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>Gay bars don't exist in most suburbs

Neither do straight bars. Where I'm from we call them "bars", and they cater to no specific culture.

If you're a gay dude in a straight bar, you become quickly aware about how the culture isn't really set up for you, mostly in terms of sheer numbers. Of course one can just go to hang out, but if you're looking for companionship or at least the chance of it, traditionally gays have had to have a place to go where they'd have a better than 5% chance that the guy that is funny/interesting/good looking isn't straight.

Additionally, sexual orientation isn't a "culture".

No, but there are cultures that are near-exclusively tied to sexual orientation ("Mainstream-gay culture" for instance). People who are rejected by the culture they grew up with tend to gravitate towards those.

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