North Bank Park: ‘Best Gay Swimming Hole?”

A couple of weeks ago, a good post by Jason Guard on the Byrd Park blog pointed out that GayOutdoors listed Texas Beach/North Bank Park as one of the “best gay swimming holes in Virginia.” Nude sunbathing is purportedly common according to the profile of Texas beach.  The below description from GayOutdoors might be dated, Guard pointed out: [...]

A couple of weeks ago, a good post by Jason Guard on the Byrd Park blog pointed out that GayOutdoors listed Texas Beach/North Bank Park as one of the “best gay swimming holes in Virginia.”

Nude sunbathing is purportedly common according to the profile of Texas beach.  The below description from GayOutdoors might be dated, Guard pointed out:

Texas Beach, Northbank Park: This swimming hole is a riverbank beach in Richmond. This is a popular summertime hangout visited mainly by gay men. Vice cops have conducted sting operations here in the past in response to complaints about sex, but their presence seems to have diminished over the past several years.

Guard wrote, “it’s worth noting that Texas Beach could also be described as a top redneck swimming hole, a top punk-rock swimming hole, a top dog frolicking swimming hole, and simply just a beautiful piece of the river for anyone to spend time on, without much chance of trouble of any kind (except for poison ivy).”

Exactly. He’s correct. We tend to stereotype areas of the river just like we stereotype areas of the city. Why? Do you care about the reputation? North Bank and Texas Beach is home to some of the best river spots on the James and I’ve been there many times, including taking my children there half a dozen times. I’ve never seen any human activity there that made me redirect my kids or pack up and leave, etc. I’m sure there is something to the “gay” stereotype….not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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Phil Riggan