Wire Magazine to New Times: South Beach Is Still a Gay Mecca

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Not long ago, New Times ran a story titled "Escape From South Beach," which makes the case that the epicenter of the gay community is no longer in South Beach. Miami Beach's gay paper, Wire Magazine, apparently took it personally. This week, editor Thomas Barker dedicated an entire issue to "a rebuttal."

His article makes one or two interesting points, but it reads more like a SoBe travel pamphlet than any form of journalism. Behold the enormous pullquote from gay nightlife promoter Edison Farrow, with this not-at-all career-motivated point: "When I talk to people from out of town, they always ask me where the gay restaurants and coffee shops are, and I always tell them South Beach is an integrated community."

In other words, Edison, there aren't any left.

Mixed crowds are great, but let's not pussyfoot around it: South Beach has become gentrified, gay businesses have closed shop, and many GLBT folks have moved away. In print, Barker wrote, "the author Natalie O'Neill knew little to nothing about gay people who call South Beach home" and "should dig deeper into our community." (Guess what, Thomas? It's our community too.)

He had different things to say when I called him. "I think it's great that you wrote it," he gushed. "It made city officials work harder for us."

So why bash your fellow gay-lovin' weekly?

"Well, a lot people I talked to afterward just disagreed."

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