Daily Tele: Sydney’s gay heart Oxford St plays it too straight for some

IT WAS the heart of gay Sydney – but now Oxford St is going straight.

The one-time bastion of Sydney's gay community is giving way to more straight venues and is even home to the most heterosexual institution of them all – a wet T-shirt competition.

There are now just three openly gay venues along the strip – the Stonewall Hotel, The Palms and the Oxford Hotel. These are outnumbered more than three to one by straight venues such as Oxford Art Factory, Havana and Spectrum.

The change raises fears the colourful atmosphere that attracted people to what was Sydney's premier entertainment strip is being driven away.

And with the switch has come concerns of an increase in violence.

Rainbow Labor convenor Michael Vaughan said while Oxford St had always welcomed straight and gay alike, there needed to be a balance.

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