There are XXX Superdrewby members, Join for FREE now!
sometimes blue
DrewI am a thirty something married gay boy living in Sydney, almost on top of the gay scene but not in it! Why Sometimes blue?, because I love blue, but also I am sometimes blue :)
more about drew

Get me

Syndicate me

Add to Google

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oxford Street is a Homophobia free zone?

I simply don't understand how the simple act of declaring Oxford street a Homophobia free zone is going to achieve the goal of solving the violence issues in the area.

And what's more I am flabbergasted by the bigotry of people who think this is 'anti-heterosexual'.

We live almost on Oxford Street physically I mean, not in the sense of being out all the time. In fact we rarely go out to any of the clubs on Oxford Street. We hardly go out in that sense at all.

But I love Oxford street, for over 18 years it has been somewhere I look to as a sort of home. But over the last five to ten years the strip has become dirty, run down and very scary.

I can understand the intention of declaring it a homophobia free zone, but it ain't going to work.

I have had abuse hurled at me for years by people on Oxford street or just going by in their cars. It was pretty common back in the 90s to have idiots drive down the strip shouting ant gay bullshit out of their car on a Saturday night.

It was amusing when the lights changed and all of a sudden they had 50 poofters all converge on their car and surround them.

I have even been verbally abused by a staff member of one of the restaurants in my very own building. And trust me that was a very very very stupid thing to do when I control the Owners Corporation. - The restaurant no longer exists funnily enough :)

But back to the issue at hand, I was overjoyed when the Council rejected The Gaff's application to expand and was even happier when they rejected DCM's application to extend their hours.

The reason why?

Because I don't feel safe going near either venue at night. The patrons are drunk, they fight, they throw bottles, they throw up in the the streets and they are simply revolting.

And let's face it they hurl and shout homophobic abuse at the ' poofters' as they walk by to the gay clubs.

In response to having their extended hours application rejected, DCM has closed shop and moved up the road right next to Stonewall hotel..

That's just a great move!

Put alcohol fulled homophobes next to a club that attracts young gay guys.

As horrible as it sounds the first time a gay boy gets beaten up outside Stonewall by a Havana Club / DCM patron it will galvanise the community as a whole to address the issue. And unfortunately it's going to happen at some stage.

So declaring a homophobia free zone is not the answer and I'm not sure that increased policing is the answer either.

I think what is the answer is for the council to limit the number of clubs and fast food joints that are opening up and instead try to attract more restaurants and encourage the small wine bar / lounge venues.

The council has been doing allot to address the issue like rejecting applications from problem venues.

Let's face it the problems of violence on and around Oxford street stem from a couple of venues, DCM, Havana Club, The Courthouse Hotel, The Gaff and T2 (which has also had it's opening hours cut).

Is it coincidence that all these venues are straight?

The mixed venues seem to either have less violence issues like The Oxford and Colombian hotels because they are mixed venues and they are better managed.

It doesn't matter whether the club is straight or Gay we can and should coexist together on Oxford street but it should not be at the expense of people's safety.

Nor should it be at the exclusion of one over the other.

BUT if one group is violent of not accepting of the other then they should have the sanctions bought against them.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

American Apparel to open landmark store on Sydney's Gay Mile

As I wandered down Oxford Street the other day after getting my lunch I watched as workers put up huge signs in the windows of the old Gowings Store on the Corner of Crown and Oxford St, announcing an American Apparel store was opening soon.

I could understand if Abercrombie & Fitch opened a store on this corner, as it's kind of like the Centre of the Gay Mile, after all their advertising has to be some of the most queer of any 'straight' clothing manufacturer. But I had only vaguely even heard of American Apparel.

Mind you the particular corner of Oxford & Crown streets seems to have curse on it, almost every single company I have known to have a store in their from Remo in the eighties to Gowings have gone bust!

You know I never really knew much about this company until I did some web surfing and I certainly did not know that they are a really queer friendly company. Nor did I know just how kooky they are or how large or how much they are either loved or hated.

For their queer friendly attitude, I wandered around their website and came across the product on the side. It's called BUTT and it's a Dutch Gay Magazine.

I was like 'What The Fuck!', but this is absolutely real, American Apparel sells a Gay Magazine online called BUTT. How funny and camp is that!

For all of the hype though about American Apparel being an ethical sweatshop free clothing company, there are also the legendary stories of the sexual harassment and mysoginistic actions and activities of the founder Dov Charney, apparently he has done everything from masturbate in front of staff members to take staff members as his personal concubines.

They are the last major clothing manufacturer who still manufacture clothing in the USA, with a huge plant in LA. They pay up to $4 above the minimum wage for the people who make the clothes and the staff love them!

Even with Dov's somewhat strange sexualised corporate culture the staff members of American Apparel love working for the company, after all how many non tech companies give their staff members free massages?

And for even more fascinating bits of trivia about American Apparel, they are the preferred brand of clothing for edgy DIY T Shirt Companies like Steez Luiz, Jewcy & Skreened. Because of their sweatshop free ethical actions.

I loved this T Shirt of the Pink Triangle Anti-Bush, it's just so perfectly in keeping with the kooiness and off centre appeal of American Apparel.

After doing this discovery of American Apparel I am still not sure whether I will buy anything from them, but the thought of a slightly off-beat store opening up on Oxford Street is fantastic. Especially since The Pop Shop closed it's doors last year after being an Oxford Street Institution for over two decades.
I don't think this is the trend of the queer friendly businesses opening up on the strip again, but I would like to hope so.

Pinkboard Blog Lists HNT_1

    follow me on Twitter