Do Gays Really Love the Recession? A Response

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But she has such a trustworthy face!
But she has such a trustworthy face! Photo: iStockphoto.com

What on earth is happening over at the Observer? Since when has it turned into a gay pirate ship with cute queer scribe John Koblin at the helm? Two weeks ago it was their story about Andrea Mitchell as a gay icon. This week, it's a story about how the gays love the recession. Basically, the argument is that gays are going out and partying much more than they usually do this time of year. Clubs, especially underground or hedonistic ones, tend to do well in times of economic turmoil, because cops are focused on other things. Oh, and there are lots of sales at Barneys.

Our good friend, Big Gay Richard over at Gawker, has already poked a hole in this formula:

But let's not get too ahead of ourselves and ring in the bells of a new gay renaissance. One interviewed gay says he and his pals skip dinner in order to go out for drinks. Another be-underpanted twink says "I'm like $60,000 in debt from school. I'm fucked anyway." A third gay says of his shopping that he and has partner have cut down from $10,000 a month to a lowly $2,000. Which, ouch. Are the gays powering through these very early stages of the Big R because they really aren't affected? Or is this a highly delicate balancing act of desperation, denial, and willful ignorance? I think, more likely, it's an alt-ish weekly looking for a story and stumbling upon some drunk gay dudes and saying "Hey, wait a minute..."


Sounds right to us, especially since whenever we run into John Koblin, we are drunk and gay. He probably gets that a lot. But the other point is, shopping and clubbing aren't necessarily the universal indicators of gay happiness anymore. What is this, 1993? Are we all florists and suburban drama teachers? We're in New York City. Gays are allowed to work in finance now! And we still work in media, service, theater, retail, and fashion: all fields in the city that have been slammed by the recession. The economic disaster has made the folks in Albany give up on gay marriage for the year, something that last fall it seemed like we were really close to clinching.

The life factors that generally make gay people happy or unhappy make straight people happy or unhappy. Nobody loves a recession. Some gay guys drink, ogle go-go dancers, and dry-hump in public to forget about it the way straight guys drink, ogle go-go dancers, and dry-hump in public for the same reason. The only difference is that when gay people do it, it's cute.

The Gays Love a Recession [NYO]