Wise & Young

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Is it Shade?

Is it shade:

Like I have stated earlier in postings DC is what I like to call, Dirty City. Not for the people being dirty, but their actions. For young gay black men the rate of HIV infection is greater in DC than it is in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. But another way the Dirty City nickname applies is how the nation’s capital politics, instead of doing the bidding of the people. The DC government does the bidding of some of the newer residents in DC. DC for the past decade has been undergoing a gentrification renaissance of sorts, whereby more yuppies move into the district for its cosmopolitan feel, great public transportation, and for many the housing market is cheaper than in the DC metropolitan area. But yuppies seem to forget that they live in an urban city with many of the issues and amusements of an urban area. It’s ironic that many of the reasons that yuppies move to DC or any urban city are the very things that they try to get rid of once they become residents. Perfect example is DC’s lack of gay night life, in the past DC was known for its gay nightclubs, bars, and adult amusements. But when the yuppies started clamoring for a fucking baseball team, yes a damn baseball team, seemingly oblivious to the fact that DC a football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and women’s basketball league. In order to accommodate the yuppies, DC politicos basically bullied many of the gay venues, located in SW to make room for a baseball stadium, and a parking lot.

Recently one of the more infamous venues that was shut down to make way for the yuppie interest, the Glorious Health and Amusement Club (read adult bookstore), re-opened in May of 2007 in NE under the name 2120. But as of Tuesday the 28th of June, club 2120 is being shut down. Why, you guessed it yuppie interests. Well, at first that’s what I thought, but to be more specific its not just yuppies in general, most are too squeamish to really deal with gay sex and adult venues. It has more so to do with gay yuppies, the DuPont, Logan Circle type. Now you’re probably saying to yourself it would seem that gay yuppies would be for a gay adult themed anything. Well easy, see the Glorious Health Club, aka the follies, was predominately a spot where the black gays would go. Yes there would be a few non blacks in the crowd but it was pretty much unspoken that black gays and those who had a fetish for them would go to follies, while white gays and their admirers would go to Crew Club, and Men’s Parties. It would stand to reason that club 2120 would attract the same crowd. Now, some are probably thinking that I’m some gay black militant out to think that white gays in DC are hell bent on riding the city of black gays.

Think about this, DC is very much a southern city; many whites and black regardless of orientation do not intermix outside of work and work related activities. Also, I have frequented white gay clubs in various cities, and I have never gotten the distinct impression that I am out of place and my presence is not welcomed as when I have been to the white gay clubs in DC. My friends who have been to the Crew Club have even felt the twinge of racism there as well. Couple this with the fact that many of the arguments that are now being used to shut down club 2120, i.e. it possess a health risk, the owner misrepresented what type of establishment it is, and pretty much the good old “not in my backyard” arguments, are all arguments that would be even more applicable to the Crew Club and to Men’s Parties. While the Crew Club has a tasteful website, ads in the local gay newspapers, and bills itself as a gym, it is located within three blocks of the Whitman Walker Clinic and Headquarters, an organization helping those living with HIV/AIDS. It also is in the heart of one of the most sought after communities in DC, Logan Circle, a short walk to Downtown, and DuPont Circle as well.

Ironically Men’s Parties is located even closer to Whiteman Walker and it’s in the same highly prized neighborhood. So why are these places that peddle smut, and sex, not undergoing the same scrutiny or push to get them out of such neighborhoods, easy their clientele is white.

White gays are quickly becoming the new minorities in power in DC, many of the neighborhoods in DC such as U Street Cardoza, Capitol Hill, Deanwood, Trinidad, and of course DuPont have benefited from the white gay yuppie influx. Accordingly, DC responds and keeps venues that cater to them open regardless of the type of venue.

DC used to be called Chocolate City, and coincidentally also known as the Black Gay Mecca. Now things are changing, with the high tide of gentrification, its now threatening to push out gay blacks from the city and the region by its decrease in affordable housing opportunities, lack of recreational activities that cater to the Black gay culture, and the lack of inclusion into the larger gay dialogue as well. Hopefully I’m being overly dramatic and completely off the mark here, but the closing of club 2120 is merely a sign of the times, next thing you know they will be trying to close the Delta Elite as well.

Just my thoughts

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  • Wow... I lived in DC for ten years and it is absolutely in my TOP 3 favorite cities. While there, I admittedly only frequented black establishments - The Mill, Delta, a few others - including Glory a few times. Everything has its time and place and yes, I'm disgusted to now see so many of the remaining haunts in DC being closed and pushed out. I don't think I can live in DC again, since the lure for me was the pride and strength of it's community of color. I'm coming down there in mid August and if I find out that my hang-outs are gone... so help me! LOL

    By Blogger Cocoa Rican, at 11:01 AM  

  • I lived in DC for 6.5 years beginning in 2000, and I would never say DC's nightlife was ever jumping. From Jennies... to the Mill.. to that rat hole Delta, they all sucked.

    And as for 2010 or the follies or whatever it is, I personally wouldn't want it in my neighborhood and would make sure it didnt come there as well. I also think with the HIV rate in DC places like that are just hazzards to health.

    However i do feel it is each person's own responsibility and right and if that is what they want to do more power... just not in my hood.

    By Blogger ReddMann, at 10:57 AM  

  • You post some good comments about the unfortunate separation of white and black gays. I really think that the closing of 2120 is due to the Ward 5 activists, though [who are predominately black straight people]. Maybe the reason the clubs don't reopen in Dupont is the NIMBY/yuppie attitude, but who would really want that in their neighborhood?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:57 PM  

  • racism in the lilly white "so called" gay community does really exist.

    they are just in denile, that's all

    but forget them, i sometimes sent out information about those people to hate groups just for fun.

    then they can do to them what i would do to them

    and not get blamed


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:23 PM  

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