The gay population of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood has declined dramatically in the past 10 years for various reasons. It’s not the gay epicenter it once was, which makes a lot of us sad because it used to kinda be “our” place where we knew we could go into a bar and find like-minded people. Now it’s home to endless ugly condo buildings, a huge spike in anti-gay crime, and tons of boring/douchey straight people. Sorry if that makes me sound like a bigot or something, but anyone who lives in that area or goes there often will tell you it’s true. The funky little bars and buildings are being torn down and replaced with ugly-as-shit condos, making it a more gentrified-ish Capitol Hill. The funky (sometimes skanky) charm of a densely gay neighborhood is all but gone.
So here’s were I really start to sound like a cranky old man: on a Saturday night on the Hill, you used to see groups of gay guys stumbling from bar to bar and giggling like schoolgirls. Or a larger-than-life drag queen (is that redundant?) bouncing down the street to catcalls from admirers, and owning every inch of that pavement. Or a couple of guys you know just met 10 minutes ago and are now on their way to one of their apartments to shag their brains out. Oh, and lots of other fun scenes. Nowadays on the Hill, you’ll still see those things. But really, you’re far more likely to see herds of sluttily-dressed girls clacking along the sidewalks, tapping on their cellphones and squealing loudly about their boyfriends or OMG guess what I heard about that bitch Kaitlyn. Or small clusters of obviously straight guys (really, we can tell) with their shirts half open, strutting their way to the next place they’re likely to run into the herds of straight chicks…which, unfortunately, happen to be what we used to consider gay bars. The gay presence is still there, of course, but it’s…muted. I don’t know how else to describe it, but outside of the bars there’s a resigned feeling of “Yeah, we homos are still around but now we’re sharing it with these people. This isn’t the place we knew.”
That’s why I love this sign and I wish more bars on the Hill would post it as well, because let’s face it: we’ve made a lot of progress in this country for acceptance and equal treatment of us gayfolk, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy our gay-only spaces in what is historically a gay neighborhood. I’m so tired tired of seeing gaggles of 20-something drunk straight chicks staggering in and scream-laughing about being in a gay bar — like they’re slumming for the novelty. You know the type: their shrill voices cut through even the loudest dance music, and they’re always ordering some shitty drink like a mojito that takes 10 minutes to prepare. Sometimes they’re dragging their uncomfortable-looking boyfriends along, but the boyfriends get it: this is not the place for them. Nothing brings down the mood in a gay bar like seeing a group like this come in. Yes, we get that you feel “safe” in our bars because we have zero interest in you sexually. No, we don’t enjoy your drunken, shrill banshee voices, drink-spilling, and bad hair. We’re just not in the mood, OK? And this is nothing against straight women, far from it — it’s just that straight women are the ones who choose to invade the gay bars, not the boyfriends. Usually the boyfriends are too scared and insecure to even suggest such a thing. (We don’t rape straight guys on sight, by the way. Don’t flatter yourselves, guys.)
I know all this makes me sound like some kind of anti-hetero gay racist. Gaycist? Whatever, I don’t care and I’m not the only gay Seattleite who feels this way. So kindly piss off to your douchey straight bars and take your terrified mongoloid boyfriends with you, mmmkay? Thaaaaanks gurrrllll!