Sunday, May 03, 2009

Gay clubs should bring back Sunday tea dances


Given the “impending pandemic”, is the gay community affected by the notion of “social distancing”?

Well, I didn’t get out until Sunday, and I found JR’s in Washington as packed as ever. But around 5:30 PM I tried the Green Lantern, which had advertised a tea dance, and it was practically deserted. Later, I tried the delicious half-price burgers (whether or not red meat is “bad for you”) at the Level One in the Cobalt, which now faces stiff competition from the nearby Town DC. The name of the place does remind one of a space ship.

The Sunday afternoon tea dance used to work at a lot of clubs back in the 1970s (I seem to remember that at P-town). I wish the clubs could really bring it back. I haven’t seen it take hold anywhere recently, since it seems that gay disco time gets later and later, usually starting after midnight, it seems. It may start a bit earlier when they play 80s music.

The adult world is, indeed, in a separate space from the world displayed in the mainstream media, or workplaces, day care, and schools. There is a bit of a Darwinian attitude, that you have to be strong enough to get over anything, and go about your life. In the “real world” of families with children, everything is casually contagious, and there is zero tolerance for any kind of risk of exposure of one’s own kids to anything. Everybody forgets that most children get stronger and less sickly as they are exposed to and get over things. That’s just basic biology.

Of course, HIV disease is a totally separate thing. It’s still out there. You don’t see it, you don’t hear about it like you did in the 80s and early 90s. People can generally manage it with the super-expensive drugs. But it’s definitely there. It’s interesting to see how our perceptions of public health change depending on which communities are affected.

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