The LGBT community is closer than ever before to being equal before the eyes of the law in relation to marriage equality. With the demand and passion surrounding this issue from people throughout the community, soon homosexual couples in Australia and around the world will have equal access to a wedding ceremony and the rights that come from this.

With this will come a number of changes that will trickle into effect the longer that this law is enforced. Many same-sex couples will become more integrated within society, instead of being a tokenistic occurrence, and from this eliminating the stigma and alienation associated with these couples and their subsequent families.

Homosexuality, and the lives of homosexual individuals and their partners, is becoming more and more normal, and with this normality comes the power that extinguishes homophobia and misunderstandings.

But as we strive for this normality, there is an area in current society that may be keeping this from happening.

Gay nightclubs and bars have been a vital part of enriching and establishing the lives of LGBT individuals, whether they be young or old, out or closeted. They provide a space for people of any situation or sexuality to feel comfortable in their own skin and know that they are surrounded by people who are in similar situations to themselves, or have been in their shoes at least once in their lives.

Having a place to relax and shed insecurities, specifically in relation to sexuality, is fundamental in producing LGBT individuals with happy and healthy minds and lives. These places provide a space where everyone is celebrated for who they are and where they can feel that they do not need to put up a façade that they may see as necessary during their day-to-day lives.

But whilst at this point in the quest for equality, LGBT-oriented spots are a necessity; the goal for the future surely must be that these places are available only on demand, and are no longer essential.

Nightclubs that do not identify as catering solely for the LGBT community do not then become ‘straight-clubs’ by default. These nightspots are for everyone in the community who are looking for a place to drink, dance and/or socialize.

Unfortunately at this present moment, it is obvious that a percentage of the LGBT community do not feel comfortable, and possibly safe, spending the night hand in hand with a partner of the same sex at these venues – and so ‘gay clubs’ cater to this demand.

But as these relationships become more accepted by the community, it seems that the ultimate goal should be for every person of any orientation to be comfortable being who they are no matter where they are.

Confining the LGBT community to only a few spots around the city where they can feel comfortable will only cement the divide that currently exists.

But as is apparent from the current situation, equality in the eyes of society is not fast nor easily done, and so – unfortunately – there will be a disappointing few among us who keep members of the LGBT community feeling uncomfortable about integrating fully into nightspots that do not specifically cater for the gay community.

Whilst there is certainly no undermining the importance that gay nightclubs provide to members of the LGBT community, no matter how comfortable or not they may be in being who they are in life, the hope in the future will be that the segregation between the gay and straight community will be as misunderstood and dated as we today see the segregation of races only decades ago.

“No freedom ‘til we’re equal, damn right I support it”

– Macklemore

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