Blog reader Michael Conboy was inspired by the tour and created a series of drawings of gay bars "by the dozen." Detroit was the first treatment, and a later treatment of LA gay bars and bath houses was part of a gallery show recently!
A Dozen Gay Bars, 2008
With the no-holds-barred frontier of the internet and an ever increasing acceptance by mainstream society, the neighborhood gay bar holds less importance every day. But with acceptance comes the loss of camaraderie that people sharing a common secret develop. And complete acceptance must not only be legislated, it must be believed. So, while the entertainment might be less fabulous, the crowds less “cutting edge” and the atmosphere less charged, these homely structures survive as safe spaces for a group still having doubts that it’s all okay out there. In presenting these places “by the dozen” I play off the very ordinariness of their exteriors which belies the importance they have as spaces sacred to a minority who thrive behind their walls.
[A free copy of the last porny issue of BUTT magazine to the first person to name all the Detroit bars pictured here! (Click for a larger version.) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers!]