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Queer Us Folk


dguet

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I have lived in Montrose for about 40 years, and as a Gay man, I have seen the decline of LGBT community from its heyday in the early '80's. I guess it is an inevitable aspect of cultural assimilation and modern technology. Nevertheless, I and my Gay friends have remarked on the rarity of seeing others of us out and about around Montrose. I don't mean in the few remaining Gay clubs, but rather local restaurants and cafes. It use to be you couldn't swing a cat without hitting one of Dorothy's friends. I  know many of the younger generation tend to rely more on online social interaction, but where are all the guys (and gals) in the 40-70 age group?

Is there a Cafe Adobe, Crossroads, Baba Yega's, La Strada's type hangout where us old hens now go to roost? BTW, here's an interesting link I had forgotten about: https://www.houstonlgbthistory.org/index-bars.html listing interesting places and things, many long gone. :(

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I know what you mean. There are either fewer gay people in Montrose now, or they're just less visible (or both).
At one time when Cruise-y  (or Disco) Kroger was open, it was almost inevitable that I'd run into a friend, neighbor, or acquaintance when shipping there, but even that was rapidly fading by the time it was demolished. 
Montrose has a few gay bars left, and the reputation of being "the gayborhood" but the reality is that the days of it being a magnet for gay people have passed. As its reputation became more respectable, the influx of people have raised the rents beyond what many young  (or not-so-young) gay people can afford. 
I don't have an answer to your question, but would welcome any suggestions people might have.

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For better or for worse. This is what happens when cultures are integrated into mainstream culture. Their are tradeoffs. In the effort to be treated like everyone else, which I believe to be the right course, it does mean that something will be sacrificed and that is the homogenous culture built to shelter those within that culture from those who didn't want them. Gays no longer have only Montrose to go. They can go and feel comfortable anywhere they want. That will lead to what has been happening in Montrose now. People like to talk about how they want progress, but forget that the only way we know how to make progress is by leaving something behind. In this case what used to be Montrose will not be Montrose in the future. Just how I've observed everything from the outside looking in.

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Yes, that is the conclusion I have reached, too. Assimilation is a double-edged sword. I suspect the younger generation doesn't even notice because they never saw the heyday of Queer Montrose. Sad. I miss it, so I was hoping there might be some suggestions of surviving gathering places other than the bars.

Sort of like the Elves fading across the western sea, fading away....

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as a younger gay person, i do not and cannot understand the fixation on gayborhoods. I am integrated into my family. My friend group is diverse. A lot of the "old gay scene" seems over sexualized and i truly hate going to gay bars. when things are not needed, they are discarded. i'm not sad to see the times change. bulldoze it all and build an apartment. 

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It's all been going to Hell in a faaaaaabulous candy apple red handcart ever since the demise of the giant disco ball over Montrose & Westheimer during Pride. 🥷

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3 hours ago, goofy said:

as a younger gay person, i do not and cannot understand the fixation on gayborhoods. I am integrated into my family. My friend group is diverse. A lot of the "old gay scene" seems over sexualized and i truly hate going to gay bars. when things are not needed, they are discarded. i'm not sad to see the times change. bulldoze it all and build an apartment. 

Gayborhoods were havens of safety for times when the outside world hated and attacked us. They made it easier for us to meet and organize and share strategies during dark times (AIDS, police raids, and hate crimes). It allowed for a community to develop, something much harder to do online. Also many of us did NOT have families that accepted us; many were ostracized by family, church, and even  the workplace, so the gayborhoods were lifesavers (literally). Hence the fixation for those of us who remember.

Count your blessings that you live in a more tolerant time. And you are right, if something is no longer needed, it should be discarded. But sometimes we throw the baby out with the bathwater, we forget our history, and we repeat old mistakes just to "build more apartments". Assimilation is great, but don't forget the world you are living in is very, very recent and there are people out there who would love dearly to strip us of our freedom and put us back in the closet.

However, I digress. To refocus, I am NOT talking about the Gay bars or the sex scene or the gayborhood, but merely that you could go out and invariably see a significant number of Gay and lesbian people at your favorite restaurant on almost any night, and certain nights and places catered to Queer folk even though they were not Gay businesses.

Perhaps we are still there, but too diluted into the mainstream to be noticed? <sigh>

4 hours ago, mollusk said:

It's all been going to Hell in a faaaaaabulous candy apple red handcart ever since the demise of the giant disco ball over Montrose & Westheimer during Pride. 🥷

Gurl, it was FABULOUS wasn't it?

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Moved to Houston in 2002 when I was 22 ... Montrose was definitely a different place ... was out to the bars / clubs / restaurants several times a week.  Now that I'm 42 I just don't feel the need to "go to Montrose" as much anymore.  I did it for so many years and have basically moved on.   I still go out to the montrose bars with friends every once in a while, and we have a blast, just don't need to do it every week... other parts of the city, like Downtown, can be just as fun and sometimes more fun.   I just don't need to "be around other gays" every time I go out. 

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2 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child"
- King Lear

Calling an internet stranger "a thankless child" because they don't agree with you might be the kind of attitude that has caused me/others to believe that the "gay community" is a myth. 

I knocked on doors and volunteered with lgbt and progressive groups in suburban Austin before I could vote and before gay marriage was legal. My parents threatened to kick me out. The only reason they didn't was threat of CPS involvement and a supportive aunt.

When I went in search of the supportive communities others waxed poetic about, I didn't find them. I firmly believe the 'gay community' was dead before I reached adulthood; it's not my generation's fault. The only accessible remnants of it were bars, where I've been roofied and sexually harassed while working (i used to work in sexual health doing testing and providing safe sex supplies, you know, trying to help the 'community').  

Your experience are yours, my experiences are mine. There's no reason to chastise and demean other people. Peace. 

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Goofy,

Thanks for your work, but you do come off as flip, without acknowledging the many, many generations who fought, protested, took great risks and even died for future generations of gay people. The work is still not done, but we are Light Years ahead of where we were just a couple of decades ago. 
Sorry that you were never able to connect with the community that you sought, but I still find the community that I found supportive, entertaining and important to me.  No, the bars are not the whole community, but they are an important part, so when you say destroy it and replace it, it definitely comes access as something only “thankless child” would say.  

I’ll be looking forward to gathering with new and old members of the community, out at the bars, next Sunday, as I often do. Your, welcome to join. 

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