Oxford St gets a lot of bad rap these days, from being called the ‘gay ghetto’ to a buzzing hive of drugs, sluts and booze hounds. Can’t say I disagree — I’ve probably contributed to that perception.

Having recently gone on a holiday to Queensland, I was excited by the chance to experience a different menagerie of bars, beats and boys, but was unpleasantly surprised by what I found.

It was definitely wishful thinking on my part to expect to find an Oxford St on the beach with blond buff surfers lined up looking for a dance. I so desperately wished for something different from the ‘same old, same old’ I’ve come to expect from Arq, Stonewall and Nevermind. Be careful what you wish for.

What I found were straights bars converted into gay bars. Venomous straight girls not quite understanding my penchant for penis, and straight men not realising that their usual watering hole turns into a land of queens once a week.

The music wasn’t even that great. All I wanted was Lady Gaga and Ke$ha. Why is that so hard? The DJ pretty much told me to go away after I screamed “JUDAS!”, a common practice for me in Sydney.

While I was still in the same country and only a few thousand kilometres from home, I felt a bit of culture shock as I came to realise this must be a usual day for the gay men and women who live here.

So for those of you who rip on Oxford St, in the hope there is something better, just don’t. After having experienced a gay life outside my own, I can honestly say that Oxford St is where it’s at.

Don’t ever take this little street we call our own for granted again, because someone, somewhere, in a town very close to Sydney, is dying for that little piece of happiness you can only find a short walk from Taylor Square.

By JESSE MATHESON

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