The Major Problem With Gay Bars in 2018 Could Be Because Of Our Increased Acceptance?

The sketch that featured John Mulaney playing a faux drag brunch waitress on SNL recently brought back up some frustrating feelings I've bottled up for a while. 

There is a growing trend of swarms of heterosexual men and women who are coming into our establishments for their own personal enjoyment.  They are going to drag shows, gay bars and more where they are viewing and commenting on what they see as if it's a spectacle of sorts, and we are the animals at the zoo or circus for them to discuss.

Funny thing is, these locations were designed to be our gay havens for several decades where straight people would not think twice to stop in because being cool with the gays didn't exist until Will & Grace debuted. And the ones who were ahead of the curve of that trend treated these places with respect and also had an inviting element to them where we felt comfortable sharing our space (Sandra Bernhard, Michelle Visage, etc).

Now that the visibility of the LGBT community is greater than ever, it has allowed straight people to feel more comfortable than ever with us. Heck, they even casually use our lingo and that's fantastic. There's boundaries here though, especially in the major cities, where that comfort turns to disrespect whether they intended that to happen or not.

For instance, every single time I go to a popular drag show in NYC, it's 85 percent women/straight men and barely any gay men. Matter of fact, last time I went, my table was the only one that was primarily gay.  That bar will remain nameless, however some local drag queens have told me many different times just how disrespectful some patrons are who see them purely as something to laugh at rather than with.  "It makes me wonder why they even show up in the first place," revealed one particular queen.

This isn't taking anything away from our community getting what we have wanted for decades now: allies.  Thousands upon thousands of straight allies have joined in our forces to help normalize us in a society that deemed us mentally ill for many years (some still do), and we are eternally grateful for that.  But when you have the "woo" girls and guys who barge into our establishments and say things like "Yas you gays are so fabulous" while getting more intoxicated and belligerent throughout the night, it makes you wonder what their purpose was of coming there to begin with.

There was a major incident last year during a bear night at a local bar where a friend of mine was on stage dancing.  He claimed that when he looked below he saw a group of girls pointing and laughing at him.  That is absurd on so many levels. First of all, to get on stage and dance at all is incredibly intimidating but then to be judged by people who are supposed to be our supporters is a whole other story.  They allegedly were there with some fellow gay friends, who if they had any heart or dignity would've told them to stop making fun and enjoy their night.  But they didn't, and it left a bad taste in my friend's mouth.

I'm all for this whole "more the merrier" thing as anyone who is down with the community I'm down for.  But when that threshold gets crossed and disrespect starts showing is where the line is clearly drawn.  We will always welcome you with open arms, but please don't bite the hand that feeds you when you enter our locations and treat us as if you are either better than us or that you are simply there to judge for your own reasons.  That's not how this works… that's not how any of this works. 

This article was created by one of Instinct Magazine's writers and doesn't reflect the publication as a whole. 

12 thoughts on “The Major Problem With Gay Bars in 2018 Could Be Because Of Our Increased Acceptance?”

  1. “Funny thing is, these

    "Funny thing is, these locations were designed to be our gay havens for several decades where straight people would not think twice to stop in because being cool with the gays didn't exist until Will & Grace debuted."  UHM WROOONG, breeders were partying with us during the 70's and 80's where clubs like the Garage, Red Zone and Limelight were a haven for sexual freedom.

    Unfortunately this generation of hetero's can be obnoxious and worst off when they are drunk.  I personally don'st care for straight women in our clubs especially when there are go-go boys present.  For one they act as if they have never seen a c*ck.  Which is funny because I know they have male revues where no men gay or straight are allowed. (double standard much?)They get thirsty and will knock a queen out just to get to dude.  Not to mention you will have go-go boys who will now focus their attention on these ladies so much for being in a gay bar where the attention should be paid to you!  

    I am off the mindset we should enforce a door cover policy like they did in gay clubs in South Beach.  "Hetero's you are welcomed to join us for the cover price of $40.  Gays $5".  The steeper price for them put an end to their need to invade our club, making some of us feel uncomfortable in a space that should be where we feel "safe" 

  2. Its about time someone feel

    Its about time someone feel the same way I do about this situation. Even though here in  Montgomery, Alabama we have gay nights at clubs that are ran or owned by straight men and/ or women we do have the group of straight people who always seem to want to come as spectators instead of actually celebrating with us and supporting us.  Lord, please don't let them get drunk that is when the fight will start because they will say something offensive in a gay bar full of gay men and don't think they can get their butts kicked. Nevertheless, There is one club downtown Montgomery which is actually for the  gay community and its owned by a straight person. But on Saturday you can barley get in the door for all the straight people coming in looking around. But this is the funny part, straight people who come in the gay establishments are always shocked to see someone they work with but never knew they were gay and then ask them, "WHAT YOU DOING IN HERE!" No the question is what are you doing in here because Im where I supposed to be cause you are the one at work downing the gay people. To sum it all up, as host I tell all my friends to stop bringing their straight friends who seem to "desperate"  to club because those are the ones who want to take pictures and text theirs friends who they see in the club with the hopes they don't see their man in there lol. 

  3. Can we talk about the TMZ bus

    Can we talk about the TMZ bus that comes through WeHo and stops in front of the abbey so Midwesterners can gawk at us like zoo animals? It’s so rude. 

    • Considering how unbecoming

      Considering how unbecoming some gay guys' outfits, harness, chaps, and revealing jock straps in public, it is not a bad idea for the media to shine a light on those party animals hanging out at the bars.

  4. who needs them….I am

    who needs them….I am looking forward to the day when the last gay bar closes…they are filled with the most reprehensible people including sexual predators the likes of which would embarrass Bill Cosby. I only go to straight bars now any ways. Let some gay predator try to slip GHB to a straight guy, I for one would enjoy watch his friends get their revenge.

      • Me???  I certainly don’t

        Me???  I certainly don't condone it, it is despicable and cowardly act done generally by people lacking in any redeeming qualities and who cannot understand the word no. That's why I don't go to gay bars anymore. The idea that gay bars were ever safe places is a myth, predators of all types are endemic to them. 

  5. Why do we still need gay bars

    Why do we still need gay bars in the metropolitan areas? Everyone should be welcome and with more straight women and men present, gays will behave themselves better instead of engaging in questionable behaviors at the dark corners.

    • There are plenty of gay and

      There are plenty of gay and trans people that are not welcomed at straight bars and need gay bars as a refuge, There is still very much a place for gay bars. Also, there are bars for all segments of society – Salsa bars, country and western, goth etc, No reason why gay people cant have their own space considering we live in a world that is 97% hetero its nice to have at least a couple of places of our own.

      • Actually I do understand that

        Actually I do understand that there is a need for gay bars in some smaller communities where there is a lot of anti-gay hostility. As I live in a large metropolitan area on the east coast I find that they are no longer needed and instead have become somewhat of an embarrassment, akin perhaps to strip clubs.


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