PORTLAND, Maine (NECN/Danielle Waugh) — The only gay nightclub in Portland is closing. The owner calls it a bittersweet sign of the times.
"We don't have the crowd we used to," said Joshua Moody, who has owned Styxx for 12 years.
It's in line with a nationwide trend: as more members of the gay community branch out and feel welcomed and accepted in all kinds of bars and clubs, the traditional places lose business.
"We never really got the younger gay generation that needs the gay club as much as the older one did," said Moody.
Styxx will close in January after decades in downtown Portland.
"It's sad," said longtime patron and part-time DJ, Chris O'Connor.
When he moved to Maine 18 years ago, O'Connor found a home at the nightclub. He said he has noticed a decline in business at the bar, but was still hit hard when the owner announced the closure.
"We actually sat around and cried," said O'Connor. "It's been a part of our lives for so long."
Longtime gay bars in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have been closing. Burlington, Vermont, hasn't had a gay bar since 2006, when Pearl's closed.
"I think there are other ways people are finding community," said Matt Moonen, executive director of Equality Maine.
Moonen said the fight for LGBT equality has led to widespread acceptance, and people feel "safe" going to a variety of bars.
"It's great to see, but this is one of the side effects of that," he said.
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