How to Save Dying Gay Bars

Season 1 | Episode 5
20m | Feb 17, 2022

How to Save Dying Gay Bars 

Season 1, Episode 5

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for bars and nightclubs, many of which have had to shutter. But it’s been especially hard for gay bars, which have acted as safe spaces for the queer community for decades.

Gay bars have been suffering a slow, drawn-out death for years. Skyrocketing rental prices, diminished interest, and a shrinking economy have forced many queer spaces—including some legendary historic ones—to call it quits.

This week, Angela Misri speaks with writer KC Hoard, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Broadview Magazine, CBC Arts, and Xtra Magazine. And Sheena Rossiter speaks with Tim Singleton, an artist, designer, and illustrator from Toronto whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, HuffPost, Adweek, and more.

In this episode:

We hear how important gay bars are to the queer community.

We learn how gay bars have acted as safe spaces from which queer communities can flourish.

KC Hoard explains why these bars are starting to die off.

We learn about other queer community spaces that have popped up during the COVID-19 pandemic and some potential solutions to the crisis facing queer spaces. 

Then Sheena Rossiter speaks with Tim Singleton, who illustrated KC Hoard’s story on the decline of gay bars.

Finally, we check in on what we're talking about this week at The Walrus.


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Hosted and produced by Sheena Rossiter and Angela Misri, with editing by Sheena Rossiter.

Music provided by Audio Jungle. Our theme song is “This Podcast Theme” by Inplus Music. Additional music: “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab; “Every Morning,” Drone Trace Background,” The Introvert,” “Turn the Lights On,” and “Piztey” provided by Pixabay; and “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music.

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