A new study on the loss of LGBT+ bars, clubs and nightlife venues sheds light on a national trend: even before the pandemic, we were losing our LGBT+ social spaces. More than a third of gay bars and half of lesbian bars closed between 2007-2019. If you think gentrification and dating apps are the primary causes, think again. The answer is far more complicated. This interview unveils the truth about why it’s still important to maintain physical spaces for the LGBT+ community to socialize.
Greggor Mattson is Associate Professor of Sociology at Oberlin College. He teaches courses on sexuality, cities, law, and nightlife, and also coordinates the Cleveland Immersion Program. He researches the spatial dynamics of sexuality, including small-city gay bars, LGBTQ communities and gentrification, and bars and subcultures.