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November 22, 2011 8:46 AM   Subscribe

A Girl's Guide to Attending a Gay Bar "If you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: keep your fucking bachelorette party out of our bars. If you treat my safe space like your zoo, I will seduce your fiance while you're out selecting stationary." See also: Queers Read This (1990), "Rules of Conduct for Straight People".
posted by sevenyearlurk (266 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
*boggles* There actually have been instances of women who've gone to gay bars and asked the men there to ogle their boobs?

Exactly how clueless are these women?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:51 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Note for mobile folks: First link is to Jezebel.
posted by zamboni at 8:53 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you treat my safe space like your zoo, I will seduce your fiance while you're out selecting stationary

Threatening people seems like a really bad way to get your point across. At the very least it clouds the issue. Or was this supposed to be a joke and I need to lighten up [Francis]?
posted by Queen Sabium at 8:53 AM on November 22, 2011


Wtf, I do all these things and I'm a straight guy! Ogle my tits, bitch, ogle them!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:53 AM on November 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


People "attend" gay bars?
posted by The Thnikkaman at 8:55 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bachelorette parties have ruined drag shows. And most of them don't even know they're supposed to tip!

I've been going to gay bars since I had a boyfriend come out to me when I was 17. There's no secret code of conduct, just be respectful. Sheesh.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:56 AM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wow, what a hateful article. I'm a queer woman, and I'll go into any damn bar I please.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:56 AM on November 22, 2011 [36 favorites]


It's so weird to come across the name of the bar where I fell off a stool while singing a suggestive version of "Grow For Me" while reading metafilter.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 AM on November 22, 2011 [23 favorites]


There's no secret code of conduct, just be respectful.

In my experience, "be respectful" counts as a secret to many people, even outside of bars.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:58 AM on November 22, 2011 [83 favorites]


I can't bring myself to click on a Jezebel link, but yeah, I've seen groups of women behaving ... unpleasantly ... in SBNY before, which pisses me off immensely as it is one of my few safe spaces in NYC for drunken funtimes.
posted by elizardbits at 8:59 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's so weird to come across the name of the bar where I fell off a stool while singing a suggestive version of "Grow For Me" while reading metafilter.

Wow. Maybe there's something about that play - I once found myself in a gay piano bar where a guy stood by the piano and sang "Somewhere That's Green."

The biggest change I can remember was that he changed the line about the TV to "Big, enormous twelve inch queen."

This pleased me.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:59 AM on November 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


I fell off a stool while singing a suggestive version of "Grow For Me" while reading metafilter

you probably shouldn't read metafilter on stage, then
posted by echo target at 9:00 AM on November 22, 2011 [30 favorites]


Wow, what a hateful article. I'm a queer woman, and I'll go into any damn bar I please.

Really. While some of the comments were just basic common decency (don't ask people to touch your boobs), the whole thing was permeated with a "this is our space and we only let you in because we're nice so behave" vibe that I found really unpleasant.

Of course, the only time I've been to a gay bar was to watch an ACC Tournament Final and it seemed pretty much like any other bar, only a man in an old fashioned diner waitress outfit was serving brunch downstairs.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:01 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


And, does anyone believe that the "group of women" this individual is talking about behaves in a different manner in a straight bar/disney world/family dinner situation? The gay bar didn't cause them to be disrespectful, that was firmly in place before they walked in the door.

I agree with roomthreeseventeen, this just comes across as arrogant and hateful...
posted by tomswift at 9:02 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Bachelorette parties have ruined drag shows.

I used to work in one of the few non-shady sex shops in the West Village. Outside of junkies, teenage shoplifters and people trying to return used toys, the one thing everyone working there inevitably grew to despise was bachelorette parties. We got piss-drunk people in all the time, especially on Saturday nights, but few of them were nearly as obnoxious and disrespectful as bachelorette parties.
posted by griphus at 9:02 AM on November 22, 2011 [12 favorites]


And most of them don't even know they're supposed to tip!

People tip drag performers? What's that about? I've never been to a drag show so I wouldn't know, but I would have assumed entertainment is entertainment. I don't tip comedians or musicians.

I have to agree that it comes off as a hateful article.
posted by red clover at 9:04 AM on November 22, 2011


This article stinks. The author has a major chip on his shoulder, like women are the reason he can't get any at a gay club. But I'm thinking maybe the problem lies elsewhere.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:04 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bachelorette parties have ruined drag shows.

Frankly, bachelorette parties ruin every place they go.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:05 AM on November 22, 2011 [82 favorites]


man thank you the baby jesus that i ain't straight

also this article makes me really miss changes in seattle and its tasteful saxophone picture
posted by beefetish at 9:05 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a gay man, I've never had a problem with straight people "in my space". Especially in drunk places. Its not like bars are some kind of sacred drum circle which must be held sacrosanct. Its a place where you go to get buzzed/laid.

And boobs are awesome!
posted by Avenger at 9:05 AM on November 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wow. I had no idea that all of this went on. I've done more than my share of gay bars, but was totally oblivious to this behaviour.

Mind you, I went to these gay bars in uni as part of a deal where my friend and I could go to one of my bars, and we'd do our own thing, or I could go to one of his gay bars, and he'd pay my cover and all my drinks all night long. So needless to say, I was totally oblivious to a lot of things by the end of the night.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:06 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you treat my safe space like your zoo, I will seduce your fiance while you're out selecting stationary

Stationery is spelled with an e. It's the stuff you buy from a stationer's. If it's stationary, you probably can't buy it, because it can't be moved anywhere.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:06 AM on November 22, 2011 [77 favorites]


I don't think it's arrogant or hateful. I think it's a pretty classic queer take on safe spaces. The point he's trying to make is that it ISN'T just like any bar:

"A gay bar is not just a bar full of gay people. If they were, I might enjoy them more. Instead, gay bars are the simultaneous womb and mausoleum for a Freudian-field-trip's worth of hope, desire, acceptance and regression. They're a bit like a family reunion. Take a group of otherwise sane, intelligent and respectful people. Plop them down in the same room together and watch the sparks fly. Gay bars are social spaces, meat markets, therapy groups, pop-up bacchanals. They are repositories for the cripplingly horny and terminally lonely alike."

As a queer lady (since we're throwing around our bona fides), I think this is rad. And, yeah, man thank you the baby jesus that i ain't straight.
posted by liketitanic at 9:07 AM on November 22, 2011 [31 favorites]



Nobody likes a tourist.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:08 AM on November 22, 2011 [34 favorites]


Don't talk about your boobs. Don't put them in my face. Don't ask me to touch them. Don't ask me to weigh them.

what
posted by zarq at 9:09 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's so weird to come across the name of the bar where I fell off a stool while singing a suggestive version of "Grow For Me" while reading metafilter.

Attempted multitasking claims another victim.
posted by tommasz at 9:10 AM on November 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


keep your fucking bachelorette party out of our bars

Hooray for diversity and tolerance.


I will seduce your fiance

I thought you guys always insisted that wasn't possible.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:12 AM on November 22, 2011 [12 favorites]


This is good information. I'm a straight man and can't stand Mardi Gras or Juggalos. Finally there is place for people like me to go and ogle boobies. Girls, I will see you this weekend at The Cuff.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:12 AM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


One must remain perfectly stationery while embossing the stationary.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:12 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


People tip drag performers? What's that about? I've never been to a drag show so I wouldn't know, but I would have assumed entertainment is entertainment. I don't tip comedians or musicians.

Drag is EXPENSIVE to accomplish, and usually the fee a performer is getting paid (if any) barely covers the costs. Tipping is encouraged.
posted by hermitosis at 9:15 AM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


I thought the point that JESUS FUCK THIS IS A *GAY* BAR was a valid one, but I also agree that his point could have been made with a lot less condescension.

Then again, it wouldn't get as many hits on Jezebel if it were written from a reasonable "Hey ladies, here's what you can do to make your Gay Bar Experience as pleasant for everyone around you as possible, in addition to feeling all fancy yourself." point of view.

Myself, as an equal opportunity queer, I avoid all bars equally. Of course, that's also because I am possibly one of the most boring people alive.
posted by sonika at 9:16 AM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


embossing the stationary.

Whoa whoa whoa, that's some crazy filthy language you're using there.
posted by kmz at 9:16 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am a little dubious of the claim that a gay bar is the author's only "safe space" in Manhattan.
posted by shownomercy at 9:17 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow, a lot of hate towards this article here and a disturbing amount of it sounds like the "reverse racism/sexism" nonsense MeFi usually hates.

I think this basic complaint is pretty valid: "If you treat my safe space like your zoo..."
posted by DU at 9:19 AM on November 22, 2011 [17 favorites]


Oddly enough, I stopped going to gay bars with my queer friends (male and female) because the gay males grab my boobs. Not all of them, just some of them. Maybe that only happens in mixed clubs rather than all male clubs, but even as a joke I don't like being groped. So I can imagine that some random chic asking you to grope them is just as odd.
posted by Malice at 9:19 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, those of you who hate the article--your bachelorette party was at a gay bar, wasn't it?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:19 AM on November 22, 2011 [14 favorites]


My objection was things like "don't dry hump your boyfriend. We don't want to see that."

Like there's none of THAT going on?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:21 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hooray for diversity and tolerance.

I didn't realize tolerating disrespectful drunken idiots was a pillar of civil rights.

I thought you guys always insisted that wasn't possible.

1) Bisexuals exist.

2) I think there's an iota of a chance that he wasn't entirely serious.
posted by kmz at 9:21 AM on November 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


My objection was things like "don't dry hump your boyfriend. We don't want to see that."

Like there's none of THAT going on?


I think the point is that queer people hear stuff like that in straight spaces (read: most of the world) all the time. And he was probably also being facetious.
posted by liketitanic at 9:23 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bachelorette parties act like that everywhere. They invade my safe space and accost me while I am enjoying my Bud and shot of Jameson's relaxing in the company of my fellow men, straight and gay. Demand I join them in their stupid bucket lists like "make out with a guy with glasses" offer me money to take my shirt off and make nuisances of themselves trying to get me drunk on jeager bombs. The only question I have is where I can find more of them.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:24 AM on November 22, 2011 [29 favorites]


There needs to be a companion article from a representative of the hetero world explaining to gay men why they hang out in gay bars. Because when you take out the fag hags and the girls who came with their gay friends you are left with a very odd crowd. People that want a space without consequences or judgement. After all, they are straight and you are gay. They can do whatever they like and when they sober up and go back to hetero-land no one will be there who knows that they accidentally punched a drag queen while dancing or got so drunk they threw up all over the bathroom.

From my experience these are the people that deminish the space. But they don't give a shit and no, they don't remember giving you head.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:24 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm, now that I think of it my bachelorette party was at a gay bar (Tracks, in DC) but they were known for having a mixed crowd and we all went there all the time anyway. (Plus the party itself was gay/straight mixed.)

People tip drag performers?

Yep. I mean, not in like Las Vegas I suppose, but if it's the sort of show where the Queens come out into the audience you're supposed to hand them cash.
posted by JoanArkham at 9:24 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will seduce your fiance

Yes, that's a joke. Were you picturing the the writer finding out who the b-ette is, tracking her down later, then tracking down her fiance, then somehow meeting him and turning him gay with the wand we all have, and getting him into bed?
posted by longsleeves at 9:24 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, they are all playing the same 12 year-old Whitney Houston remix but they exist for different purposes.

Nobody has ever explained the Whitney Houston remix thing to me but it is so true. I do not get why it must be played in every bar.
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:25 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, a lot of hate towards this article here and a disturbing amount of it sounds like the "reverse racism/sexism" nonsense MeFi usually hates.

The thing is things like "don't dry hump your boyfriend. We don't want to see that" is literally the exact reverse of something a homophobic person would say; I suspect reverse racism accusations would get more traction if people kept posting links that said "white people, stop eating so much damn watermelon."

My take is that all spaces should be safe for all people; the fact that many spaces aren't safe for gays is a good reason to create spaces that are, but it's not a reason to create a space that is unsafe or unwelcoming to straight people.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:25 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


I didn't find the article itself at all unreasonable, especially given that previously exclusively queer spaces seem to be becoming increasingly permeable with regard to the non-queer world.

I think part of the impression of this being "hateful" has a lot to do with the deliberately inflammatory subtitles. They do grab your attention but, other than that, I'm not sure they're doing the article a favor.
posted by treepour at 9:26 AM on November 22, 2011



My take is that all spaces should be safe for all people; the fact that many spaces aren't safe for gays is a good reason to create spaces that are, but it's not a reason to create a space that is unsafe or unwelcoming to straight people.


Give me a call when all spaces are safe for all people and we'll talk.
posted by liketitanic at 9:26 AM on November 22, 2011 [25 favorites]



Nobody has ever explained the Whitney Houston remix thing to me but it is so true. I do not get why it must be played in every bar.


There are few things in life I am willing to die for but one is that my airspace is a Whitney Houston free zone.
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 AM on November 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's not just the subtitles. I read the article. I found it hateful.
posted by red clover at 9:27 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm a straight guy and I've been to plenty of gay bars and they were perfectly safe and welcoming because I wasn't acting like a jackass.
posted by kmz at 9:27 AM on November 22, 2011 [26 favorites]


Were you picturing the the writer finding out who the b-ette is, tracking her down later, then tracking down her fiance, then somehow meeting him and turning him gay with the wand we all have, and getting him into bed?

I'm pretty sure this is a subgenre of gay pornography.
posted by griphus at 9:28 AM on November 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


Wandcore.
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


..."gay bars are the simultaneous womb and mausoleum for a Freudian-field-trip's worth of hope, desire, acceptance and regression. They're a bit like a family reunion. Take a group of otherwise sane, intelligent and respectful people. Plop them down in the same room together and watch the sparks fly. Gay bars are social spaces, meat markets, therapy groups, pop-up bacchanals. They are repositories for the cripplingly horny and terminally lonely alike."

That's just bars in general. Sheesh. Lighten up. Don't assume a straight girl in the joint means you will be suffering.

I will go to any bar I please. I'd be pretty light on choices if I cut out gay bars. It's a small world, and it's full of drunks like us on weekends. We are bound to cross paths and get on each other's nerves, but if you are having a good time? Leddit. Go. That's the "price we pay" (eyeroll) to live in a non-homogenized artsy town.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:28 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this is a subgenre of gay pornography.

It is, except for the wand.
posted by longsleeves at 9:30 AM on November 22, 2011


roomthreeseventeen: " I'm a queer woman, and I'll go into any damn bar I please."

He addresses this in the second sentence of the article:
While treatment of queer women at such establishments is another article entirely...
His comments don't apply to you. While it's probably a good idea for bars for gay men and lesbians to be separate establishments, that's not always possible, and there's usually a whole lot more respect and understanding when it isn't. And, really, I've never witnessed any lesbians showing up at gay bars and disrespecting the hell out of the place. Likewise, I've been in a small handful of small-town lesbian bars, and have never felt out of place or unwelcome. Transphobia in the gay community is another issue entirely that deserves its own separate discussion. This article doesn't apply to any of that.

I read this last night, and was kind of hoping that this article wouldn't be posted here. I agree with almost all of what he says, but he comes off as a complete ass.

His observations don't really apply to straight people/couples who go tag along with their gay friends for a night out, or for straight folks who, for one reason or another, happen to like the ambiance of the local gay club better than any of the "mainstream" bars. None of that is ever a problem. Even hetero PDAs don't really bother me.

However, I happen to patronize many of the establishments that the (DC-based) author mentions, and he's right on the money on a number of issues. The bachelorette party thing was weird when it started, and has progressed to being outright insulting and obnoxious. We're not an exotic circus or sideshow, and that's exactly what the bachelorette parties treat us like. Granted, the rules for drag shows are somewhat different (it is a show, after all), but more often than not, there is one bachelorette party that is 50x louder, drunker, and noticeable than anyone else in the room (and this is at Town; the loudest, drunkest, and gayest of the gay clubs).

Again, this doesn't really apply if your bachelorette party is mostly queer, you happen to be a lesbian yourself, etc... If you're a friend of the gay community or whatever, you know how to show a modicum of respect, and this article doesn't really apply to you. If you've never been to a gay bar, and take your bachelorette party to Town for shock value, I certainly won't raise an eyebrow if the bouncers throw you out onto the street. Hell, I'd probably tip the bouncer if they did that.

There's also the issue that marriage is a right that is denied to the gay community in about 90% of the country. This thankfully doesn't apply in DC (but does in MD and VA, but I digress), but I can totally see how it'd be offensive to throw a bachelorette party in a gay bar in a state that doesn't respect the sanctity of marriage. (See what I did there?)

I'd like to think that gay clubs are an open, safe, and welcoming space -- even for straight people. A number of the clubs/events I attend now make specific efforts to brand themselves as "LGBT-friendly," which I think is the right attitude. There are those who disagree with me, but I've never been terribly fond of the "establishment" or "old gays," and could care less about what they think. The current generation is far more inclusive and welcoming of people of all sexualities and identities.

The author also brought the Overly Desperate Wannabe Fag Hag into the article, which I think is a separate issue, but also ties into his issue with the fact that many straight women treat gay men as some kind of exotic species of carbon-copy clones. The "If you treat my safe space like your zoo..." quote sums up the article almost perfectly.

Also, look at the mirror of this article. There's a reason why many lesbian bars don't allow men in (much to the chagrin of gay men who want to visit a safe place where they can have a drink, and is quiet enough to have an actual conversation with their boyfriend, but I digress...). Our cultural norms make it fairly obvious that a group of straight men showing up at a lesbian bar to ogle the women is grossly inappropriate. Although our cultural rules about objectifying men are somewhat different, there are plenty of men who are offended by it.

Oh, and great Wolf Parade reference in there.
posted by schmod at 9:30 AM on November 22, 2011 [62 favorites]


I will go to any bar I please.

Y'all realize that nowhere in the article does he say no straight people should go into gay bars, right?
posted by kmz at 9:32 AM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


schmod, since I have a male partner, I'm assuming this article does apply to me.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:33 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, kmz. And trust me, as a straight woman living in a gay neighborhood, I've been reading this article for ten years. Gawker media must be spread a tad thin today.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:35 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is, except for the wand.

wait then what were tho never mind
posted by griphus at 9:36 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am a queer woman and I wish to hell that straight women had never discovered gay bars, because there aren't really very many lesbian bars out there, so often the space is implicitly shared. Except, if most of the women in the bar are straight and there because 'it's so cool not to be objectified' and 'they loooove dancing with gay men', then the space is not shared any more. It becomes a place where I, with my sensible shoes and inconvenient lusts, am not welcome. This is kind of a bigger problem than the fact that these people are irritating to guys. The article kind of elides that altogether, and refers to 'women' when it means 'straight women', and although I sympathise with everything the guy says I am really damn sick of certain gay men talking like lesbians don't exist or something.

On preview: yeah, that parenthetical nod isn't exactly what I had in mind.
posted by Acheman at 9:37 AM on November 22, 2011 [23 favorites]


especially given that previously exclusively queer spaces seem to be becoming increasingly permeable with regard to the non-queer world.


Maybe that is because people are becoming more open and accepting of lifestyles other than their own. I think that's a good thing. Let the great blending begin! Because I've noticed a lot more openly queer people in what used to be exclusively straight spaces. And that's awesome.

Maybe one day people who go into bars and not know or care who is gay or straight. That'd be pretty awesome.
posted by Malice at 9:38 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I get the "zoo" thing. I definitely do. The zoo/bachelorette party thing, I get.

But ... I actually think this is a problem that relates largely to particular women who have this attitude toward gay men in general, not toward gay bars. I don't think the zoo problem (as I am calling it) is about respectful behavior in bars; it's about respectful behavior in general.

It also just has to do with your general approach to being a human around other humans. It's actually not okay in any bar to go up to people and tell them to weigh your boobs. That's stupid everywhere, in every bar, no matter who's there, except to a small minority of people who think that's hilarious to do in any bar -- gay, straight, or airport hotel. Those people are A MENACE. Those people RUIN BARS. Those people RUIN DRINKING. Bachelorette parties are a scourge, and if they retreated from a gay bar to a bar I happened to be in, I WOULD BE VERY UPSET.

I'm not addressing his feelings about gay bars, because: not my job, I don't think, but I will say these women and their infantilizing attitudes toward gay men, combined with their extravagant belief that they are the incredibly rare creature known as the Incredibly Hilarious Drunk, exist everywhere. Other straight women don't like them either, because they're gross, they're loud, they have half a margarita and pass out, and they're generally flappin' the teeny-tiny purse.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:38 AM on November 22, 2011 [19 favorites]


B-b-but some of my best friends are obnoxious bachelorettes!
posted by joe lisboa at 9:38 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


*boggles* There actually have been instances of women who've gone to gay bars and asked the men there to ogle their boobs?

Straight girls asking/letting gay dudes feel them up is nothing new, but it is not always "cool." It can, however, lead to some hilarious situations, like when I was out with friends and this girl was getting groped by all most of the guys (I have no idea if she actually enjoyed it) and one of them, in an attempt to get me some action, said: "Oh, you should let asnider grab your boobs, he's gay." Of course, I didn't and she said: "You're straight, aren't you?" to which I said yes and she thanked me for not groping her. It was an odd moment.
posted by asnider at 9:41 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe one day people who go into bars and not know or care who is gay or straight. That'd be pretty awesome.

Which will be the thing that makes a Grindr account mandatory.
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on November 22, 2011 [11 favorites]


And, does anyone believe that the "group of women" this individual is talking about behaves in a different manner in a straight bar/disney world/family dinner situation?

Actually, I'll bet they do.

There is a certain type of woman who treat gay men as pets. The media doesn't help this, because the stereotype of the gay best friend who is sassy and stylish and totally absorbed in his female friends' lives and just FUN FUN FUN is certainly driving some of this.

And so I have certainly (as a woman) encountered women who treat my own gay male friends on introduction as if my friends were immediately going to redesign the womens' living rooms and say 'fierce' a million times and just be FUN FUN FUN. Since I am a dour unpleasant person and cherish those qualities in my friends, this is not a thing in the world that happens. What actually happens is that we stare in morose silence at the person who is being so cheerful and then go away as rapidly as possible.

If it annoys me, not being the target of the behavior, I cannot IMAGINE how annoying it would be to actually be the target, particularly in a space where I might have some assumption that the people there would not expect me to perform for their amusement.

This is why I loved that Disappointing Gay Best Friend series so much.
posted by winna at 9:43 AM on November 22, 2011 [72 favorites]


Since I am a dour unpleasant person and cherish those qualities in my friends, this is not a thing in the world that happens. What actually happens is that we stare in morose silence at the person who is being so cheerful and then go away as rapidly as possible.

I think you and I have the same gay male friends.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:45 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, a lot of hate towards this article here and a disturbing amount of it sounds like the "reverse racism/sexism" nonsense MeFi usually hates.

I think the complaint is more that this comes across as the typical over-the-top rant from a twenty-something who thinks he's the first person to observe these issues and thus contractually obligated to Open Our Eyes™
posted by yerfatma at 9:47 AM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


I will seduce your fiance while you're out selecting stationary.

This type of statement really needs to stop, just like the scene in "I Love You Man" where the gay brother seduces a supposedly straight dude from his gym. It reinforces homophobia.

1) It makes it seem like being gay is a choice.
2) I have heard rednecks in the Bible belt tell each other that they will "catch the ghey[sic]"
posted by I am the Walrus at 9:47 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is just how certain drunk women treat all men. Straight guys tend to enjoy it though. Witness the recent AskMe where people fessed up to pinching random guy's asses for fun. Obviously it is magnified if it is safe, but this is standard behaviour.

This may be controversial here but I tend to stay away from gay bars. Sure I will go if you want me to but bars are like a second home in Manhattan so I do feel like I am invading someone's space.

I used to have a boss who wouldn't go to bars with women in them because he thought they were too straight, but also didn't like taking straight guys to gay bars, we always had to go to straight bars with no women, which must be the saddest places on earth.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:53 AM on November 22, 2011


And, does anyone believe that the "group of women" this individual is talking about behaves in a different manner in a straight bar/disney world/family dinner situation? The gay bar didn't cause them to be disrespectful, that was firmly in place before they walked in the door.


I think the difference is that people don't get beaten up for loving Mickey Mouse outside Disney World. Well, possibly for loving Mickey Mouse in a sexual way. Not even sure how that would work.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:55 AM on November 22, 2011


'Queer' is inclusive of bisexuality.

Assuming that you and your partner have the slightest bit of self-awareness, the author isn't talking about you. The author is specifically calling out heterosexual women who act offensively, without realizing that they're being offensive.

At no point does he say "Straight people GTFO." Instead, he says "Respect the place and treat us like you would any other human, or GTFO."
posted by schmod at 9:56 AM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


running order squabble fest: "Well, possibly for loving Mickey Mouse in a sexual way. Not even sure how that would work."

Rule 34.
posted by schmod at 10:03 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


...thinks he's the first person to observe these issues and thus contractually obligated to Open Our Eyes™

As a straight person who has never once "gone to" a bar OR attended a bachelor/bachelorette party, I was only dimly aware that this might even happen, let alone that it would be objected to. But now that My Eyes Are Open, I can definitely see why it would be annoying.
posted by DU at 10:04 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooh, ooh, can we add a point about how straight girls shouldn't shriek "Oh my god no!" when a lesbian tries to buy them a drink in a gay bar?
posted by honeydew at 10:04 AM on November 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


1) It makes it seem like being gay is a choice.

Just because you're "straight" and even married doesn't mean you won't have sex with a man. 10% of all married men in this survey report same-sex behavior during the past year.
posted by hermitosis at 10:07 AM on November 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


This type of statement really needs to stop, just like the scene in "I Love You Man" where the gay brother seduces a supposedly straight dude from his gym. It reinforces homophobia.

I haven't seen that movie, so I can't speak to that scene in particular. But in general I don't think that depicting a gay dude and a supposedly straight dude hooking up is homophobic. Because that happens in the real world. Supposedly straight dudes hook up with other dudes.

Also, when straight people say things like, "I'll go to whatever bar I want" it just makes me think about how queer people don't have that option. Or, at least, there's the potential for much worse consequences. You're worried that some gay men will sneer at you? Or give you the cold shoulder? Try being worried that you'll get beaten up.
posted by overglow at 10:09 AM on November 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


Also I refuse to modify any of my gay behavior to change the impression of theoretical rednecks anywhere.
posted by hermitosis at 10:09 AM on November 22, 2011 [12 favorites]


theoretical rednecks are the worst kind, doing donuts all over your formulas.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM on November 22, 2011 [43 favorites]


If you treat my safe space like your zoo, I will seduce your fiance while you're out selecting stationary

I can certainly understand this feeling, but women need safe spaces too. Where are they?

Wow, what a hateful article. I'm a queer woman, and I'll go into any damn bar I please.

Really. While some of the comments were just basic common decency (don't ask people to touch your boobs), the whole thing was permeated with a "this is our space and we only let you in because we're nice so behave" vibe that I found really unpleasant.


Most of the article was OK, but yeah, there was a sense of seething anger below the surface that seems a bit unwarranted. Also, this mythical offending woman seems just that--mostly mythical.

Is this a New York City thing? I really haven't seen or heard above it in San Francisco, and most of my male friends are gay. We have Asia SF, which is a drag club designed for straight women (genius!), so maybe that relieves some of the pressure.

I think this basic complaint is pretty valid: "If you treat my safe space like your zoo..."

I think it's a big straw woman.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:16 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


And, does anyone believe that the "group of women" this individual is talking about behaves in a different manner in a straight bar/disney world/family dinner situation?

They do.
However, add tequilla and a stretch limo and they instantly transform into a pack of "WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"
posted by Thorzdad at 10:16 AM on November 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


"My take is that all spaces should be safe for all people; the fact that many spaces aren't safe for gays is a good reason to create spaces that are, but it's not a reason to create a space that is unsafe or unwelcoming to straight people."

Dude, c'mon, not all minorities have to share everything with majorities in order to have everything be equal. It's like demanding that your little brother always share his pancakes with you, when about half the time he'd get slugged for eating off your plate. Let him have his pancakes, and don't be such an intrusive douche about it. If a space is unwelcoming to straight people, it's probably because straight people don't have to be included in everything.

(The bar closest to my house is a gay bar — the Akbar — and I've been wanting to go, except I don't wanna just pop in and read as a tourist. All the other super-close bars are weird for their own reasons [Lucky comes across racist, The Drawing Room is too damn tiny and hipster filled, you gotta be in the mood for Tiki Ti, Ye Rustic Inn is a sit-down sports bar…] but without a gay pal taking me there, it'd feel like I was an outsider. But Christ, I'm not whining about not being able to just hang out at The Eagle or Faultline either.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:19 AM on November 22, 2011 [19 favorites]


Also, this mythical offending woman seems just that--mostly mythical.

I have witnessed this behavior first hand - although it does to be at either mega-tourist joints (like say SBNY) or in towns without a whole bunch of options other than "sports bar"
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on November 22, 2011


(Or, you know seemingly the entire city of Leeds)
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's a reason why many lesbian bars don't allow men in

What? Is that really a thing?

"Oh, you should let asnider grab your boobs, he's gay." Of course, I didn't and she said: "You're straight, aren't you?" to which I said yes and she thanked me for not groping her.

This concept never fails to boggle me. Women who subscribe to this philosophy (I'm not sure they really exist): why is OK for people to touch your boobs if they don't enjoy it sexually? If they are touching you in the same way, what's the difference? I know plenty of homos who would grope you much worse than I would. I don't get it.

There is a certain type of woman who treat gay men as pets.

Honestly, is this really true, outside of TV/movies (and maybe high school/college)?

I think you and I have the same gay male friends.

I think most people are like that.

Also, The Whelk is on fire in this thread.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:26 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone who doesn't really drink, has probably been inside less than ten bars in his life, and has never knowingly been in a "gay bar", are they (gay or not) as drama-filled and complicated as this article makes things sound? Wouldn't "be respectful, don't be an ass" pretty much cover ANY situation?
posted by mrbill at 10:29 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another subset of the population that will provide you with plenty of Bachelorette party hatred is standup comics.

The problem with articles like this is that as you're reading it, you're imagining a reasonable, intelligent well-behaved person like yourself, and not understanding how the author could find offense with your presence or behavior. Well, most people aren't intelligent or reasonable like you are. The world really is filled with ignorant drunken boors who have social skills like hyenas have table manners.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:31 AM on November 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


The world really is filled with ignorant drunken boors who have social skills like hyenas have table manners.

I see you've tended bar as well.
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 AM on November 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


Metafilter is my zoo.
posted by resurrexit at 10:33 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


well now im just remembering why i don't ever go to bars

thanks metafilter
posted by beefetish at 10:34 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have witnessed this behavior first hand - although it does to be at either mega-tourist joints (like say SBNY) or in towns without a whole bunch of options other than "sports bar"

Yep. I've certainly seen it too, but less than a handful of times. Stereotypes exist for a reason. But I still say mostly mythical. My regular bar is a gay bar, albeit very hetero friendly, but I also frequent (or frequented) The Stud, The Eagle (RIP), The Mix, and pretty much all the SF Castro bars (excluding the Disneyland ones with lines), and I just never see it. Maybe that's what's going on at Badlands and Midnight Sun, or maybe I'm just not there on Friday/Saturday nights much. (Admittedly, all bars mentioned are/were very hetero friendly in general.)

The most offensive people at gay bars are usually pub crawlers, because there are too many of them and they are too drunk. When I was growing up, ALL of the dance clubs in my town (barring the one horrible hetero place) were gay bars (with generally loose ID policies.)

although it does to be at either mega-tourist joints (like say SBNY) or in towns without a whole bunch of options other than "sports bar"

Exactly. That's why I can't really blame a bunch of bachelorettes for opting for the only fun, safe space they have in town.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:36 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Miss Swan at a Gay Bar.
posted by ericb at 10:37 AM on November 22, 2011


I am a little dubious of the claim that a gay bar is the author's only "safe space" in Manhattan.


***

Is this a New York City thing?

***

RTFA probably doesn't extend to the author credit, but it's interesting that more than one person who takes issue with the realism of Zack Rosen's description locate him in New York rather than DC, where he lives, works and goes to gay bars.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:38 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


These: ...pub crawlers, because there are too many of them and they are too drunk.

and

These: ...a bunch of bachelorettes ...

Are the same people.
posted by griphus at 10:39 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like demanding that your little brother always share his pancakes with you, when about half the time he'd get slugged for eating off your plate.

It would be like that if I were objecting to having gay people in my "straight" bars, but I'm not. I totally understand why a bar would exist that caters to primarily gay customers, but if a straight person shows up and doesn't make an ass of themselves, no one is being hurt, and there's no reason be rude to them, but the article seems to suggest that that's okay (i.e. the "sure the bartender will ignore you, but get over" bit).

Even as a straight person, there are plenty of places that are unwelcoming to me, even when I'm being well-behaved and polite; I don't seen any reason why anyone would be deliberately creating another one. That's what I'm objecting to; not the fact that I might happen to be excluded by the experience of being in a gay bar (I almost certainly would be), but by someone deciding to revel in the process of excluding other people. That's really distasteful, no matter who it comes from.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:40 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


My local is a stealth gay bar (you'd never know unless you noticed the pile of shirtless men magazines in the corner) that skews older. The obnoxious thing is when a group of revelers (sometimes women, sometimes guys) crowd in and play nothing but shitty music and like, try to dance and shit and I'm like "Did you see the bar of balding men with iPads quietly reading and listening to Sinatra and think OH HELL YES PARTY TOWN?"
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 AM on November 22, 2011 [19 favorites]


and I can totally see this happening more in DC, which has a stronger frat/collegiate sector.
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


The worse are theme pub crawls. 30 drunks dressed like pirates having mock sword fights with plastic swords? That is a recipe for disaster.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:41 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


well maybe they're earning that eyepatch ad hominem
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


bulgaroktonos the word you are groping for is "privilege" as in "these statements about exclusion hurting my feelings are dripping with privilege and maybe i should rethink them"

the whole idea that homos are reveling in excluding straight people from their spaces, all twirling their gay mustaches while "party train" thumps endlessly in the background is just

i mean seriously man

you seriously cant imagine why a marginalized group would want a place where they can hang out without dealing with the rest of the fucking world for a minute
posted by beefetish at 10:44 AM on November 22, 2011 [27 favorites]


metafilter: the whole idea that homos are reveling in excluding straight people from their spaces, all twirling their gay mustaches while "party train" thumps endlessly in the background is just
posted by liketitanic at 10:46 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've met some of my closest friends at "gay/lesbian" bars. Why do the "trend-oids" have to ruin it for the rest of us who like to go out and have a good time?

Does every bar have to be a "HIT ON ME" zone? Can't I get a pint/shot/carafe without anyone bothering me?
posted by Sphinx at 10:47 AM on November 22, 2011


My take is that all spaces should be safe for all people; the fact that many spaces aren't safe for gays is a good reason to create spaces that are, but it's not a reason to create a space that is unsafe or unwelcoming to straight people.

If those straight people are turning a safe space for gay people back into a not safe space for gay people, it kinda seems like it is. Well, unwelcoming, anyway -- it shouldn't actually be unsafe.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:50 AM on November 22, 2011


Well, as a straight man, I now feel a little bad for going to a gay bar and perhaps confusing dudes? I guess I'll not go to the karaoke I was invited to tonight.

all twirling their gay mustaches while "party train" thumps endlessly in the background

this is the greatest image i can ever imagine. thank you.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:50 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is why I loved that Disappointing Gay Best Friend series so much.

Haaaaaaaave you watched Happy Endings?

(Disappointing Gay Best Friend is awesome as well, of course.)
posted by kmz at 10:52 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


In an unaired episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia "The Gang Goes To The Eagle" the boys enrage in a "test of wills" by seeing who can hang out at The Eagle the longest. What starts as a jokey bet quickly turns serious as Charlie becomes popular and feeds off all the attention and free drinks while Dennis sits alone and ignored. Mac refuses to take part, but instead watches from afar muttering about how he wasn't going to be seen with so many large men in stupid boots with strong hairy arms that smell like the finest English leather with a touch of Old Spice. The men decide they need a tie-breaker and engage in an escalating round of "gay Chicken".


However, once Charlie is outed as straight they railroad out of the bar while Sweet Dee ends up having in depth discussion about Disney collectable figurines with the men and wins the bet.

Dennis wakes up in a strange bed, he nervously looks around until he meets a man making eggs in the kitchen. He sighs, picks up his phone and calls Charlie, informing him that no, he won the bet.
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


the whole idea that homos are reveling in excluding straight people from their spaces, all twirling their gay mustaches while "party train" thumps endlessly in the background is just

Seriously? What the fuck, dude, I never said anything like that and dropping some homophobic shit into stuff that sort of resembles what I did say makes you look like a grade-A asshole.

you seriously cant imagine why a marginalized group would want a place where they can hang out without dealing with the rest of the fucking world for a minute

Yes, I totally get that, as I said above "I totally understand why a bar would exist that caters to primarily gay customers," because straight bars often aren't places that gay people would feel safe or comfortable. Does making a place for gay people to safe require being a dick to straight people (which is how I read the author of the initial piece)? I wouldn't say that it does. Feel free to exclude any heterosexuals who make the place unwelcoming, but the article goes beyond that (in my reading).
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:55 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


why is OK for people to touch your boobs if they don't enjoy it sexually?

I dunno, lots of reasons. Doctor's office?
posted by hermitosis at 10:55 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


However, add tequilla and a stretch limo and they instantly transform into a pack of "WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"

I used to get those at the liquor store I worked at (although generally they weren't smashed yet, we were the pre-bar stop where they loaded up on all the 50mLs of 100 Bananas). I also used to see groups of guys like that, and groups of mixed genders like that.

Get a bunch of people in a group, and there's a good chance they'll act like idiots. Get a bunch of people in a group that decides to go someplace "exotic," and then you've got what this article describes. People treating the people who regularly frequent the place like some sort of primitive tribe of "natives" paid to do their traditional dances for the tourists. That's what the article's complaining about.
posted by Gygesringtone at 10:56 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does every bar have to be a "HIT ON ME" zone? Can't I get a pint/shot/carafe without anyone bothering me?

Well the late somewhat lameted Siberia had a big handwritten sign with two rules "No cursing." and "No hitting on chicks."

They were not very carefully enforced though.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:56 AM on November 22, 2011


30 drunks dressed like pirates having mock sword fights

This adequately describes many gay clubs I've frequented.

Oh, hey! An article about behavior at the club across the street from where I live. Town is lots of fun, but I have to pile on about the bachelorette parties--they are really bad. Just because I am grinding on the dancefloor with some hot guys does not mean I care to grind with a lady in a tiara, nor have her break into my safenaughty space at that moment.

I really like that Town is a somewhat mixed crowd, and I do not hesitate to bring my straight friends there for a show or just a good time.
posted by CaptApollo at 10:56 AM on November 22, 2011


although generally they weren't smashed yet, we were the pre-bar stop where they loaded up on all the 50mLs of 100 Bananas

My brain had helpfully suppressed all memories of ever having had 100 Bananas or any of the 100 whatever liquors. WHY DID YOU OVERRULE MY BRAIN?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:58 AM on November 22, 2011


Does every bar have to be a "HIT ON ME" zone? Can't I get a pint/shot/carafe without anyone bothering me?

Old man dive bars. But these are also in need of a "how to act if you're an outsider" manifesto. I've seen plenty of decent alcoholic watering holes ruined by obnoxious young people there for ironic kitsch value.

Also on re-read, I didn't see where the article suggested that straight people aren't welcome in Gay bars, or advocates dickish behavior towards straight people without provocation. He's just humorously pointing out crappy things straight people do in gay bars.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:01 AM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've been wanting to go, except I don't wanna just pop in and read as a tourist.

Apparently I'm very easy to read. When I first got to Vancouver I walked around town a lot, as I usually do when I move to a new city just to figure out what's in town. In the late afternoon I was tired from walking all day and decided to go for a pint. I was on Davie St, which is quite obviously the gay-friendliest street in town judging by all the rainbow flags. There's one place that looked like a pub/sportsbar so I went in and ordered a beer. Saw the decor, it was definitely skewing gay with the shirtless male torso paintings. I didn't really care though, it was a pub and I wanted a beer. So...somehow the waitress and the dudes at the next table knew I was a little out of place, because when I ordered my second pint I got the "later on this place is a bit different, just FYI" treatment. I don't know if it was an event night or something, but I learned that day that I either look really straight or like I'm really no fun.
posted by Hoopo at 11:01 AM on November 22, 2011


It would be like that if I were objecting to having gay people in my "straight" bars, but I'm not.

Yeah, and thanks for that! But you may want to have a word with some of your fellow straight people about this, because it can really suck.
posted by hermitosis at 11:01 AM on November 22, 2011 [11 favorites]


Maybe one day people who go into bars and not know or care who is gay or straight. That'd be pretty awesome.

You know, a gay friend was telling me that in very-liberal Amsterdam, gay bars are vanishing (apparently when homosexuality is accepted without a raised eyebrow, running a gay bar makes about as much business sense as running bar just for left-handed people -- you could, but why turn away a lot of business?). If you are in a social setting and you find yourself attracted to someone -- regardless of sex -- you can make your pitch. At worst you will get a ""Not interested, thanks."

He, like me, is in his mid-forties and says that queer Dutch friends of our age and older are of mixed emotions about this development. Yes, it is good that the stigma is vanishing, but a subculture is fading away with it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:03 AM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


You can't do that in here!
A nice video that turns the tables - part of a Spanish series of clips against homophobia. In Spanish, but you'll get the point if you don't speak the language.
posted by binturong at 11:07 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I now feel a little bad for going to a gay bar and perhaps confusing dudes? I guess I'll not go to the karaoke I was invited to tonight.

I hope you're kidding? Just don't do Ina Gadda Da Vida and all will be good.

ricochet biscuit, I think that phenomenon is happening in the US as well. While there are certainly still gay ghettos/gayborhoods, I get the distinct impression that they are becoming anachronistic. Hopefully its due to increased acceptance and safety, but I wonder if the whole fabulous gay gentrifier stereotype is also a factor?
posted by CaptApollo at 11:10 AM on November 22, 2011


Yet a couple magical nights a week we get to visit a place where we don't have to...
a couple nights a week? sounds like maybe there's another kind of meeting he might check out...

Most of the article was OK, but yeah, there was a sense of seething anger below the surface that seems a bit unwarranted. Also, this mythical offending woman seems just that--mostly mythical.

you know those goth kids? the ones with the really flamboyant looks who are always complaining about all the 'posers' and all the people 'who just don't get it'? y'know, the ones that hang out at the mall?
i'm guessing this guy spends a lot of time at the superfuntime-candyass-disco gay bar that most of us go to for the sole purpose of making fun of the batchelorette parties.

oh, and honey, that 12-year-old Whitney Houston remix? it's almost 30.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:13 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


As with most articles of this sort, (which I read as tongue sarcastically in cheek) the people who need the advice most are the least likely to read it and realize it applies to them.

I've seen lot of good bars in West Hollywood fall victim to WOOOOOOOO bachelorette parties and it wasn't because the girls were straight. It was because their behavior was appalling and wouldn't have been any more welcome anywhere else - not to mention the extreme rudeness of parading around your 'I can get married' privilege in front of people who can't.

Pull it together girls, you're embarrassing. If you're old enough to get married, you're old enough to hold your liquor. Sheesh.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:14 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, and thanks for that! But you may want to have a word with some of your fellow straight people about this, because it can really suck.

This.

However, I find that "straight" pubs are generally pretty safe for anybody, perhaps because they are not sexualized spaces in the same way that dance clubs are. Of course, this assumes that no PDAs are happening. Depending on the pub, a dude kissing his boyfriend might setoff the homophobes.

I kind of like the concept that one local bar has gone with: they say that they are not a gay bar, they are a queer bar. In essence, the owner wanted to have a place where his gay and straight friends could all go out together without anyone feeling uncomfortable or unsafe. The place turned into a pretty "standard" gay bar shortly after opening, but I thought that the original concept was pretty cool. We need more "queer bars" of that sort.
posted by asnider at 11:15 AM on November 22, 2011


4. Your Body Ain't A Wonderland

Don't talk about your boobs. Don't put them in my face. Don't ask me to touch them. Don't ask me to weigh them. I know it's cool to be in a place where you're not objectified, but that goes both ways. ...

And all that stuff I said about acceptance? It doesn't apply to hetero PDA. By all means take your boyfriend, but please no dry humping. You can do that anywhere. Why would you want to do it here? ...

Same if I'm talking to a guy you're there with. It's only polite to include you in the conversation. But if I've got my hand in his pants and we're headed towards a private corner? I can think of very few reasons you'd want to follow. ...


The bitterness and animosity in this piece are mainly just envy.

Which makes it yet another thing that absolutely fails to differentiate gay and straight, I guess.
posted by jamjam at 11:15 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


If nothing else the music in gay bars has taken a severe hit. You want a retro-y diva mega mix? here you're welcome
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


1. Keep your display of affection (kissing, handholding, embracing) to a minimum. Your sexuality is unwanted and offensive to many here.
2. If you must slow dance, be as inconspicuous as possible.


Are they being serious here? I mean, can somebody please tell me if I've been breaching etiquette all this time? Because I go to gay bars in SF all the time and pretty much act like I'm in any regular bar. Now I'm trying to think back to any time I may have kissed a girl in a gay bar and wondering if I've offended anybody....
posted by Afroblanco at 11:16 AM on November 22, 2011


The bitterness and animosity in this piece are mainly just envy.

Oh, for Christ's sake.
posted by liketitanic at 11:16 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


y'know, the ones that hang out at the mall?

I just pictured a bunch of club-ready goth kids hanging out at Mall of Manhattan, or Queens Center Mall or Kings Plaza and now I am giggling to myself.
posted by griphus at 11:16 AM on November 22, 2011


a couple nights a week? sounds like maybe there's another kind of meeting he might check out...

Are you seriously implying that the author is an alcoholic because he goes to the bar most weekends? That's pretty standard behaviour, regardless of sexual orientation, at least for people of a certain age (late teens and early-to-mid twenties).
posted by asnider at 11:17 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a straight guy, I would be the very first to admit that, as a class, we get up to some fucked-up things a lot of the time, but one thing I cannot ever imagine seeming like anything but a terrible idea, even to the very worst type of dude bro, would be a bachelor party at a lesbian bar. Probably because it would get thrown out in about 45 seconds, but still, it's nice to not be the worst-behaved about something for once.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:19 AM on November 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


man you'd think they where Occupying the Gay Club or something.


The increasingly mixed gay/straight bars means the ones devoted to sex/fetish survive and stuff like Grindr become more popular, cause you can whip it out and ping the people there looking for what you're looking for. Filters upon filters.
posted by The Whelk at 11:19 AM on November 22, 2011


Are they being serious here? I mean, can somebody please tell me if I've been breaching etiquette all this time? Because I go to gay bars in SF all the time and pretty much act like I'm in any regular bar. Now I'm trying to think back to any time I may have kissed a girl in a gay bar and wondering if I've offended anybody....

I am pretty sure that the anonymous author of this angry queer tract from 21 years ago was probably not talking about you.
posted by liketitanic at 11:19 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ugh, is that episode of It's Always Sunny not real? So sad.
posted by mmmbacon at 11:20 AM on November 22, 2011


Dear straight bachelorettes of the world,

We are sooooooo happy for you that you are getting married, and that your right to marry isn't questioned by anyone.

And yes, you, hearing all the stories of bachelor parties with strippers and drugs and booze that pervade our pop culture, feel like it's your obligation to wear a crown -- made of sparkles or paper penises -- and get drunk. You may want to wear a t-shirt sewn with LifeSavers(tm) candy to request guys eat them off you. You may want hot guys to buy you drinks. But you, in your sweet little heart, aren't really comfortable with the threat of being around actual straight guys who might actually not want to be party to your "wooo committment" celebration, complete with penis-shaped pasta. So a gay bar or some niche bar or my favorite beatnick bar or a drag show may seem like the perfect place. But unless you are a regular to that bar or someone invited to your bachelorette/hen party is, you're not likely to be on your best behavior or be in a state to pay attention to social cues that tell you when you're crossing a line.
It's best if you stick with a few simple ideas:
- Go to Vegas. The entire city was designed for you to dress slutty, behave badly and see "The Thunder Down Under" or something
- Go to the tacky '80s night dance club downtown who advertises on the pop hits radio station and serves Pucker and make sure your sober friend keeps the straight guys who will take advantage of your inebriation away from you
- Do something that's actually in keeping with your interests -- the bar you love, the dance club you haven't been to in a while but you used to go to lots, the restaurant you've been meaning to go to, the ROCKY HORROR showing you adore, a musical downtown you've wanted to see. Being married will not change the person you are, so why change the person you are to celebrate it? But go ahead and have your wooooooo shooters moment if you want.

Congrats.

Sincerely,

Everyone who's not getting married this month
posted by Gucky at 11:24 AM on November 22, 2011 [16 favorites]


... cause you can whip it out and ping the people there looking for what you're looking for...

Right, but how does Grindr enter the picture?
posted by griphus at 11:26 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


oh, and honey, that 12-year-old Whitney Houston remix? it's almost 30.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody? Barely coming up on 25 not 30. If you want 30 you need to go back to serious Summer/Gaynor/Ross territory.
posted by Talez at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2011


I hang out in gay bars, am a straight man, and have never been given grief, never had anyone suggest my presence was unwelcome or disrespectful, and have never had an encounter that was in any way awkward. Although i may have irritated a few customers when I once drunkenly pretended I thought I was in a sports bar and, as pictures of half-naked men flashed across the television screen, called out "Is this a swimming meet? Look at those little Speedos! Oh, that guy is obviously a body builder, although I have never seen one with a beard before and don't they usually, um, shave their chests and ... back? That boy was very skinny, you think he was a gymnast?"

That's pretty untypical behavior for me, though. Usually I just drink and talk about theater.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Give me a call when all spaces are safe for all people and we'll talk.

This bears repeating. This issue goes beyond the general known annoyances of drunken bridezilla bachelorette parties.

You - the gentle reader - may accept everyone and have no problems with gay people being gay in your straight bars, but sadly you're still far from the norm - maybe even in the same straight bars you attend or have in mind.

People need to remember that gay, lesbian or queer bars exist precisely and only because the vast majority of places in the world - bars or not - still aren't safe for GLBT to simply be themselves. That means same sex dancing, making out, flirting, meeting people, dating - or simply holding hands. Even in "tolerant" bars there's often still friction or random patrons not ok with it, casting the evil eye or making comments.

And even simple begrudging tolerance isn't a warm welcome or a safe place. People can feel that tension and read that body language.

Even here in Seattle, right here in Belltown there's probably at least a dozen bars that cater to the bridge and tunnel hetero dude-bro and ladies night crowd within walking distance where a male couple making out or trying to dance or simply go on a nice date wouldn't be warmly welcomed. At best they'd be quietly shunned or asked to leave. At worst they'd risk violence.

When all spaces are actually equal then maybe, just maybe you'll see the decline of gay bars as "protected" spaces.

Also - I haven't read the article, but no one has commented on this point in the thread:

Besides being merely obnoxious and annoying, bachelorette parities in gay bars are extremely problematic and troublesome because most gay people can't legally get married. Seriously, how insensitive can someone be? "Oh, no big deal. Just gettin' married over here. That's not for you, though, but thanks for letting us come and flaunt it in your face in what used to be your private sanctuary."

Also, I really don't get the phenomenon of straight women asking gay men to judge or grope their tits. I've seen it and it's fucked up. It's like some women think that they're so hot or their tits are so great they'll turn a gay man straight or something - but as noted the people who do this also will do this in straight bars. It's still arguably more annoying and offensive to do it to someone who is gay, and runs well into overt harassment and the belittlement of someone's identity.

I think gay people have a right to be defensive about their safe spaces. Hetero privilege is still very much real and overwhelmingly the norm.

If you're here on MeFi reading this, chances are good that you do everything you can to love and respect the gay people in your life. Don't let this article offend you. It's not really for you.

But if it does personally offend you - stop and think about why. You may not realize what oppression most GLBT folks still face every single day. I still see gay couples - long term partners! - in public that are afraid to simply hold hands in public. Even right in the heart of gay Seattle on Capitol Hill. It makes me sad.
posted by loquacious at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2011 [38 favorites]


I can totally see this happening more in DC, which has a stronger frat/collegiate sector

The good thing/bad thing about DC is that it's pretty small....oh, and they also knocked down all the big clubs for our shiny new baseball stadium. Where in NYC you have a dozen or more big, upscale gay clubs as far as I know we're now down to just Town. So when that gets ruined by bad behavior there's nowhere else to go for that kind of experience.
posted by JoanArkham at 11:32 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The goths don't want those girls in our clubs, either. Yes, I say "girls", because they certainly don't act like adults. Our clubs here are mixed - it seems about half of us are queer of some sort. So the b-ettes get double the fun(ny) with goth drag queens.

Get off my dance floor.
posted by _paegan_ at 11:32 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hosting a bachelorette party at a gay bar in a place where gay people can't get married is kind of like hosting a concert at a school for the deaf. It's just incredibly tactless to celebrate something you have around people who can't have it.

There's a big gay bar near me that has at least one stretch limo pull up to it every Friday and Saturday full of bachelorette party girls. I'm a straight dude, but I cringe every time I see one. You're not supposed to treat people like that!
posted by miyabo at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


I love the batchelorette party. Shedloads of drunken women, competing with each other for masculine attention.

What's not to like? If one's irritating, move on to the next.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2011


However, add tequilla and a stretch limo and they instantly transform into a pack of "WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"
...

I used to get those at the liquor store I worked at

At first I took this to mean that you regularly acquired packs of WOOOOOOO!!!!!!! at the liquor store, which seemed plausible. I think they have them at the counter next to the weird plastic sperm liqueur.
posted by little cow make small moo at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a certain type of woman who treat gay men as pets.

Honestly, is this really true, outside of TV/movies (and maybe high school/college)?


I live in a midsized city in the southern US. People are not as cosmopolitan as you may think. On the other hand, I guess it's better than the many homophobes we have here.
posted by winna at 11:38 AM on November 22, 2011


Wouldn't "be respectful, don't be an ass" pretty much cover ANY situation?

Yes, but some people act as if it doesn't apply to EVERY situation.

And, well, there are some that act as if it doesn't apply TO any situation, but hey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:38 AM on November 22, 2011


Ugh, okay, look, straight friends and allies. Despite the number of donations you've made, the HRC bumper stickers on your cars, the votes you cast against defense of marriage legislation, and the number of queer friends you have, queer folks still live on the margins in a lot of ways and it is still difficult to be out and queer in a lot of ways.

In my experience, living in a straight social world puts me under constant psychic pressure that I usually don't notice. But when I am in queer spaces--like queer bars, like my GLBT synagogue, like Girlyman shows, like the Dyke March, whatever--the enormity of the absence of that pressure makes clear to me how difficult a task heterosocial performance is.

I'm not talking about violence, okay? But I am talking about constant code-switching, and I know that that pressure was one of the things that brought about the end of my marriage. In queer bars, for example, no one assumes that my partner is my best friend or my sister. No one reads my appearance as heterosexual or assumes that I am interested exclusively in men. My tattoos read differently. My whole body does. And part of that is because I relax, finally.

And if you can come to the bar and hang with that, fine. But no, you probably don't understand what your privilege gets you or the pressure it puts on me. Until and unless you (all of you, all of us!) understand that, there is a need for queer spaces. No matter how left out it makes you feel.
posted by liketitanic at 11:38 AM on November 22, 2011 [30 favorites]


Nobody has ever explained the Whitney Houston remix thing to me but it is so true. I do not get why it must be played in every bar.

It's not right, but it's OK.
posted by Blue Meanie at 11:40 AM on November 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


I am going to kill you Blue Meanie.
posted by The Whelk at 11:44 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm a straight guy, but it occurs to me reading this thread that the fact that some people seem to think that bars are places where there shouldn't be rules of acceptable behavior is why I probably don't like (any sort of) bars so much.

Given the aforementioned privilege and oppression, assenting to the request that straight people stay out of a handful of bars seems like literally the least we could do. That the author only wants us to not act like jackasses there and not violate a basic set of social rules and conventions makes him seem all the more reasonable.
posted by Apropos of Something at 11:44 AM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Braces Tower Can't Explain OK mashup is one of the best uses of Whitney ever.
posted by griphus at 11:45 AM on November 22, 2011


People need to remember that gay, lesbian or queer bars exist precisely and only because the vast majority of places in the world - bars or not - still aren't safe for GLBT to simply be themselves.

I don't think this is quite right. Even in a perfectly tolerant world there would still be interest in gay bars simply because if you're trying to "meet" someone, it's convenient to have sexual orientation established (or at least presumed) without having to spend a lot of time or asking awkward questions to someone before finding out.
posted by Winnemac at 11:45 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Besides being merely obnoxious and annoying, bachelorette parities in gay bars are extremely problematic and troublesome because most gay people can't legally get married. Seriously, how insensitive can someone be? "Oh, no big deal. Just gettin' married over here. That's not for you, though, but thanks for letting us come and flaunt it in your face in what used to be your private sanctuary."

The women in these bachelorette parties are precisely the straights who will join you in the struggle to make gay marriage legal, acceptable, and celebrated-- many already have, in fact.

So continue to belittle and insult them, by all means.
posted by jamjam at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I understand the reason behind this article, it just wasn't written as well as it could have. I have seen bachelorette parties at gay clubs, and what is most annoying is that it appears these women are not 'gay-friendly' but are there just for the freak show. The eye rolls, the OMGs, the behavior that they are totally straying from their decent hetero world is obvious. They go there with superior attitudes and disrespect the people there. I am a 40 y/o gay man, who looks and acts 'straight' (I have that nerdy vulnerable cute vibe). These women would not stop with me. Like I was this discovery of a decent man who is gay, but really CAN'T be. One of the drunk gals totally invaded my space and kept saying "I know you are lying. You are not gay" and then offered up a blowjob. Really not what I go to a bar for. It was entertaining, but the level of snide and superiority was there.

This article had such an underlying hostility, and I understand it. Imagine if gay men started going to straight bars, get drunk, act nasty and come on to patrons saying "I could turn you gay in two minutes". It's so inappropriate.
posted by WilliamMD at 11:48 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


loquacious remember that period of gaybashing that was happening on for fuck's sake broadway around the bars not too long ago? jesus x q. christ you said a mouthful of right shit upthread
posted by beefetish at 11:49 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love old remixes of Whitney Houston. Well, one: Whitney Houston Joins The Jams. But without KLF? Why bother.
posted by Gucky at 11:49 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


jamjam do your really think that or are you just getting your feelings hurt on behalf of a bunch of people who think it's cool to do something that might be offensive to a group of people in a space that's kind of their space...???
posted by beefetish at 11:50 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


So continue to belittle and insult them, by all means.

Okay, first of all, a bunch of people treating a gay bar as a zoo correlates to their support for gay rights how? And, secondly, since when are we giving people breaks for being awful because they support good things?
posted by griphus at 11:51 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


CaptApollo: "I really like that Town is a somewhat mixed crowd"

I was with you until that point. Really? For a big club, Town's pretty fun and has good music, but I'd hardly call the crowd "diverse." If you want a mixed crowd, go across the street to Nellie's, which seems to cater to just about everybody, and has a much less pretentious atmosphere than Town. I kind of enjoy watching watching tourist families eating dinner on the first floor, while slowly realizing that they've just taken their family to a gay bar. It does turn into a bit of a meat market on weekends, but attracts a very diverse crowd, and is an overall pleasant place to hang out at.

Alternatively, Mixtape and Peach Pit are two roaming monthly "LGBT-friendly" parties that play the best music for a dance party in DC. These tend to be a bit more indie/nerdy/hipster/whatever, but are also very fun and very inclusive.

For those of you straight guys wanting to check out a gay bar, just go on a weeknight. It's pretty easy to strike up a conversation with random people, even if you're the most introverted person in the world, even if you're not DTF. As a courtesy, mention "your girlfriend" early on in the conversation. The author doesn't mention this, but gay bars are also a place where men can flirt with other men without fear of retribution, or wasting a night making friendly conversation, and buying drinks for a cute-but-completely-oblivious straight boy. Don't get me wrong -- I love a night of fascinating conversation, but there are some guys who have...other motives.
posted by schmod at 11:52 AM on November 22, 2011


The women in these bachelorette parties are precisely the straights who will join you in the struggle to make gay marriage legal, acceptable, and celebrated-- many already have, in fact.

So continue to belittle and insult them, by all means.


1) Cite please.

2) Being an "ally" does not give somebody the right to be obnoxious.
posted by kmz at 11:52 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I support the right of gay people to have sex with each other, but if I took my girlfriend into a gay bar and had sex with her there, I'd definitely be shoving my privilege in their face. I'd just be dangling privilege there, just letting everybody see it. As, as amazing as I think my privilege is, and as large as it is, because I'm not there to share it with everybody, but just with my girlfriend, that would be pretty rude.

That sounded dirtier than I intended it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:55 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


mrgrimm: "Also, The Whelk is on fire in this thread."

You might even say he's.....flaming.

[removes sunglasses] YEAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
posted by schmod at 11:55 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


The women in these bachelorette parties are precisely the straights who will join you in the struggle to make gay marriage legal, acceptable, and celebrated-- many already have, in fact.

[ Full disclosure: I appear to be in a "straight" marriage when I myself am anything but. I am a queer woman married to a man. I definitely benefit from hetero-appearing privilege and acknowledge that upfront - but I'm fully queer and gay rights are pretty damned important to me on a very personal level. ]

Alright, so. Why on earth should gay people in a queer-friendly safe space give HALF A SHIT about "straights" helping them in their "struggle." What a patronizing load of horse crap. Yes, because gay people should reach and out and be friendly to the heteros so the heteros might take it upon themselves to celebrate their rights.

Just... no.

Heterosexual allies should fight for gay rights because it's the right thing to do, not because the queers let them get drunk and act like idiots. Respecting gay rights means not acting like a jerk in GLBTQ safe-spaces. That's what a safe space is. A space where it's safe to be queer.

If you're straight and you can't wrap your head around that, you're not joining in the "struggle" at all. You're part of the problem no matter how much you "celebrate" gay marriage.
posted by sonika at 11:57 AM on November 22, 2011 [14 favorites]



At first I took this to mean that you regularly acquired packs of WOOOOOOO!!!!!!! at the liquor store, which seemed plausible. I think they have them at the counter next to the weird plastic sperm liqueur.


I actually think cases of this would count as packs of WOOOOOO!!!!

By the way, I should add, having packs of obnoxious women in my place of employment was aggravating, having them treat the place I like to hang out and the community there as some sort of theme park would be insulting and infuriating.


The women in these bachelorette parties are precisely the straights who will join you in the struggle to make gay marriage legal, acceptable, and celebrated-- many already have, in fact.


Good acts don't excuse you from criticism for acting like a jerk.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:58 AM on November 22, 2011


1) Cite please.

And thus reasoned debate on the internet completely ate itself, as no suggestion that could not be linked to a wikipedia page or a published study was dismissed as unworthy of even the slightest engagement...
posted by modernnomad at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


(wait, double negative. but you catch my drift).
posted by modernnomad at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2011


The women in these bachelorette parties are precisely the straights who will join you in the struggle to make gay marriage legal, acceptable, and celebrated-- many already have, in fact.

Um, it strikes me that the women who would work to make gay marriage legal aren't the kind of women who would have boorish bachelorette parties in gay bars in the first place, because they'd have enough sensitivity to know that "treating gay men like zany friends in our personal sex-in-the-city drama" is a shitty thing to do.

So yeah, way to project yourself into a criticism that isn't about you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:00 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


And thus reasoned debate on the internet completely ate itself, as no suggestion that could not be linked to a wikipedia page or a published study was dismissed as unworthy of even the slightest engagement...

I like to engage in facts. I do dismiss unsupported opinions. I find they are less worthy of engagement than opinions based on actual information, and tend to be an expression of the unchecked assumptions of the speaker.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:01 PM on November 22, 2011


Straights must be frightened into it. Terrorized into it. Fear is the most powerful motivation. No one will give us what we deserve. Rights are not given they are taken, by force if necessary.

Ouch. As a privileged straight/caucasion/male/etc who happens to be intelligent and moral enough to advocate for any group who (due to how slowly intelligence and morality take hold on the masses) is currently in need of it-- whether it has to do with sexuality, race, age, etc-- I find myself repeatedly stressing the word "equality," sometimes if only to untie the othering/counter-othering knots, if even verbally..

but this kind of volatile, signal-jamming vitriol is... useless for all concerned, I would expect.
maybe I'm wrong-- maybe there is an element of rigor in it that's actually vital, big-picture-wise.. especially since it's from 20 years ago.

I hope the author has seen change and experienced increased peace, personally and with their community and environment.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:01 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


And thus reasoned debate on the internet completely ate itself, as no suggestion that could not be linked to a wikipedia page or a published study was dismissed as unworthy of even the slightest engagement...

Extraordinary claims require at least some bare modicum of evidence. And did you miss the second part of my comment that did engage their unproven statement?
posted by kmz at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2011


bulgaroktonos! i think the article's stance is fighty in part because it's jezebel and the editorial stance there is all about controversy, and in part because the author is writing against a set of perceived licenses straight women take at gay establishments. less "fuck you hetero for impinging on our sacred homoground" and more "for shit's sake stop acting like it's tom of t.g.i. finland's in here, you loopy fucks"

mostly though, jezebel & controversy

as shown in this thread though, there are plenty of people who seem to need to be educated further on this issue
posted by beefetish at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think this is quite right. Even in a perfectly tolerant world there would still be interest in gay bars simply because if you're trying to "meet" someone, it's convenient to have sexual orientation established (or at least presumed) without having to spend a lot of time or asking awkward questions to someone before finding out.

Sure, but I think there's always going to be an interest in "specialty" clubs for people wanting to meet for specific things, straight, gay or all inclusive.

But I think that things will eventually get a lot better. Most of the younger kids today seem to really be a lot more accepting, so give it a generation or two. The awkward question part of flirting at a mixed crowd is only unnecessarily awkward because of the risk of chatting up a homophobe. Hetero bar hookups are usually plenty awkward, too.

I've been to a lot of raves and house parties over the last twenty years where it's pretty much totally not awkward at all for all identities to be able to just ask and be cool with everyone.

Also, there's a couple of bars here in Seattle that are super-inclusive. Gay, straight, trans and everyone pretty much gets along.
posted by loquacious at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's all do ourselves up in bachelorette drag and pubcrawl straight bars.
posted by whuppy at 12:03 PM on November 22, 2011 [15 favorites]


loquacious remember that period of gaybashing that was happening on for fuck's sake broadway around the bars not too long ago?

That was right before I arrived here, but it wasn't just gaybashing, it was someone threatening to target gay clubs with some kind of attack or something, wasn't it? Can't remember if it was a bomb threat or what, but it was the definition of domestic terrorism.

But I heard the community response was great, like all the targeted bars were suddenly packed with pissed off old grandmothers and other straight allies.
posted by loquacious at 12:07 PM on November 22, 2011


Let's all do ourselves up in bachelorette drag and pubcrawl straight bars.

Man, you could totally do this in Seattle. This should become a thing.
posted by loquacious at 12:09 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


no no, not the anthrax letters, like bros straight up just beating the crap out of people along broadway round bar time. like a block or two north of dick's there's that ridiculous building with the car projecting from it, and there was some kind of bro-ey club there, and drunk bros + drunk homos = drunk fights
posted by beefetish at 12:10 PM on November 22, 2011


> maybe I'm wrong-- maybe there is an element of rigor in it that's actually vital, big-picture-wise..

Respectfully, yes, you are wrong. Yes, it is from twenty years ago, when gay men were dying in huge numbers in a society hostile to their suffering. People were dying. And it felt like a war. What would it take for you to throw down in memory of the bodies of those you loved and lost, who had been made invisible? Hopefully you'll never need to know.
posted by liketitanic at 12:10 PM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


And thus reasoned debate on the internet completely ate itself, as no suggestion that could not be linked to a wikipedia page or a published study was dismissed as unworthy of even the slightest engagement...

Actually, let me engage this a little more in depth.

There is no reason, without seeing some data to support it, to presume that bachelorette parties will, as a matter of course, support rights for gay people. There is a long history of people slumming in the world of the marginalized, in a manner of speaking -- taking advantage of what they have to offer without ever considering their rights. A bachelorette party might go to a gay bar because it feels daring, or because they want to dance and gay bars typically have large dance spaces and dance music, or because the bar pours tall, cheap drinks, or because the bar is just part of an extended crawl in one area.

It used to be very common for whites in the south to go into black neighborhood and eat at African-American restaurants or see African-American entertainers, but these same whites would have fought to keep Jim Crowe laws. They enjoyed their freedom to go anywhere, but did not want that privilege extended to black people. In the same way, it's entirely possible for a bachelorette party to go to gay bars but have nobody in the party who would support gay marriage. Flaunting your privilege is no evidence of any support for extending it to people who currently don't have it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:11 PM on November 22, 2011 [12 favorites]


I would like to apologize for the following:

1. Standing at the door of the Alta Plaza and carding people.
2. Accosting you and putting your collar down.
3. Having to actually pee in the ladies room.
4. Occupying the curb on Castro in front of the Midnight Sun, December 1987. I had been drinking tequila and the curb was nice and cool. On my face.
5. Stealing a baby bottle full of cream from Hamburger Mary's.
6. Stealing ashtrays from pretty much everywhere.
7. That incident in the bodega in Noe Valley. I'm sure it must have been a bit nerve wracking to see my friends scarfing down all of those Twinkies before paying, I hope the $20 covered things.
8. The years 1982 to 1990. Yeah. That was kind of a thing.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:15 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, a gay friend was telling me that in very-liberal Amsterdam, gay bars are vanishing (apparently when homosexuality is accepted without a raised eyebrow, running a gay bar makes about as much business sense as running bar just for left-handed people

When I saw the difference between gay bars in "gay-central" west coast cities, and gay bars in the South, I was all "WTF?!! How can the South manage to do vastly better gay bars than the coast?!" then realisation dawned about the differing importance of a safe space.

The USA isn't there, but the trajectory is apparent.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:18 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Much better, Bunny Ultramod, thank you.

For the record, I am of the opinion the bachelorette parties are a blight in any bar, gay or straight, and I would understand why anyone would discourage such parties from an establishment they frequent.

My own experience (as a straight guy) in gay bars has been overwhelmingly positive, and I've never been made to feel as though I shouldn't be there. I did once go to a birthday party at a lesbian bar however, and couldn't for the life of me get served until a nice girl took pity on me and ordered on my behalf.
posted by modernnomad at 12:19 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, fast moving thread!

One thing that the article doesn't touch on, and it's not about 'misbehavior' at all, but there is also the fact that some gay spaces are really small, and on a Friday or Saturday night, you can be the coolest straight person in the world, but your being inside can mean a queer person is stuck outside. Which kind of sucks.

We're always going to need gay bars (and lesbian bars even more so) because we're so outnumbered. There are a couple of places in Toronto that are nominally 'queer' but very open - and my experience has been that on busy nights, they are often so 'mixed' that they're no longer very queer.

As far as the bad behavior bit -- my friends and I have always speculated that some women are really unused to not being a centre of sexual attention at bars, and they make up for it by being extra-loud and acting out. I'm not sure if that's more or less generous than assuming they're just essentially obnoxious. With MF couples, there sometimes seems to be an aspect of discomfort that makes the guy need to prove his heterosexuality by making out... "see, I'm not gay!".
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:25 PM on November 22, 2011


Occupying the curb on Castro in front of the Midnight Sun ...

Ah, memories of living in San Francisco and getting pissed off when tour buses would head down Castro to 18th. with tourists hanging out the windows taking pictures of the "gays!"
posted by ericb at 12:31 PM on November 22, 2011


There actually have been instances of women who've gone to gay bars and asked the men there to ogle their boobs?

Exactly how clueless are these women?


In fairness to these women, I've known an awful lot of gay men in my life, and very few of them didn't like boobs. Vaginas, not so much.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:32 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


schmod: Town's pretty fun and has good music, but I'd hardly call the crowd "diverse."

I actually went back and inserted 'somewhat' on preview since you are largely correct. And I do love Nellie's--even their drag brunch, which I usually find overwhelming, because the queens are friendly and the spread of food is pretty darn impressive (for vegetarians too).

Random Nellie's/geek story: I took my visiting parents there late one night after a show downtown to meet up with some cast members. We were on the first floor and the music was turned up to bellow-to-be-heard levels. My mother was eyeing the boobilicious videos on the projection screen with the sort of interest generally reserved for alien landings. A group of very colorful (and cuuuu-ute!) Gallaudet students were at the table next to us.

After a while one leaned over to my dad and showed him his iPhone, which read "is that your wife?" and my dad nodded yes. The student typed for a second and 'said,' "you are a cute couple!" My dad typed back "thank you very much!" Dad just turned 69--it made his day. And that is the story of the time my parents got 'hit on' in a gay bar by a smokin-hot deaf dude and I learned that the iPhone is seriously changing the world.
posted by CaptApollo at 12:33 PM on November 22, 2011 [16 favorites]


homosexuality is accepted without a raised eyebrow, running a gay bar makes about as much business sense as running bar just for left-handed people

This has definitely happened in the world of theater. Gay/lesbian theaters have started to disappear, and I think it's because gay narratives are so mainstreamed now, and so accepted, that there is less pressing need to have theater companies specifically addressing the subject. Almost every theater in America, even the small-town community theaters, are programming Terrence McNally and the like.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:34 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you want 30 you need to go back to serious Summer/Gaynor/Ross territory.

Oh, I do! I do, I do, I do, I do! (Specifically back 33 years to 1978.)

With MF couples, there sometimes seems to be an aspect of discomfort that makes the guy need to prove his heterosexuality by making out... "see, I'm not gay!".

I'll be damned if I can find a link/citation, but I could have swore I read about a study that showed the sperm count of heterosexual men was increased when they were in the presence of homosexual men.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:35 PM on November 22, 2011


I'll be damned if I can find a link/citation, but I could have swore I read about a study that showed the sperm count of heterosexual men was increased when they were in the presence of homosexual men.

Oh, to have been a research assistant on that study!
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I could have swore I read about a study that showed the sperm count of heterosexual men was increased when they were in the presence of homosexual men.

That's true of me, but it's not my sperm.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wait. Did someone request something of Rule 34? Was that an oversexualized gay Mickey Mouse doing a strip tease? Oh. Yes. I think I have something for that. And as a bonus, you'll also get Sexy Gay Super Mario Brothers and Sexy Skeletor. Thanks for playing! Need I mention that's NSFW?
posted by jph at 12:38 PM on November 22, 2011


I could have swore I read about a study that showed the sperm count of heterosexual men was increased when they were in the presence of homosexual men.

So, if I am trying to get my lady pregnant, I should make sure that there is a gay guy in the room watching it happen? Kinky!
posted by asnider at 12:39 PM on November 22, 2011


So, if I am trying to get my lady pregnant, I should make sure that there is a gay guy in the room watching it happen? Kinky!

Memail me.
posted by hermitosis at 12:42 PM on November 22, 2011 [26 favorites]


Wait, I thought that's just generally how babies are made.

I either had the best or the worst sex ed class in history.
posted by griphus at 12:46 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


"There's a reason why many lesbian bars don't allow men in"

My uncle, a generally clueless '70s dude in Chicago, managed to find his way into a lesbian bar once while waiting for my ma and dad to pick him up. At first he thought, "Damn, fulla fine ladies," then slowly picked it up that the ladies weren't talking to him, had buzzcuts, and were dancing with each other. He started to fluster a bit and went into the men's room to collect himself. The ladies locked him in and he spent an hour there until my parents figured out where he'd gone and got him out.
posted by klangklangston at 12:52 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


he was concerned about the lack of fire exits.
posted by The Whelk at 12:55 PM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


Despite being a dyed in the wool fag hag I have never seen the behaviour described here in any gay bar in London. I've seen plenty of girls in gay bars, mostly in mixed groups, mostly drunk, mostly having a good time, mostly dancing with boys and with each other and mostly being treated as part of the furniture and as total equals with everyone else.

The only place I've ever felt intimidated or unwanted in a gay bar was in Sitges in Spain, on holiday with friends, with no option but to visit gay bars because I was with gay men who would not compromise on that point. It was not a nice feeling. Must remember to cross DC off my 'to visit' list.
posted by Summer at 1:06 PM on November 22, 2011


When I saw the difference between gay bars in "gay-central" west coast cities, and gay bars in the South, I was all "WTF?!! How can the South manage to do vastly better gay bars than the coast?!" then realisation dawned about the differing importance of a safe space.

Or as I describe it, "I love what you've done with your closet!".
posted by benito.strauss at 1:16 PM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Don't take this too seriously, Summer. My years of gay clubbing are mostly behind me (everyone got married and settled down!) but DC gay clubs were awesome in my late teens and early 20s. I was often the only female there at all, and almost everyone was incredibly nice and treated me like a little sister.

If you don't act like a "tourist" no one will treat you like one.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:19 PM on November 22, 2011


For about ten minutes, we had an actual bisexual dance club in Milwaukee. It was awesome.
posted by desjardins at 1:25 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


OH COME ON YOU CAN'T SOFTBALL IT IN LIKE THAT DESJARDINS
posted by griphus at 1:29 PM on November 22, 2011


My SO and I go our neighborhood leather bar for pretty much one reason. The drinks are poured stronger than at any place besides my own house.

We do keep hetero PDA on the DL, though. We firmly accept that it's not our space. But, man, those drinks are served proper.
posted by hwyengr at 1:32 PM on November 22, 2011


jph: "Wait. Did someone request something of Rule 34? Was that an oversexualized gay Mickey Mouse doing a strip tease? Oh. Yes. I think I have something for that. And as a bonus, you'll also get Sexy Gay Super Mario Brothers and Sexy Skeletor. Thanks for playing! Need I mention that's NSFW?"

Goddamnit. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.
posted by schmod at 1:39 PM on November 22, 2011


overglow: "But in general I don't think that depicting a gay dude and a supposedly straight dude hooking up is homophobic."

hermitosis: "Just because you're "straight" and even married doesn't mean you won't have sex with a man."

That's not my point. My point is that people should stop the comments (or in this case, threats) about "turning" supposedly straight men. I understand that some men are closeted homosexuals or bisexual, but the comments like the one I objected to ("I will seduce your fiance") don't reflect that. They are saying that you can "turn" someone who is straight into someone who is gay. And if you can turn someone gay, the logical extension is that it is a choice, you can turn them straight again, pray out the gay, it's a sin, blah blah blah, all that BS.
posted by I am the Walrus at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Let him have his pancakes, and don't be such an intrusive douche about it.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


i am the walrus: fun fact: the idea that one has some degree of agency with regard to sexuality is not automatically a dog whistle for repugnant douchepolitics, nor should it be treated as such

metafilter: let him have his pancakes outside while we twirl our mustaches and christ, what an etc
posted by beefetish at 1:47 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, this mythical offending woman seems just that--mostly mythical.

Mythical? Every single time I move and people find out I'm gay, I get a new flock of women trying to adopt me as their pet and/or trying to set me up with the one other gay person they know. Never mind that I'm in a relationship. I do enjoy the look of disappointment and realization that appears on their faces when they realize that I do not own, nor have any opinion about scarves though.

Also, damn, Luigi is hot.
posted by Garm at 1:48 PM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


CaptApollo: "And that is the story of the time my parents got 'hit on' in a gay bar by a smokin-hot deaf dude and I learned that the iPhone is seriously changing the world."

That would've been the Sidekick. Danger and T-Mobile inadvertently tapped a huge niche market that had been long ignored by phone companies, and did a fantastic job of nurturing and embracing that market. The deaf community nearly rioted when Microsoft bought Danger and killed off the product line.

Also, I might as well gush here about how Gallaudet students are the best college students in DC.
posted by schmod at 1:50 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


They are saying that you can "turn" someone who is straight into someone who is gay.

And I am saying that it is definitely possible to convince someone who is "straight" to have gay sex. So yes, I can potentially seduce someone's husband.

If some people twist that into a fear that they could be "turned" by a gay, why is that my problem?
posted by hermitosis at 1:57 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just because you're "straight" and even married doesn't mean you won't have sex with a man.

I used to imagine that everyone on the planet had some sort of bisexuality within them, but having discussed this with a lot of people and over time I've come to know that it's simply not the case. You don't choose to be gay, and you don't choose to be straight, and there's nothing wrong with either of those. Sure, they could physically have sex with someone of the same sex, the same way you can physically place your hand in a fire. That doesn't mean you enjoy it.

I think it might offend straight people if you imply that they're bisexual/gay on the inside, in the same way you would offend a bi/gay if you said they're really straight on the inside. I'm not inside anyone's head, but I can think of a few people who have no issues with anyone being gay, but are absolutely, positively not interested in the same sex themselves.

And there's nothing wrong with that. So I'm asking on their behalf that you think before you imply that they're wrong about their own sexuality.
posted by Malice at 1:58 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


JFC, the original statement ("seduce your fiance") was obviously not serious, and nobody here is implying everyone is bi.
posted by kmz at 2:01 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


So I'm asking on their behalf that you think before you imply that they're wrong about their own sexuality.

I know lots of people who are mainly straight but have been curious enough about homosexuality, or attracted enough to certain people, that they have enjoyed occasional same-sex encounters.

No one is saying that a "straight" person is wrong about their sexuality. It's just that there are so few social or romantic advantages to broadcasting the fact that you might be *slightly* swervable. Identifying as fully bisexual can be very loaded, and when it's a situation that is unlikely to come up anyway, why would you bother?

Nevertheless, there are many apparently straight, apparently monogamous people out there who would fully enjoy a same-sex encounter. Sorry if this complicates things for you.
posted by hermitosis at 2:04 PM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Although they probably are.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:04 PM on November 22, 2011


Big gay scene here in Manchester, UK. A gay friend explained to me the "no straight [women]" rule in some bars here with the following logic: first, the straight women turn up. Then the straight men turn up, because that's where all the straight women are. Then it's not a gay bar. So it's a restrictive entrance policy or you can't stay a gay bar. But this was ten years ago, things have probably changed - I've certainly gone to, um, very gay dance clubs since with my wife (and a gay host) then without any problem. Apologies if "very gay" isn't right way to put it!
posted by alasdair at 2:05 PM on November 22, 2011


Nevertheless, there are many apparently straight, apparently monogamous people out there who would fully enjoy a same-sex encounter. Sorry if this complicates things for you.

It didn't sound like Malice was debating this empiric fact -- only the wisdom of making assumptions about whether Person A or Person B specifically is or is not such a person.

which, I'll grant, I'm not sure anyone was trying to do either, but it sounded like that was a disconnect cropping up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2011


The implication is that suspecting straight people of being secretly bisexual somehow threatens the credit extended by straight people toward the validity of my own self-identified sexual orientation. Which is an argument so wrapped up in privilege that I can't do much except say, "uh, thanks but I don't really give a fuck what straight people think about what I do."
posted by hermitosis at 2:15 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's not my point. My point is that people should stop the comments (or in this case, threats) about "turning" supposedly straight men. I understand that some men are closeted homosexuals or bisexual, but the comments like the one I objected to ("I will seduce your fiance") don't reflect that.

Is it impossible that some men identify as straight, are not closeted gay men, are not bisexual and can still be seduced by men?

Because all this stuff about "turning" feels, if you'll pardon the phrase, like an insertion. He didn't say "turn". He said "seduce". Nothing about stopping the guy from being straight, or making him gay or bisexual. I think it's possible to be straight-identifying and have occasional sex with men. It's also possible to have sex with someone to whom you are not attracted and still get some sort of enjoyment out of it.

Honestly, this focus on a throwaway gag issuing a hyperbolic threat to an imaginary fiancé feels a bit strange. It's unlikely that Pat Robertson is going to read this and think "You see? It _is_ a lifestyle choice!"
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:19 PM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


A gay friend explained to me the "no straight [women]" rule in some bars here with the following logic: first, the straight women turn up. Then the straight men turn up, because that's where all the straight women are. Then it's not a gay bar.

Brings to mind: Sydney Mardi Gras' Dumps 'Gay' and 'Lesbian' from Name in Rebranding Controversy.
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on November 22, 2011


It's unlikely that Pat Robertson is going to read this and think "You see? It _is_ a lifestyle choice!"

Not to mention, even if somehow bigots were convinced sexuality wasn't a choice, I doubt most of them would all of a sudden turn into gay rights crusaders. Choice has always been a red herring, something used by bigots to set the frame of the debate in their terms.
posted by kmz at 2:28 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a gay man. This article does a pretty good job of summing up why I don't like gay bars.
posted by matty at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2011


the comments like the one I objected to ("I will seduce your fiance") don't reflect that. They are saying that you can "turn" someone who is straight into someone who is gay.

No, he's claiming that his powers of seduction are so strong that he can convince a straight man to have sex with him.

Frankly, depending on how one defines sex, this doesn't seem hard to believe. I don't think it would be super-amazing-difficult to convince the hypothetical straight man to receive a plo chop, for example.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2011


To me that comment came across as 'you're annoying me so I'm going to fuck your boyfriend who clearly, in this fantasy scenario, would be up for it, suggesting your relationship is a sham.' It's a pretty nasty, mean spirited thing to say, but then that's the tone of the piece.

As if women don't get enough hassle in bars. Jesus.
posted by Summer at 2:37 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


But is there a way to maybe demand respect for gay male nightlife spaces without the sublimated misogyny?
posted by LMGM at 2:44 PM on November 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


As if women don't get enough hassle in bars. Jesus.

This guy musing about an imaginary revenge for a very real hassle he's experienced is maybe not the same thing as women being hassled.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:45 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Boy, Jezebel really is the pits, isn't it?
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:56 PM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


If we're going to talk about women treating gay men as pets and inviting them to live up to their perceived stereotypes can we also talk about some gay men's tendency to patronise women, insult their appearance, criticise their private lives and generally act as if it's open season on anything female because that's OK if you're gay.

I generalise of course, but then so did everyone else.
posted by Summer at 3:05 PM on November 22, 2011


Right on, sounds like you should write for Jezebel too.
posted by hermitosis at 3:11 PM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


can we also talk about some gay men's tendency to patronise women, insult their appearance, criticise their private lives and generally act as if it's open season on anything female because that's OK if you're gay.

We could, but it would be off-topic and a derail.
posted by kmz at 3:21 PM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


I dislike the tone and some of the wording in this article, but what's worse is people who need to behave like selfish children and be completely disrespectful to others.

Drag is EXPENSIVE to accomplish, and usually the fee a performer is getting paid (if any) barely covers the costs...

Seriously, is this any different than for a female performer?
posted by BlueHorse at 3:29 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, is this any different than for a female performer?

Actually yes. For drag there are all sorts of special padding and body-shaping garments involved, and in order to create the illusion of femininity, makeup has to be both heavily and incredibly skillfully applied, and that stuff isn't cheap either. Wigs are expensive. Costumes and shoes often have to be custom-made. Not to mention getting to and from the venue -- either with all your stuff in tow, or already in full drag. In the city, this means cabs.

I know a very sought-after drag performer who has turned down television appearances because the money they offered was a joke -- to make an 8AM call time, he'd have to get up at 4AM and spend three hours getting ready, but he'd be paid the same as any other performer who rolled out of bed and showed up in their street-clothes.
posted by hermitosis at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Brings to mind: Sydney Mardi Gras' Dumps 'Gay' and 'Lesbian' from Name in Rebranding Controversy.

What. The. Fuck.

That is *bullshit*. I am stunned.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:41 PM on November 22, 2011


So, a word about the "I will seduce your husband" line.

The joke there is that women who bring their friends to shit up gay bars for their bachelorette parties are such repellent harridans that they are only romantically valuable as beards.

I didn't think it was that subtle.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:57 PM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Indulge me, I don't do this very often.

Metafilter: for shit's sake stop acting like it's tom of t.g.i. finland's in here, you loopy fucks
posted by Space Kitty at 4:03 PM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was one of the people who commented early on that the FPP article seemed "hateful" to me. I've come back and read through the subsequent thread, and what strikes me is that there seems to be even more and worse animosity here than in the original article, nearly all of it coming from people who support or agree with the author's criticisms.
posted by red clover at 4:20 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


For drag there are all sorts of special padding and body-shaping garments involved, and in order to create the illusion of femininity, makeup has to be both heavily and incredibly skillfully applied, and that stuff isn't cheap either.
So, um, kind of like being a woman every single day of our fucking lives?
posted by craichead at 4:22 PM on November 22, 2011 [12 favorites]


the comments like the one I objected to ("I will seduce your fiance") don't reflect that. They are saying that you can "turn" someone who is straight into someone who is gay. And if you can turn someone gay, the logical extension is that it is a choice, you can turn them straight again, pray out the gay, it's a sin, blah blah blah, all that BS.

I took that to read that he was going to have sex with the man, not turn him gay.

Heterosexual people can have gay sex. Homosexual people can have straight sex.

Put on that dress and heels just right and you can even have me.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:23 PM on November 22, 2011


He, like me, is in his mid-forties and says that queer Dutch friends of our age and older are of mixed emotions about this development. Yes, it is good that the stigma is vanishing, but a subculture is fading away with it.

Can anyone say "fag kitsch"? I can't be the only straight guy who listens to Judy Garland ironically.

you know those goth kids? the ones with the really flamboyant looks who are always complaining about all the 'posers' and all the people 'who just don't get it'? y'know, the ones that hang out at the mall?
i'm guessing this guy spends a lot of time at the superfuntime-candyass-disco gay bar that most of us go to for the sole purpose of making fun of the batchelorette parties.

oh, and honey, that 12-year-old Whitney Houston remix? it's almost 30.


Mhmm.

As a straight guy, I would be the very first to admit that, as a class, we get up to some fucked-up things a lot of the time, but one thing I cannot ever imagine seeming like anything but a terrible idea, even to the very worst type of dude bro, would be a bachelor party at a lesbian bar. Probably because it would get thrown out in about 45 seconds, but still, it's nice to not be the worst-behaved about something for once.

Yep.

Also, I really don't get the phenomenon of straight women asking gay men to judge or grope their tits. I've seen it and it's fucked up.

First I've heard of it, but I've lived in China forever and expect I'll see it within the year here.

And if you can come to the bar and hang with that, fine. But no, you probably don't understand what your privilege gets you or the pressure it puts on me.

Nah, I get it. In fact I'm a little obsessed with it, what with living in China and having to constantly explain being "American".

I think that's all of the comments I want to repeat for truth, but I seriously wanted to come in here to say a few things things:

1) Thank god the United States has places where articles like this draw hateful ire rather than what-the-fuck-does-that-etiquette-even-exist.

2) I lament the death of the gay subculture, and I really hope it survives in mixed-orientation retro subcultures, with a place for straight guys, 'cause it is fun.

3) Chinese women tell me it's "cool" when I say I have gay friends and gay friends DO get treated like pets here, I have 10+ examples in a 3-month span, which is why I'll be translating & blogging this article, and I hope to god they read it.

4) if you know Mainlanders, especially gay ones, alert them to the existence of stuff like this, because as vibrant as the gay subculture is here, there are too many people who aren't ok with it, and it's nowhere near as varied as the US homo subculture. There are people in this country who don't even know about certain kinks/concepts, and just the mention of things like this can have butterfly effects.

5) Being an expat in this city (Beijing) reads so close to experience like this, I had a gaggle of office workers follow me to a Western-oriented bar the other day and had to explain the whole "what to do at a bar/with Westerners" to them, and it was pretty harrowing; I also think the vocabulary the gay community applies to their interactions with the straight world applies very well to expat/native relations in Beijing.

6) We live in a world striated with sexual in- & out-groups beyond the straight/gay/bi/trans/pan/mono divides, on a sliding 3948365746854153-dimensional sliding scale of other cultural and class and gender rubrics, full of kinks and beautiful mutations, never forget it and celebrate each and every unique division of it you find.
posted by saysthis at 4:24 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


in order to create the illusion of femininity, makeup has to be both heavily and incredibly skillfully applied, and that stuff isn't cheap either.

So, um, kind of like being a woman every single day of our fucking lives?


I chuckled as well. How many women do you see every day (outside your home) who aren't wearing makeup? 1%?
posted by mrgrimm at 4:26 PM on November 22, 2011


Forgot this one:

7) I completely and totally support the notion of private, safe spaces for those of a certain kink/persuasion. People can't be wearing those things out in public all the time, and those spaces, though I'm certainly curious what goes on inside them, ought not be subject to my lurking if I'm not welcome there. It's the same as any sexual negotiation - not everyone (I think I can reliably venture "most people") likes them done in full view of every member of the public, nor do they appreciate static from other members of the public.

and this one:

8) I am for bachelorette parties, and available if you need me.
posted by saysthis at 4:33 PM on November 22, 2011


I was mostly thinking of the expensive underwear. Because it is unacceptable for me to be seen in public without a bra, even to do my laundry in the basement of my building or to take out the trash, and the cheapest bra that you can get in my size is $65. Where's my fucking tip for performing femininity every day of my life since I was 13?

For what it's worth, I think members of a dominant group should be really, really careful about how they behave when they're in safe spaces created by members of non-dominant groups. I can't believe that straight women have bachelorette parties in gay bars. That strikes me as beyond obnoxious except in very particular cases. But it'd be cool if gay men would remember that they're still men, and therefore in some respects in a dominant position over all women. I'm all for tipping drag performers if that's the standard etiquette, but not because they deserve some sort of special reward for doing the shit that is imposed on women as a matter of course.
posted by craichead at 4:41 PM on November 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


> ...How many women do you see every day (outside your home) who aren't wearing makeup? 1%?...<>...Because it is unacceptable for me to be seen in public without a bra, even to do my laundry in the basement of my building or to take out the trash…<

Wow, we live in different places. Around here at least 20-30% of women don’t change out of their pajamas or sweats when they go to the store.
posted by bongo_x at 5:07 PM on November 22, 2011


However, I happen to patronize many of the establishments that the (DC-based) author mentions, and he's right on the money on a number of issues. The bachelorette party thing was weird when it started, and has progressed to being outright insulting and obnoxious. We're not an exotic circus or sideshow, and that's exactly what the bachelorette parties treat us like.

Just as another data point to add to Schmod's point here, this was (is?) apparently a problem in Melbourne as well (though we call them hen's parties), there was a bit of a media beat up a few years back when one gay bar decided to ban women in response.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:26 PM on November 22, 2011


They are saying that you can "turn" someone who is straight into someone who is gay.

And then the only solution is to drive a stake through the head gay's heart before dawn so anyone he turned will become straight again.

That's...that's how it works, right?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:40 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


The local neighborhood bars near me usually have a mix of straight and gay patrons, it didn't really occur to me that that's unusual before reading this thread.
posted by octothorpe at 5:41 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The local neighborhood bars near me usually have a mix of straight and gay patrons, it didn't really occur to me that that's unusual before reading this thread.

I suspect, based on some of the comments upthread, it is really dependent on the city. In my city, there is usually a mix (though the most people present are gay or lesbian). The exact ratio depends on the individual bar and the night of the week.
posted by asnider at 5:46 PM on November 22, 2011


I chuckled as well. How many women do you see every day (outside your home) who aren't wearing makeup? 1%?
posted by mrgrimm at 7:26 PM on November 22 [+] [!]


I think it is higher than that, but if you are a woman that doesn't wear makeup all that often, you do get judged for it.

On top of that, women have the pressure of society to wear bras, Spanx type garments, certain clothes, and shoes. Your hair has to be cut, styled and colored, and on and on.

Unless you're like me and don't give a shit, I wear makeup when I want to, refuse to wear spanx, or anything like it, dress how I wish, and I own two pairs of shoes. I often have people giving me shit about this, especially in this small conservative town I live in.
posted by SuzySmith at 6:24 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I chuckled as well. How many women do you see every day (outside your home) who aren't wearing makeup? 1%?

Um...I'm not wearing any. And if I put some on, it would take me, what? 5 minutes? Some mascara, blush, whatevs.

Drag queen makeup is more like theatrical makeup. It's not just a little bit of covergirl to get you through a shopping trip; it's more analagous to actors who are made up by artists to appear on stage or on film.

The women you are talking about are NOT wearing the same makeup.
Unless they're Tammy Faye, or are in need of a makeover.
posted by vivid postcard at 6:36 PM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


> And then the only solution is to drive a stake through the head gay's heart before dawn so anyone he turned will become straight again.

That's more or less what I've been led to understand.
posted by contraption at 7:25 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't miss bars.
posted by bardic at 7:27 PM on November 22, 2011


So, um, kind of like being a woman every single day of our fucking lives?

I chuckled as well. How many women do you see every day (outside your home) who aren't wearing makeup? 1%?

Okay I get it, but it's really way more than you're thinking. Transforming a woman into an idealized woman is still wayyyy easier and less time consuming than changing a dude into an idealized woman, and if you can't figure out why then I don't even know what else to say. A woman's daily makeup is NOTHING like building a female face from the ground up. It's more on par with special effects makeup.
posted by hermitosis at 7:34 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm all for tipping drag performers if that's the standard etiquette, but not because they deserve some sort of special reward for doing the shit that is imposed on women as a matter of course.

Have you even seen a drag show? Like a real one. Just curious.
posted by hermitosis at 7:40 PM on November 22, 2011


Um, do bars in the US not have door bitches/bouncers? 'Cause I used to work in a straight super club (2000+ capacity) and we never let in bachelor parties at all, for obvious reasons, and only let in bachelorette parties before the night club opened (we had male strippers on one floor, they did all their screaming and buying drinks before we let anyone else in and we kicked them out the second they got irritating). The tone of a bar is not set by the patrons. It's set by the staff and thats who you should be complaining to.
We also managed to combine bogantastic AFL football players and teh gays in the same venue with no issues because we had excellent door & security staff.
posted by Wantok at 8:43 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


A woman's daily makeup is NOTHING like building a female face from the ground up. It's more on par with special effects makeup.

This is seriously true. I have friends who do shows, and the work they put in to do their makeup is infinitely more complex than even the most elaborate makeup I've ever seen a woman wear. Like, wedding-day makeup is less involved than regular drag queen makeup.

I have learned some neat things by perching nearby and watching, but since I'm one of those frumpy old women in yoga pants and a headband I rarely practice them.
posted by winna at 8:50 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um, do bars in the US not have door bitches/bouncers? 'Cause I used to work in a straight super club (2000+ capacity) and we never let in bachelor parties at all,

Great for a super club. Many gay bars are tiny though, and no they don't always have a door person. Most bars I've seen in the US have only the bartender in employ at any given time.
posted by msalt at 8:54 PM on November 22, 2011


craichead: "So, um, kind of like being a woman every single day of our fucking lives?"

Let's just say that you've probably got more practice, and need a whole lot less makeup.

The meme of makeup also needs to die itself, but once again, that's a separate issue.
posted by schmod at 9:55 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


WTF is up with all you folks in San Francisco, speaking out like SF is an example of a normal city? I know your city is not like other cities. Don't act like you don't know, just to flaunt it. It gets boring and is essentially irrelevant to the discussion at hand. And besides, you ain't what you used to be, anyway. The silver, it tarnishes.
posted by Goofyy at 12:19 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I for one thought it was funny (and accurate - I definitely know some fellow women who behave this way, sadly. Even ones who think of themselves as allies.), and that was before I even noticed the author - if it's the same DC-based dj named Zack Rosen with whom I am vaguely acquainted, he always struck me as totally decent and friendly and not-hateful guy.
posted by naoko at 1:37 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but as a gay male, for me a gay bar is just a fucking bar. If you're treating it like some kind of sacred family replacement, disappointment is inevitable. Get over yourselves!
posted by axon at 3:49 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems that around here hyperbole is just the giant football game played between winners of the superbole to see which team is best.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:19 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you've ever watched a guy shave his legs, it takes FUCKING FOREVER. Although I bet a lot of drag queens just get waxed.
posted by desjardins at 6:34 AM on November 23, 2011


I've shaved my legs plenty. 30 minutes tops, and I'm hairy. Subsequent shavings after the initial (ITCHY) one are much easier. I would never wax, though I agree that's the pro approach. Shaving is easy enough for me.

Transforming a woman into an idealized woman is still wayyyy easier and less time consuming than changing a dude into an idealized woman, and if you can't figure out why then I don't even know what else to say. A woman's daily makeup is NOTHING like building a female face from the ground up. It's more on par with special effects makeup.

Believe me I know. I was a little out of my element there. I thought we were talking TV/TGs in general, not drag queens. Sorry. (As one myself, I wear less makeup than my wife and can fit into size 11 heels, which aren't that hard to find. Anyway ...)

This sentiment just seems a little clueless:

Actually yes. For drag there are all sorts of special padding and body-shaping garments involved, and in order to create the illusion of femininity, makeup has to be both heavily and incredibly skillfully applied, and that stuff isn't cheap either. Wigs are expensive. Costumes and shoes often have to be custom-made. Not to mention getting to and from the venue -- either with all your stuff in tow, or already in full drag. In the city, this means cabs.

The gorgeous women I see every day--I'm pretty sure they spend more than 5 minutes on their makeup, hair, and clothes in the morning. The heels they wear? Yeah, cabs are required. Also, do you know why you never see many super attractive/heavily made-up women on the bus/subway? Because they are constantly sexually harassed.

It's not the same level of theater as drag queens, but it's still the same concept--an exaggerated version of femininity--and it's still darn expensive and time-consuming, and they don't get tips for it.

I'm not super familar with many drag queens now, but I did play on their softball team once (not a euphemism). I was shortshop. I've only seen a few shows, but the way I understood it, tipping was very optional, but very encouraged. Sort of like a more tasteful strip show, though I think all the shows I've involved singing or lip-syncing as well.

I thought the thing about tipping was that it was because the performer was basically working for free ... or for the tips. I don't think it's any different any any other gratis performance that offers a tip jar or encourages donations. That's coming from a very casual observer, so take with salt.

Anyway, I just think that yes, a lot of women do perform in a way that's not much different than drag queens, but they generally get paid for it, so they don't need tips, I guess. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 7:55 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


WTF is up with all you folks in San Francisco, speaking out like SF is an example of a normal city? I know your city is not like other cities. Don't act like you don't know, just to flaunt it. It gets boring and is essentially irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

OK (not a sfcan, but OK).

And besides, you ain't what you used to be, anyway. The silver, it tarnishes.

Well now, you can't have it both ways. Now that the silver has tarnished, is SF "normal" or not? It's more conservative than you might think. 23% of SF voted in favor of Prop 8.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:00 AM on November 23, 2011


"So, um, kind of like being a woman every single day of our fucking lives?"

Whoooooaaa, whoa, whoa, I'm going to have to say hold up there. As a biological lady who enjoys dressing up -- sometimes even going the whole nine yards with 4-hour preps which involved, hair, extensive make up and foundational garments -- I've gotta say NOT even the same thing.

Not to say women got it easy in the whole idealized image and making themselves up department, but have you ever had to cut out foam to make hips, figure out ways to duct tape that stuff to yourself, tuck in your penis, shave every inch of your body, build your face with foundation not only to contour it into a lady-like visage but also to make sure you hiding that stubble if you got thickass five-o'clock-shadow (which involves several steps that include waiting as a part of it since you gotta let some of that foundation "cook" on your face)? I mean, I've strapped myself into things like garters for full-fashion stockings that don't have any elastic in them, spanx (double-layer if you include the Wacoal power panty), etc. etc., but I honestly would never compare it to how much prep goes into what a drag queen does. And even if we're not talking about drag queens, trying to pass as biologically female without being genetically blessed with features that can be construed as feminine takes a lot of thinking, even if you're not doing the whole nine-yards of drag queen make up. Sure if you do it long enough it gets to a point where putting on full ladyface becomes muscle memory, but for a lot of women going out with just lip balm and mascara and still being seen as a woman is a privilege.

I mean I get people are being touchy with the tone of this article, but I really get uncomfortable when discussions about safe places and problematic behaviors start veering into the "but we have it just as bad as you guys" avenue because it really stalls actual discussion.
posted by kkokkodalk at 8:08 AM on November 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wow, lots to comment on here...

I love my gay bar. It's My. Gay. Bar. and I'm a queer lady in a committed relationship with a very handsome man... who sometimes prefers not to go to My. Gay. Bar. because he does get a bit of unwanted attention and it can be too much.

But anyways bitches, this gay bar? The only one around, and boasting a terrific patio, drink specials I enjoy and a dance floor? IS CONSTANTLY EMPLOYING myself and my mixed-sexuality female friends as entertainment. Because we're a roller derby league.

Like, does not compute. Derby girls? Are MADE of WOOOOOOO. We're just not as cliché ...yet. And yet doing burlesque shows and My Big Fat Derby Wedding shows and skating around selling jello shots and sharing gum with the twinks and posing for phtots are all totally welcome, and we get manhandled by the gay boys, I tell you what. Boob and butt smacks hither, thither and yawn already. If I were made to feel unwelcome in a raucous atmosphere like that for being part of a bachelorette party, I'd be pissed off for sure... but any bachelorette party I've been a part of (and some were pretty tacky) were nowhere near as bad as this ideal of horrors described.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:11 AM on November 23, 2011


> Anyway, I just think that yes, a lot of women do perform in a way that's not much different than drag queens, but they generally get paid for it, so they don't need tips, I guess. ;)

ew. That's not what drag queens do. I didn't get tips, cuz I didn't get all that naked maybe, or just don't rate, but my marlene dietrich was dope, so now I'm mad.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:20 AM on November 23, 2011


Also, while I can see why it's uncomfortable to be called out in such a manner, but at the same time all this arguing of tone smacks of what stalls talks when the racism issue comes up in Racism 101 ("Sanctuary is not segregation" and "flipping the actors does not lend clarity to an issue" come to mind). Yea it's a little tricky considering the cross-sectionality of groups in this case (gay men, women, but gay men are still men, who is the majority, etc.), but if we want to consider ourselves allies in a struggle, starting off by picking at tone and oppression measuring is not a great way to go about it. If someone has brought up a grievance, actually addressing it is respectful. It's the same that minorities ask in other cases, the least we can do is do that for each other.
posted by kkokkodalk at 8:27 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you've ever watched a guy shave his legs, it takes FUCKING FOREVER. Although I bet a lot of drag queens just get waxed.

On the other hand, I know of at least one drag queen who, due mostly to laziness, tends to just layer several pairs of nylons until they're thick enough that you can't see his leg-hair. Once he becomes she, those legs look smooth. Other queens in her circle(s) apparently do this, too.

This may not be very common, though. And this was mostly in the '80s, if that makes a difference.
posted by asnider at 8:29 AM on November 23, 2011


if we want to consider ourselves allies in a struggle, starting off by picking at tone and oppression measuring is not a great way to go about it. If someone has brought up a grievance, actually addressing it is respectful. It's the same that minorities ask in other cases, the least we can do is do that for each other.

Yes. Some of the responses here remind me of the massive sexism threads, in which guys were offended because they didn't do these awful things women were complaining about and nobody they knew did so maybe it didn't really happen all that much and anyway was it really such a big deal? That, or they were offended because men have problems too—serious problems!—and so why is this all about the women and you're the real sexist here.

The most useful advice they got was, "Shut up and listen." I'm not a gay man so that's what I'm doing here. I may not like the guy's tone but that doesn't discredit everything he says. And I'm glad to have informed opinion from other gay men too; this issue is something to think about that hadn't occurred to me before. Why would it? I'm not a bachelorette either.

So thanks, guys.
posted by dogrose at 9:31 AM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I, a biological female dressed up as a Drag Queen*, with two other Drag Queens I know (my Mother.
And we did it proper-proper (properly).
Well enough that people thought I was in fact, a *male* dressed up as a drag queen.
(And straight guys got really skittish even standing next to me).

Saying it's the same is about the same as comparing normal makeup to someone being in a kabuki show.

* Drag name - Venus Envy.


And yes. I have encountered many, many straight females who have treated my gay friends, as their personal fantasy stereotype. It's as if, suddenly freed from the social pressure that straight males put on them (us!) constantly, they turn around and treat gay men just as badly.
Gay males are sexually safe targets, so suddenly they get to sexually aggressive, won't take no for an answer, and start trying to grope or kiss my friends, getting loud and angry when they won't. I have *pulled* drunk women off my friends.
I've seen no less than *6* drunk women say they want *one* of my gay friends to get them pregnant (he's tall, and intelligent, and gay) and many, more try and get him to have sex with them. He is not encouraging it at all, and it is really, really awkward.
And that's the extreme end of the scale, the rest just decide he is their new gay best friend they've been waiting for all their lives, within the first couple of minutes of meeting him - but without caring in any way what his *actual* personality is?
This usually occurs at music festivals etc. At least at a gay bar, there's more than one target, and often bouncers. :P

I know it's partly a reaction against the sexual aggression many straight women frequently encounter, but turning around and victimising my friends is NOT ok.
posted by Elysum at 1:10 PM on November 23, 2011


TV's Gay Friend Obsession [video | 03:14].
posted by ericb at 1:51 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


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