Gay bars were in decline even prior to coronavirus

The Stonewall Inn in New York. Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

Gay bars are being portrayed as “hardest hit” by the coronavirus outbreak, since they serve a “vulnerable population” that is constantly being victimized in one way or another, but it appears that gay bars were on their way out before the virus ever hit.

Why? Because of smartphone apps which enable instantaneous sex hookups without brick-and-mortar locations to meet.

More than half of U.S. states issued statewide closure orders for bars and restaurants in March, decimating the nightlife industry. It was widely reported that this left homosexuals without places to gather in public, even though they are not specifically banned from partying or working anywhere they like.

It is a perfect example of a media-fabricated crisis. Plus, gay bars were already closing their doors before the virus had even been heard of. Their decline began sometime around 2002 and has been accelerating. Research shows that as many as 37 percent of the United States’ gay bars shut down from 2007 to 2019, according to Business Insider.

As acceptance of homosexuality increases, there’s growing competition from straight establishments. “I go wherever I want with my friends,” one former employee of a gay bar told Talking Points Memo in 2015, “Every bar is a gay bar.”

Most tellingly, though, smartphone dating and hookup apps like Grindr – the homosexual version of Tinder – allow cruising for sex anywhere, anytime. This has hijacked one of the primary functions of gay bars: places to find instant new sex partners.

The 2008-2009 recession also hit bars and full-service restaurants hard, pushing vulnerable establishments to the edge. In coastal cities, gentrification is blamed for pushing gay bars out of the neighborhoods they helped revitalize.


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