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Author interview: Greggor Mattson – Who Needs Gay Bars?

18.00 – 19.30



Free entry

Author interview + reading: Greggor Mattson – Who Needs Gay Bars?

Greggor Mattson – Who Needs Gay Bars? Bar-hopping through America's Endangered LGBTQ+ Places

This event is organized in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy Helsinki.

Jarred by the closing of his favorite local watering hole in Cleveland, Ohio, Greggor Mattson embarks on a journey across the United States to paint a much more complex picture of the cultural significance of these spaces, inside big city gayborhoods, but also beyond them.

No longer the only places for their patrons to socialize openly, Mattson finds in them instead a continuously evolving symbol; a physical place for feeling and challenging the beating pulse of sexual progress. 

The question that frames this story is not asking whether these spaces are needed, but for whom, earnestly exploring the diversity of folks and purposes they serve today.

Loosely informed by the Damron Guide, the so-called "Green Book" of gay travel, Mattson logged 10,000 miles on the road to all corners of the United States. His destinations are sometimes thriving, sometimes struggling, but all offering intimate views of the wide range of gay experience in America: POC, white, trans, cis; past, present, and future.

Greggor Mattson, Ph.D., is an author and Professor of Sociology at Oberlin College and Conservatory where he teaches courses on sexuality, nightlife, and cities. He is the author of Who Needs Gay Bars? Bar-Hopping through America’s Endangered LGBTQ+ Places (Redwood 2023). His work on the topic has also appeared in Slate, Literary Hub, Business Insider, and The Daily Beast. Previously, he wrote The Cultural Politics of European Prostitution Reform: Governing Loose Women (2016). He lives in small-town Ohio, USA with a demon-sized chihuahua.

Greggor Mattson

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