Isn’t it swell to see news unrelated to Bieber Fever?
SSO’s reporting on the bashing at the Colombian Hotel attracted a slew of forum posts last week. But here’s a thing — maybe it’s not all bad. Now before you decide I’m certifiable, hear me out.
We’ve lamented the demise of Oxford St and our Sydney scene. Everyone’s up in arms about who’s to blame, suggesting different venues and boycotts, even relocating our sacred subculture.
But maybe, just maybe, we’re beyond that. Maybe we don’t need a gay ghetto any more. A gaudy entertainment mecca peppered with convenience stores, two-dollar shops, and fast food joints, Oxford St pimped her booty long ago, whoring herself out to bogan weekend warriors. The latest incident at the Colombian highlights that.
The mindset of subculture has its pitfalls too, especially for queer youth lured by the ‘flight to ghetto’. Sadly, stereotypes of bright lights and crack pipes can become murky realities.
Once upon a time when homosexuality was illegal, it made sense to consolidate and create spaces where we could walk down the street holding hands with the person we loved. We needed that pink bubble.
But is it unrealistic to think we can hold hands elsewhere? Is community a state of mind or a place? Is this a sign of the times, underpinned by a shift from subculture?
Events are progressing beyond the old haunts, with a number of different hot spots hosting some bang-up pink shindigs. I wonder if gay ownership does make for better venues. If they get it right — with friendly, responsible staff — and all patrons are afforded the duty of care they deserve, does it really matter?
Maybe it’s embryonic, as we rock it out in the wider community, and others realise we’re their equal. Or maybe I need to lose the rose-tinted glasses. I’ve always been a bit of an idealist.
Your disco still needs you. But maybe, just maybe, we don’t need our pink bubble any more.

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