Citing his Christian beliefs, and the worry that a pedophile-rights group might one day want to fly a flag of their own, Nova Scotia’s Bill Mills, the mayor of Truro, refused to fly a rainbow flag at city hall during pride week in 2007. His latest foray shutting out the gays? Closing off vehicle access to certain area of of Victoria Park — which local gays, and Mills, know to be a cruising hot spot. The Dutch city Slotervaart, southwest of Amsterdam, faced the same issue and opted to post signs in De Oeverlanden Park warning visitors of gay cruising areas so man- and dog-lovers could avoid one another. Two reasonable different solutions to the same problem of people having sex in public areas ostensibly nearby families and children. But should Truro tolerate public sex (as some horny man-lovers in the area prefer) or zone it out of existence? And is wanting rid an area of illegal public sex in and of itself homophobic?
You may imagine gay cruising areas as seedy spaces filled with closeted, sex-addicted men grabbing their crotches and blowing each other in the nearest bush or bathroom stall. Will your five-minute lover be a meth-head, your married boss, a cop, or a gay-basher? You don’t know! But they’re not always so fraught with horrors. Some of these spots are just meeting places for gay men to consensually get their rocks off, not much worse than the backrooms of bars you may attend (sometimes without knowing it, as we had the unfortunate experience of realizing once).
But while it makes better sense to fight for gay cruising areas in areas without other meet-n-greet options, upholding them as “a gay right” is untenable. Nevermind that park cruising, despite being one of George Michael’s pastimes, exists in an era pre-Manhunt and Grindr. It’s also illegal. And should be. No one wants to sit in spunk or accidentally pick up a Santorum-covered condom. And parents should not have to worry about their children, toddlers or teens, being exposed to public sex, homo or otherwise.