Provincetown Becoming Less Gay?

This season in Provincetown has been very striking. It’s nearly a decade since I wrote The End Of Gay Culture for TNR, but only now that the small drip-drip-drip of change seems to have reached a tipping point. The Ptown I came to in the late 1980s is gone forever. Back then, the crowds that thronged here – far larger than today – were dominated by gay men of all ages. On big holiday weekends, there were long lines outside several bars and the entire street was a virtual club. The crowd at Spiritus Pizza at 1 am would stretch for blocks and last for a couple hours. Cruising was everywhere – on the streets, the beaches and the docks – all amid the somewhat dilapidated houses and sea-shacks where groups of gays would crash for night after night. It felt like an alternative reality – an oasis at the end of the world, a place where some of us had come to die but so many more had come to live for the first time.

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