Greetings dear readers!
Trouble rumbles right along in “rainbow” paradise…
Today’s Castro bar scene yields situations that must have gay merchant pioneers turning over in their graves. Although (mostly) homosexuals themselves most owners show more kinship to glittering straight garbage: being standard American money making entrepreneurs trumps gay enclave nurturing (a nuance that would attack the rigorously hostile, psychological tide “outside”—while still making money).
Preserving the legacy that expands the fabric of gay reinforcement—especially on “imagery support” levels—steadily thins. In this runaway techno world showing the notion that LGBT life is just as viable in-and-of itself (especially as sustained viewable “subject matter”) now follows predecessors into oblivion.
Such a deluded belief that growing lists of “outsider” mainstream elements (integrated into the new gay community) represents “progress”—without adjustment to our specific needs—is a tragic visionary loss.
Here, I must first address this ultimate bar shocker: several hire cocky young white straight male bartenders; they boast about and trumpet their “hetero” orientation (proudly separating themselves) reveling in and flaunting the supreme position general society bestows upon them.
Worst yet, white male clientele (young and old) hover around them, ogling over their stereotypical “looks,” boosting a hetero sense of sexual (and emotional) superiority—and graciously accepting the power tripping, abrasive barking (and tyrant-like handling) spewed upon general gay patrons.
I ask the reader to find one highly popular heterosexual club in San Francisco where a hired gay bartender openly flaunts his homosexuality, bragging about his severe disinterest in women and ridiculing females attracted to him.
I guarantee that you will not—it wouldn’t be tolerated!
Again, this is a form of interjected “altruistic” integration—the kind Blacks in Klein’s Time Magazine article point to as what started the unraveling of their precious institutions.
One young white straight bartender though is a refreshing counter example: stepping out from the pack he abhors straight white politic; a progressive spiritual, cross-cultural and sexual perspective ironically has him less conventional (or limited) than most white gay males around him; and his handsome image captivates—but he doesn’t accommodate straight or gay “sexual politics” bar games—making his presence refreshing in so many ways on a muddied scene.
On this locale he is the extreme exception, not the rule (and would be refreshing on any tapestry).
A recent technological addition (supposedly modernizing the bar scenes) leads me to the second shocker: TV flat-screens have inundated these environments, but their standard uses are not for what a hopeful homophile would expect.
Previously, only the rare self-identified video or sports supportive Castro bars even had televisions, until a dramatic 2010 event: the San Francisco Giants made it into the World Series.
Suddenly, places without TVs (having had no interest) scrambled to get one, hoping to not lose precious patronage—and hot “extra cash.” Makeshift portables sprung-up everywhere, precariously perched—one even crashed down on the head of a customer.
The Giants winning only sealed the deal. Another victory in 2012 (plus the 49er reemergence into championship football competitiveness) set it in concrete. But how TVs would be utilized during all that “off time” season revealed the communal muddiness, uncloaking age-old demons.
No ongoing homo-specific streams dominate here: none “specialize” in gay features, showcasing an international plethora of cultural events, lifestyle productions, news and personal interest stories—even with today’s multidimensional technology tools yielding endless personal creative possibilities.
Such would be actively demonstrated conscientiousness, showing the viability of sustained LGBT viewing interest (seeing ourselves as unlimited, substance building subject matter—the way hetero media treats hetero culture).
Instead a disturbing thing occurs: any old hokey straight movie or prime time program—steeped in endless heterosexual worship—and straight featured bantering, is left running as standard.
Some “hot male sexual image” bars even marginalize adult candor on their screens: scenes if shown at all seem out of the censored mid 20th century (instead of interactive “acts” and bold love situations blossoming unapologetically for 21st century patrons). It’s as if an intense, sexually propagandized male driven Castro is actually ashamed of masculine eroticism and the male “body.”
Current laws cannot be blamed: a not too distant lawsuit filed by a coalition of gay establishments (South of Market Driven) challenged outmoded sexual imagery censorship—and won. It’s strange that people seem to not know about this.
Extreme timidity around celebrated sexual dynamic by Castro management in its “program direction” is almost baffling.
My trips to certain bars in Chicago and New Orleans did show that at least there, unadulterated and unabashedly viewed male “screen” tradition (meaning uncensored) remains tenacious and intact.
How interesting that New Orleans notably draws growing national and foreign gay waves to its homo-electric enclave (with ever rising excursions by gay SF “fans”)—it threatens to displace San Francisco’s dominant gay visitation “position.”
Not rising to the occasion Castro bar owners instead, are now “babysitting” grown homosexual patrons and their guests with eternal doses of heterosexual airwaves. Precious gay psyches are bombarded with an insidious message: straight is oh-so plentiful (natural) and worth blandly ogling over; homosexual is limited (unnatural) and severely uninteresting—not even more thrilling than the blandest namby-pamby straight sitcom.
Disturbing yet, I asked one bartender why this is allowed. “They” like it, was the reply. “They,” whom he’s referring to, are standardized white gay men.
This is yet another insidious insertion of “altruistic” hetero integration—another caustic tidbit to chip away at gay foundations already staked in sand.
My progressive support folk (multicultural, hetero, polka doted, or whatever) knows a general media system is still overwhelmingly heterosexist—and unapologetic in this regard.
I ask the reader to find one heterosexual bar in San Francisco that overwhelmingly streams gay life material and themes (or any visuals at all) on their screens.
I guarantee that you will not!