One of Taiwan’s biggest gay bars, Funky Club, will close by Christmas after “facing competition from a growing number of similar establishments” and converting itself into a karaoke bar, a move which reportedly lost it “a significant part of its regular customers, according to the Chinese-language news site Apple Daily.
The bar was an 18 and over club located in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei. The bar announced its closure on its Facebook page and thanked patrons, inviting them to visit for farewell drinks. However, the announcement didn’t offer an explanation for its closure.
Regardless, many patrons left comments lamenting its sudden closure and declaring it “an end of an era.” For many, the bar was their first-ever gay bar experience. Others declared that many LGBTQ Taiwanese people shared the bar as a “common ancestor” of their youth.
The bar regularly hosted holiday parties, drag performers, novelty dancers as well as hunky gogo boys who would strip and host cheeky games on the bar’s dance floor. The bar actually looked pretty badass, going by the pictures below.
Here are some photos from Funky Club:
Funky Bar’s closure comes two months after Taiwan hosted the largest Pride event in Asia (a celebration with over 118,000 attendees) and seven months after a historic court ruling guaranteeing nationwide marriage equality no later than May 24, 2019.
Interestingly, the greater acceptance of gay people in society can sometimes inadvertently cause gay bars to close. We’ve covered the phenomenon in-depth, but as gay people feel more welcome in their own families and neighborhoods, they feel less of a need to congregate in gay-specific venues.
Nevertheless, gay people in Taiwan still experience homophobia and familial rejection, caused in part by a societal expectation of children to marry and raise kids to help care for their parents in old age.
Featured image via Funky Club’s Facebook page