Breaking: Pegasus to Close

Wow, this is incredible news.  The remaining fixture of Pittsburgh's gay nightclub scene is closing on December 6, 2009.

“Back when the Pegasus Lounge first opened, it was a safe haven for
gay people to be themselves and meet others with like-minded interests
without the worry of being hassled,” said Noxon, 49, who has owned the
Downtown nightclub for five years.

“But now there is much greater acceptance of the (gay and lesbian)
lifestyle. People can pretty much go where they want and be who they
want to be without worry. So, in a sense, we're victims of the progress
that has occurred,” said Noxon of McKees Rocks, who owns two other
clubs in the city.

On Friday, Noxon announced that the Liberty Avenue club will close on Dec. 6 after 29 years in business.

The article in the Trib goes on to describe the nearly 30 years Pegasus has been serving the community with regard to everything from safe haven to HIV testing.  In recent years, the club has become a popular scene for young men and women, but they don't purchase the alcohol necessary to keep the bills paid.

Noxon makes good points.  Conversations with my friends about their nighttime activities centers more around LGBT-friendly activities.  Inclusivity is reducing demand for exclusive spaces.  Mayoral candidate, Dok Harris, hangs out at 5801 and did so far before he launched his campaign.  The “queer events” list and calendar have a multitude of events that are identified as “not specifically queer” or driven by queer groups/organizers, but open to the larger community as well. 

Pittsburgh has been known, even lauded, for preserving cultural heritages.  As a child, I remember Slovak and German and Italian clubs, parades and Kennywood days.  That certainly continues, but my Dad was able to join many of those clubs and he's not a bit Slovakian.  LOL.  We've also never successfully sustained a lesbian nightlight scene.  Rather than a lesbian bar, we have one floor of a gay owned club and one floor of a straight owned club that has a thriving neighborhood pizza scene. 

What I am noticing are groups of reconfigured community members gathering around common interests.  Dykes on Bikes.  The Dyke March.  The Queer Women's Dinner and Book Club.  Even the terminology of “dyke” and “queer” changes the traditional L/G/B/T divide and creates new opportunities to interact and engage within and beyond our community.

Still, it is sad to see Pegasus close.  There are other gay bars and I'm sure they will evolve and continue to survive.  But not flourish.  And, as Noxon points out, that's how progress works.


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