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Metro's Club of the Week

Splash/Club Furia

Thursdays and Saturdays respectively; Waves Smokehouse and Saloon, 65 Post St., San Jose; 408.515.9797; www.sjgay.com

By Todd Inoue

TO BE YOUNG, hip, gay and into club culture in San Jose presents automatic road blocks when planning a decadent night out on the town. A distinct lack of options has resulted in an exodus of potential customers to either San Francisco or the nearest DSL line. All respect to Mac's and Renegades, which have a sizable contingent of fans, but even their crowds will agree, there ain't much to do at night when you're gay in San Jose.

Club promoter and Point magazine publisher George Gonzales wanted to change people's attitudes about gay clubbing. "Not only are they going to San Francisco on weekends, they're moving to San Francisco because there's nothing to do here. With the gay culture being so club-centered, we see it as a social issue," he says.

To stem the exodus, he started two separate gay nights--Thursday's Splash and a Saturday gay Latin night called Club Furia--at Waves Smokehouse and Saloon. Gonzales brings in house DJs, go-go dancers, drink specials and an all-gay staff. Saturday ups the party with Latin house, salsa and cumbia music, and a midnight drag show. The turnout has been positive and growing since it debuted Sept. 18.

Gonzales is looking to do more, like adding book readings and live music, anything to get people away from the computer. The growth of Internet culture has been a blessing and curse to the LGBT community. Blessing that it assists in meeting and communicating with others. Curse that people spend so much time behind the plasma screen, they don't go out as much anymore.

"I want people to get from behind their computer," Gonzales says, with a sense of exasperation. "Our community's become so computer centric, we lost sight on the ways of socialization. It's about going out and meeting friends. Unfortunately with the computer age has forgotten about that. We offer a way to socialize."

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From the October 2-8, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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