A most preposterous magazine article appeared last weekend in the Sunday Star Times newspaper, sadly not online, about how Auckland gay males are leaving clubland life behind them to set up love nests with their beloved. I'm sure you get the picture abroad too. Witnesses for the prosecution's case were my good friend Mike Binis and his partner Grant, and gay Auckland gardening icons Geoff Marshall and John Hayward.
With all due respect and congratulations to them for finding someone to set up house with, white picket fence and all, but extrapolating their lifestyle changes and claiming it to be some sort of paradigm shift in what gay men in general get up to these days left me smiling wrily. It's all too easy, especially for white middle class Sunday newspaper magazine readers and their editors, to think that when you have become too old to strut your stuff at a bar or club every night, or even weekly, everybody must be tired of it.
The article claims this "trend" has caused several Auckland gay venues, bars and clubs to close due to lack of patronage and the flight to the suburbs. But it conveniently ignored to mention a thriving sex-on-site industry that shows no sign of recession. Mike, of all people, should have mentioned that. I'm sure he did, but information about what real men (gay or not) actually get up to does not make for comfortable, albeit photogenic, reading at Sunday brunch time.
It certainly made for depressing reading if you happen to be not of a certain age with that been-there-done-that-fucked-the-natives sort of experience. Young gay guys happily continue to club, drink and cruise, as they have always done. And some don't even aspire to the suburbs.
Oh, and lest any of you become a little smug behind your white picket fence, yes, it was your boyfriend I met at the sauna last night, because he told me. Men are men, after all, and it's good to be a guy.
My friend Peter (a happy heterosexual, no kidding!) sent me the link to another gay venue story in the same newspaper. But again, it doesn't deal with any venues where the majority of Auckland men looking for each other's company go.