappears will that not mean that we disappear? Will we become invisible once again? People will argue that this is progress, that gay clubs should just be called clubs and we should all party together in harmony. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way. And whilst I believe that seclusion between the two communities has caused a lot of problems, I still feel we need a place to be ourselves, to “sissy that walk” across the dance floor to Beyoncé and slut-drop til we’re too old to slut-drop anymore.

So I’m calling for all gay, bi, lesbian and transgender card holders to put down your iPhone, make yourself look pretty and go meet people… the old-fashioned way.

Words copyright VanityHype 2016 | Mark Ryan

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