Monday, December 03, 2007

A bucket of good cheer

One thing that didn't get into my Boston Globe story on the disappearance of gay bars was the Use Me team, a group of volunteers from Boston's MALE Center who distribute condoms and safer-sex education at bars. Programs like this have been around for a long time, and I remember being approached by friendly young guys with rubbers when I first went to bars. I have to say I was always disappointed to realize their interest in me was charitable rather than carnal, but it was still better than realizing that the cutie talking to me on the bus was recruiting for his Bible study group. Anyway, one of the Use Me guys made the point that, with fewer gay bars around, the team had to develop "more organic" or "stealth" approaches to safer-sex education. For example, he said, "we have some people who just put out a bucket of condoms in their living room for friends to take." I guess I'm on the wrong side of that generation gap. I'd sooner expect to see a bucket of anti-depressants in the living rooms that I frequent.

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