The Changing Mix of Gay Bar Subtypes after COVID-19 Restrictions in the United States, 2017 to 2023
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic marked a dramatic change in the gendered composition of gay bars and a slowing rate of overall decline. Trends are drawn from historic data from printed business guides supplemented with two national censuses of online business listings for LGBTQ+ bars. An online census shows a rebound from a nadir of 730 gay bars in spring 2021 to 803 in 2023. Bars serving mostly or only cisgender men plummeted in their share from 44.6 percent of all gay bars to only 24.2 percent. Bars serving men's kink communities also declined, from 8.5 percent to 6.6 percent of all gay bars. Bars serving men and women together increased from 44.2 percent to 65.6 percent of all gay bars. Lesbian bars nearly doubled from 15 to 29 establishments to 3.6 percent of the total. Bars serving people of color experienced a small decline in their share from 2019 to 2023.
Mattson, Greggor. 2023. "The Changing Mix of Gay Bar Subtypes after COVID-19 Restrictions in the United States, 2017 to 2023." Socius 9. DOI: 10.1177/23780231231181902.
Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World
Gay bars, LGBTQ plus placemaking, COVID-19 pandemic, Coronavirus closure orders, Queer space