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Historically the YMCA was a prime cruising venu for homosexuals.
"Cruising at the YMCA offered men a number of denial strategies. The physical facilities offered evidence that a man desired self-improvement but not proof that he accepted a homosexual identity. Yet it remained easy for a man to place himself in a situation where sex might occur. Many who participated in the thriving cruising scene in the YMCA remained closeted or self-identified as heterosexual outside of the building.
The 1940s through the 1960s witnessed the heyday of cruising at the YMCA. As the YMCA became associated in the public mind with virility, it attracted muscle men and lovers of muscle men. Members of the armed services and the working class were pulled into the YMCA by outreach programs that unintentionally also brought men who desired soldiers, sailors, and construction workers. It is this image of the YMCA as a sexual paradise that became immortalized in song by the gay-themed disco group The Village People in 1978.
The double entendre-filled "YMCA" featured a chorus of "They have everything for you men to enjoy, you can hang out with all the boys."
In the decades when homosexuality remained underground, the YMCA provided a safe meeting place for gay men."
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