Something Eloise said made me remember what I think was the only time I’ve ever been to a gay club (because, you know, I’m not gay, and I’ve never been that keen on clubbing anyway).
It was Love Muscle at the Fridge in Brixton, which, slightly startlingly, still seems to exist. Not the nightclub – I know that still exists – the fact that the same gay night is still going with the same name. It must be over a decade since I went there. The men were all in DMs, jeans and white T-shirts, which must date it quite badly.
I remember being struck by how male the atmosphere was; blokey even. I think the only other time I’ve been in quite such a male-dominated atmosphere is at a football match. That shouldn’t really have come as a surprise, but our culture is so keen to portray gay men in terms of effeminacy and (double-edged, this) stylishness that it really did come as a surprise to see the dancefloor full of men who were not buff, effeminate fashion mavens but just rather ordinary-looking men who didn’t look that special in the jeans and T-shirt combo, and didn’t dance that well, and were generally rather like any dancefloor-full of London men on the pull.
The danger of stereotyping is not that the stereotypes are out-and-out lies, but that they contain such a partial and simplistic version of the truth.