Strike a pose there’s something to it: Imagery in gay clubbing (1989-2000)

Okay disco dears this is where you come in. I’ve made my decision and I want you to be part of it. September 2009 and I made a change. Went back to school with the aim of making it to university. Twenty years too late but perfection nonetheless. And I’m loving it. Only now I’m here I’ve gotta make something of it. Come out of four years of studying with a game plan.

So I’ve gone with the old adage. Write about what you know. The plan? Write about queer social history; academic, popular and (hopefully) readable. First step is my forthcoming dissertation and as I wondered what subject could keep me happily tied to my desk for a year and possibly lead on to a MA (fingers crossed) I had to go gay.

So gay I have gone and my dissertation ‘Strike a pose there’s something to it: Imagery in gay clubbing (1989-2000)’ will have plenty. How could it not? I want to examine the role imagery plays in club promotion and the effect it has on punters and the world beyond the dancefloor. Is there such a thing as a gay gaze? Where does club imagery come from? How does it make gay men feel? What if you don’t fit? Has it got anything to do with a certain Tom from Finland? How influential has gay clubbing been on house music and mainstream clubbing? And who are the players in gay clubland? What have they achieved and just why did they do what they did?

At the moment its all one hell of a broad stream of conciousness set off by a John Berger quote from Ways Of Seeing; ‘Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at…she turns herself into an object – and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.’ I wanna know what happens with gay men? How do they see themselves being seen and how does that effect they way they are, the way they play, the way a club is sold to them. I’m aware how broad my ideas are right now but with a little focus and plenty of support from you guys I hope to get there. Deliver something new, something worth reading and something I can be proud of.

So if you have something to share about gay clubbing between 1989 and 2000, if you have memories, flyers, videos, photographs and tales I can raid please get in touch via the form below or contact me on Facebook. I’m looking to interview promoters, DJs, clubbers and flyer / promotional designers this summer. There were and are some amazing clubs out there; Flesh, Trade, Shame, Wild Fruit, XXL, Horse Meat, The Cock to name a few. Were you there, part of it, on the dancefloor or behind the scenes?