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Ministry Of Sound’s Gay Roots

Reported by JontySkrufff on April 18, 2011

Ministry Of Sound founder Justin Berkmann was first inspired to set up the London superclub by the ‘almost post-apocalyptic, anarchic vibe’ he discovered in New York the mid 80s, he said this week.

The Londoner was chatting to the Independent to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the nowadays global clubbing corporation though said his first goal was the replicate the energy he discovered on Larry Levan’s seminal warehouse club of the era, Paradise Garage.

"It was in the middle of the Aids scare in New York, and so even though it was a gay club it didn't have that cruising vibe to it. Everyone was there for one reason only – to dance to the music,” said Berkmann, “You could see that everyone had their own plot, they danced in the same spot every week." (Independent: )

The importance of gay clubs in inspiring wider alternative culture was also implicitly recognized by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh some years back who admitted spending significant chunks of his youth in Scottish clubs.

“I started going to a gay club because we quickly worked out the best looking girls went there, to escape the unwelcome attention of the beer monsters who frequented the straight clubs,” he admitted in his weekly Telegraph column.

“It was prudent to act a little camp, as the straight, good-looking girls had no shortage of vanity, and would try to get you over to the other side,” he added.

His assessment matched the conclusions of the Sunday Times in 2003 who recognized the trend of straight men masquerading as gays for being an unusally successful tactic for attracting more women. 

“Pretending to be gay, or at least cultivating a certain ambiguity about your sexuality, gets you much closer to where you want to be, much faster,” The Times advised.

“It’s about a subtle blurring of the boundaries of sexual orientation with the sole purpose of scoring.”

Jonty Skrufff: