Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Matthew Parris: I Saw A Male Stripper In A Go-Go Bar

"Last Wednesday night, on my way home from Harrow, I called in late at the White Swan in Limehouse in the East End of London. A group of friends had texted me to say they’d dropped in for Mr Amateur Strip Night — and would I join them?
"It was exactly 15 years since I was last there and things have changed in the world of strip-shows at gay pubs...
"But how diminished an audience! And how much less thrilling the atmosphere today.
"It’s all legal now. The sense of an underground culture has gone, the sense of danger, and with it some sense of community . . .
“Spare us,” I hear you say. “He’s turning into one of those ghastly old gays who claim to miss the days of illicit gropings with guardsmen in St James’s Park, and get nostalgic about the ghetto.” I’m not and I don’t.
"Almost everything has been gained and I wouldn’t have it otherwise. But something, however slight, however evanescent, some sense of the intimacy of shared disgrace, has been lost. And, no, those Wednesdays at the White Swan must never return. And, yes, I do miss them."

Mr Matthew Parris in his Times' column.
I bet he does miss groping guardsmen - just a bit...

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