"Whether you are for or against how corporate gay culture has become, one thing is for sure -- gays are in business, and business is good. But one industry has been in bed with the homos for much longer than Rainbow Oreos or Banana Republic, and that is the industry of alcohol.
"Oh, yes, brands like Absolut Vodka, Budweiser, and many others figured out a long time ago that gay culture is synonymous with the culture of cocktails. In the '50s and '60s, underground bars were the only refuge for gay men and lesbians. The modern-day LGBT rights movement was practically born in a bar, when the New York police went to raid yet another homo watering hole and the people at the Stonewall Inn finally decided that enough was enough. Even now, gay bars are where many young men and women first learn to become comfortable with their true identity, while the Long Island iced teas serve a little liquid courage until the nerves subside.
"This is where our history lives, and it should forever be preserved as a testament to the strength and irrepressible pride and frivolity that mark the LGBT community. The gay bar culture wasn't just about partying or numbing or booze. It was about escaping to the only place where anyone under the LGBT spectrum could go and be themselves. Give us your weirdos, your sissies, your bull dykes, your queers, and your queens, and we will give them a drink. Who could argue that the skinny boy with a lisp from Mississippi didn't have a damn good reason to polish off the bottle of vodka every Friday night? But today, that same nelly boy is now on the advertisement for State Farm Insurance, and the reason for being addicted to the gay bars well past your early 20s needs to be recognized for what it is: alcohol abuse."
-- Tyler Curry writing in the Advocate about the connection between gay culture and alcoholism. I've said before that I was shocked how much the DC gay community consumes alcohol at every event. As someone who doesn't drink very often, I agree with his statement that those who don't often don't seem to be as socially connected. There's a reason why a popular protest march chant is "Out of the bars and into the streets!"