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Image for Why the gay scene should not be your whole world

Why the gay scene should notbe your whole world

We have all heard the term ‘Scene Queen’ and many of us at some point have either been one or known one.

The gay scene is like a theme park full of clubs and social events, dance parties and sex parties, drag shows and $2 peeps. It’s glitzy and glamorous on the surface whilst seedy and seductive underneath.

It’s easy to get caught up in the scene when you’re young and fresh out of the closet. Having been raised on a steady diet of Skins, Queer as Folk, Kylie and bad drag shows, I know. I was one of the boys in his sister’s jeans bouncing up the street in a t-shirt three sizes too small. Hell I still do it sometimes. The difference now is that I know it’s a theme park. Fun to visit but not somewhere I want to live.

The gay scene is an interesting beast. It can be a comforting tolerant place where our sexuality is accepted and we can be free to explore who we are. It can be nurturing to those of us in need through support groups and new friends and it can be a lot of fun. It can also be intensely cruel, intolerant of difference and incredibly superficial.

The trick to surviving the gay scene is to remember that it is just that, a scene, and it is only one of many.

There is a very big world outside of the gay scene that should be explored. Diversity of experience and friends adds to a fulfilling life. The world is an amazing and diverse place and you should never underestimate the opportunity of meeting people who have interests other than clubbing.

There is a lot of benefit to be had from getting out of your comfort zone. Pushing the boundaries of our life brings new experiences and perspectives. Being uncomfortable is precisely the indicator that we are on to something new.

When I first moved to Sydney I wanted to meet people outside of the club scene. This is why I joined the lifesavers. Having a common interest is a great way to make new friends. It’s also why I started playing waterpolo. I wanted to meet people who I could share something with other than my sister’s jeans. Pursuing the things that I loved like swimming and wanting to be part of a team not only helped to keep me grounded but also gave me a wonderful chance find other ways to socialise without the need for pumping base and alcohol.

Whatever you think of the scene there is no doubt it can be fun but like all things moderation is the key.

Party safe people.

Catch up with more from Shannon on his blog here.



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doodle_chaser said on the 3rd Apr, 2012

Well said Shannon! Absolutely spot on.


TheOldie said on the 3rd Apr, 2012

yes most of us have been there , done that and a few SS'ers yet to do it so party safe.

I think my time going out on Oxford St lasted about 8 years . But it was only going out Sat night. Sometimes to a pub on Sunday for afternoon
drinks. Never lived anywhere near the St though.

Then I was fortunate to be there for the dance parties/raves at Banquet Hall now Dome, Govt Pavillion, some warehouses in Ultimo and Alexandria then Club Hordern and that period lasted another 3 years going to a party every 2nd weekend then eventually as the scene broke up into smaller parties and June long weekend, NYE parties died off we only went to parties 4-6 times a year tio now only 2-3 a year.

I love living where I am completely away from the whole St. Couldnt imagine living/shopping there full time but each to his/her own. I know some just love it/need it 24/7. Besides enough gays love over here anyway dont they Sneakos :)


Virgindirk said on the 3rd Apr, 2012

I was like this when I was 18 and first moved to melb from tassie, the gay scene was the best thing since sliced bread for me and I couldnt imagine one weekend without going to clubs and 'being seen on the scene.' sounds abit pathetic but at one point its all I seemed to care about.

I lucklily moved on from my scene obession and realised its not a happy and pretty place as it makes itself out to be. I still go out occasionally when I visit syd or melb but I dont feel the need to be attached to it. Sadly some guys just dont undertsand that.


ilbonito said on the 3rd Apr, 2012

I started late and really hit the scene for about 25-29. It was a magical, wonderful time and I love that I experienced it. What I don't love is this weird dichotomy some gay people have of "scene queens=pathetic losers". It is possible to like dancing and still have a brain and some EQ, you know.


wysi said on the 3rd Apr, 2012

I don't even know what the 'gay scene' is.

I don't even see the Mardi Gras.


Virgindirk said on the 3rd Apr, 2012

I think the real issue I find with of 'living in the scene' is that to many young guys who are discovering the scene for the first time or guys who have just come out they see the bars, nightclubs, SOP's etc as a some sort of haven rather than a place simply to socialise and pick up. They may have come from backgrounds where they expereinced homophobia or lived somewhere thay may not had anywhere to meet other same sex attracted people. They get overwhelmed at being in a place of acceptence and encouragment and they get addicted to it and suddenly they dont want to go back to live a 'normal life' they would rarther to live on the scene and be the scene.


sesame said on the 3rd Apr, 2012

u dont need gay scene if u play sports like soccer. :::rofl:::


Lazzarus said on the 4th Apr, 2012

I don't need "the scene" and it sure as hell doesn't need me.


Doolander said on the 4th Apr, 2012

This is a great article :)


Dateon107 said on the 4th Apr, 2012

THANKYOU! an article full of honesty re: the scene without flaming either side. I went for the first time last year and my first Mardi Gras this year, just to see for myself what it really was like - was alright, but Im really not the stay out all night clubbing kinda guy anyway, and I certainly wouldnt do it all the time.

I live an hour away from the city regardless, so the occasional trip in is a little bit of a hike and a bugger to get home again if you want an early one without taking your car in.

The main point as seen in this article though is realising while the 'scene' and mostly 'queens' that are the majority who attend regularly didnt represent my gay identity, I still felt the need to try it out for myself or that I still 'needed' it in order to meet more guys because there's not much visible or easy opportunity away from the city, and that it would be 'easier' cause a lot of guys converge in the same spot.

When in fact what I realised is meeting guys isnt the only thing thats done on the scene, therefore going for that purpose only leaves you disappointed more often than not, and nor is it the only way to meet guys, I just have to find the ways that work for me out in my neck of the woods. furthermore, not every guy goes to the scene. There's whole other 'gay' worlds out there.

I decided against going to malebox at Stonewall last week on this realization. Ive had the city clubbing experience, going in by myself on a wednesday night for an hour and a halfish just for hoping someone will hit on me or ill make a new friend wasnt really worth it. maybe I'll go for a drink again on some other night down the track - but just to have a good time, not in any rush.

Plus I can do other stuff closer to home. :)


NATEE said on the 6th Apr, 2012

Yes well said mate. I kind of thought this was your article, before I even knew who was the author. Seems like a lot of your articles are about the social 'gay' world. I personally like how you explore all aspects without a dogmatic view to many issues in the 'gay scene'.


HubbaHubba said on the 6th Apr, 2012

Would the article's argument still be valid if it was referring to people religiously attending church? Or their ethnic ghetto? Or frequenting the gym?

Gays need to stop beating themselves up all the time. You can bet your bottom dollar that the christians and Muslims aren't berating themselves over attending their church service without fail.


sneakos said on the 7th Apr, 2012

great article, like others have said, i rarely venture out to oxford street these days, and even in th past only went along occassionally. im much more comfortable @ fri nite football with mates, or @ th beach in summer and a local pub with a good band if im going out @ nite. th whole QAF kinda thing was just a "scene" i never got into. th times i have been to stonewall (for friends b'day etc - with name tags lmao :D) or similar i have had fun, as i did being a participant in mardi gras a few years bac.

id rather be up or down th coast for a weekend away, and/or up early and doing some kinda sport/training in th mornings, dinner and just hanging out with friends. even a w/end arvo in winter can be down @ th local oval watching park footy - costs less than an NRL game :)

i guess th point is diversity - that for some th "scene" is their thing and thats great and for others its not and they, like me, may have other interests. it dont make one rite and th other wrong - just is further example of th wonderful diversity within out own community

(and yep Oldie, i love living over th north side now - after 20 yrs in newtown/surry hills/redfern :))


gayambassador said on the 7th Apr, 2012

my comment wont post :-(

worked after I posted this though for some reason


gayambassador said on the 7th Apr, 2012

The scene is only the tip of the iceberg

Extract from CHAPTER 19 of A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth.

In every major city around the world there is a strip or suburb where the gay community becomes visible. In New York it’s Greenwich Village; San Francisco, the Castro; in Los Angeles, West Hollywood; London has Compton Street; in the Greek Islands it’s Mykonos; in Melbourne it’s Prahran; in Brisbane, the Valley, and Sydney has its famous Oxford Street. In these places young gay men and lesbians, and others not so young (like me), can more freely come to terms with their sexual orientation and experience the rites of passage of being gay. These communities provide a haven where gay and lesbian people can express their identity and enjoy the opportunity to evolve.

Many people wrongly judge the gay community, believing that gay life revolves around endless sexual encounters, bars, nightclubs, dance parties and drugs; this is often referred to by preachers and others as the ‘gay lifestyle.’ It’s interesting to note that those who speak so knowledgeably about the ‘gay lifestyle’ actually don’t know any gay men or lesbians. This knowledge is gained by observation from elevated ecclesiastical towers constructed to separate them from the world Jesus called them to minister to. In every major city there is also a red light or sex area where heterosexuals go and play, yet no one calls this a ‘heterosexual lifestyle.’ The majority of gay and lesbian people no more relate to zones like Oxford Street than heterosexuals do to red light areas like Sydney’s Kings Cross. The party subculture exists in both worlds and has never been exclusively homosexual (although some think we do lights, music and costumes better, honey).

To say this ‘gay lifestyle’ is shared by the whole gay community lacks understanding, as this is only the tip of the iceberg. Underneath this visible expression are thousands, even millions, of gay men and lesbians who live everywhere, from the ‘gay ghettoes’ like Darlinghurst, to the suburbs, to the towns and rural areas. Whether single or partnered, they are just like everyone else, working as doctors, teachers, lawyers, labourers, business owners, mechanics, salespeople, factory workers, nurses, shop assistants. Some even have children! They live lives of unintentional activism, by gaining acceptance from neighbours and work colleagues as people of value just by being who they are—normal, decent, law-abiding citizens. Some have lived together as partners for ten, twenty, thirty, even fifty years, demonstrating that being gay or lesbian is not about what goes on the bedroom, partying or being outrageous. It’s much deeper than that and we value the same things in life that heterosexuals do: love, friendships, happiness, companionship, intimacy, to make a difference where we can, and to treat people with respect.

By 1995, I was embracing my opportunity to enjoy the tip of the iceberg..........


Brad_Woodford said on the 7th Apr, 2012

Would the article's argument still be valid if it was referring to people religiously attending church? Or their ethnic ghetto? Or frequenting the gym?

Gays need to stop beating themselves up all the time. You can bet your bottom dollar that the christians and Muslims aren't berating themselves over attending their church service without fail.

Although you could possibly draw some parallels between all examples. In my experience, often people who are the hardcore go to church without fail types, have a lesser grasp on the real world than those who are more casual church goers. Hardcore religious types tend to find themselves being guided in life entirely by what goes on in church, and therefore its not always consistent with the real world.

The same could be said for the gay scene. Often the people who practically live every dying minute on the dancefloor at a gay club, dont have much of a grasp about how things are in the real world. Where as the more casual clubbers seem more atuned to seperating the scene from what life is really about.

The gay scene has its place, and it can be a good way to meet people or socialize with friends. However if your only exposure to other gay people is through the gay clubs, its more likely that you are going to have somewhat superficial and non genuine friendships which are largely based around drinking dancing and rooting and not much more.


davewb said on the 7th Apr, 2012

The scene is very small. Far more gay men living lives with no connection to gay media, Oxford street or the scene. They appear to be the ones most capable of having healthy, loving and supportive relationships with each other, instead of being tanked off their tits every weekend getting loads in their ass.


ilbonito said on the 8th Apr, 2012

Why the dichotomy? You're either a caring, nurturing Earth father or a whore from Hell?


Sep77 said on the 8th Apr, 2012

So, in other words, don't live your life for bars and booze. Got it.


moviefan84 said on the 9th Apr, 2012

While I haven't as yet had the opportunity to enter the gay scene which I would like to eventually, although I have (as weird as it sounds) never been into the clubbing scene at all. I guess it is because I never felt overly comfortable, and never really cared for places that are really loud, and have really crowded small areas, I prefer more reasonably quieter places where I can sit down have a chat with family and friends, and have fun. I guess were all different in what we like and are comfortable with.


TheOldie said on the 9th Apr, 2012

thats exactly right Moviefan.

To me too many seem to question themselves and then get into a knot over their lives.

You cant will yourself to be living in the country or living the scene.

Its what you gravitate towards naturally.

Some will dip in and out of the scene all their lives. Others will hammer it for a couple of years and never go back and others will just live it 24/7 into old age.

Just accept what you enjoy so long as its legal. Only time you should question yourself are things like drugs/alcohol etc other than that enjoy yourself and stop questioning.

If friends cant accept you're a nun/sex pig/scene queen etc then they are not true friends.