The times have changed. Are you willing to change with them?
If your local gay bar made it through the pandemic, it’s now time to celebrate. Of course, because we have not reached herd immunity and others are screaming wearing masks is against their god damn jesus granted constitutional rights, we have to drag our feet and our lives through this world until things clear up.
But wait, there’s more! Now if your bar has made it through to 2021 and is open for business, many are asking you to bring with you proof of vaccination. Is this such a sad/bad thing? No, not at all. If you’re going inside to be around fellow sweaty men, shirtless, in a humid environment, where kissing and other mouth activities will take place, ask for proof all you want.
So now you need to bring with you a valid ID and proof of being Fauci-ed.
Gay bars and nightclubs are increasingly requiring would-be-revellers to supply not only a valid form of photo ID but also proof of vaccination in order to gain entry. With reports of several attendees of the LGBTQI+ street fair Folsom Street Festival in San Francisco on July 25 testing positive for COVID and with the virus continuing to spread, vaccination requirements for entry into Queer spaces are becoming commonplace. – starobserver.com.au
While many establishments are clearly explaining their vaccination policy on their social media accounts, the move still has attracted backlash from some patrons. And this is not new news. AKBAR in Los Angeles shared this back in July. But with more and more people starting to travel, this policy may becoming to a bar near you soon, rather than just the big bars in big educated cities.
Our NYC writers have noticed this policy for months in places like Purgatory and Club Cumming, the latter requiring proof since May.
And it has trickled down to places like Ibiza Nightclub in Wilmington, North Carolina. The business posted on their social media pages:
“We are making VACCINATION CARDS MANDATORY…for anyone who wishes to enter through our doors going forward. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and hope everyone understands your health and the health of others is more important to us than anything.”
But with the vaccine mandate, they ‘ve lifted a couple other “best practices” with a give and take approach which is understandable.
Of course some with their panties in a twist have made statements that they will never go back to the establishment … unless the mandate has been lifted. Do we want those people partying with us?
But what if you cannot make this mandate happen? What if you do not have the support of your local government or your state government? Living in Fort Lauderdale, I have not seen any mandates for bars yet. Is it because it would hurt business? Is it because we have DeSatan, I mean DeSantis as governor who has sued the cruise lines for desiring to limit passengers to those that have been vaccinated?
Rockbar owner Jason Romas, told Star Observer, said the “vaccination policy has been working really well. We implemented it as soon as NYC announced we could do that. People need to present their proof of vaccination and their ID to enter.” – starobserver.com.au
See, there are benefits to living in NYC. This policy protects the staff, the clients, and especially the older clients.
Is this creating another social class? Are we being biased against those that have not been vaccinated? If at this point, if the vaccine access was still laden with a little bit of economic, social, and political bias, then maybe, but at this point, everyone no matter what their demographics can get the vaccine.
But then again, maybe us gays are just ahead of our time again. New York City will require proof of vaccination when entering any indoor business starting September 13.
San Francisco is not too far behind NYC as Mayor London Breed announced on August 13, that proof of vaccination would be required for entry to “certain indoor businesses and all large indoor events.”
The mental check for most of us stems with this question … “Why would you want to come into a crowded bar if you’re not vaccinated?”
Well, it depends on what you’re looking for and how smart you are, I guess. And it is hard, especially when you are out on vacation. You just spent all of that money and want to go get your drink & dance on. But seriously. Why are you going out or going on vacation if you are not vaccinated?
There will be bars that do not have the vaccine proof mandate and those will be found by the stubborn and the thirsty. Just this past month, we’ve had writers all over the East Coast in gay towns, from Ogunquit, Maine, to Provicetown, NYC, Rehoboth, and Fort Lauderdale. We’ve seen what they’ve been doing per COVID protocol.
Ogunquit has not had a mask mandate and the tourists are all over. The gay/mixed nightclub Mainestreet made it through COVID and is, like the rest of the town, able to do business again this year. Governor Janet Mills has not pushed for a mask mandate, but has made the recommendation. She was one of the toughest governors against COVID last year and many in the state thank her for her strong hand.
In Provincetown during July, the well-attended Boat Slip did ask for vaccination proof for entry. The venue is a large deck right on the ocean with a small internal dance room. Many went there because the venue is outside and not congested like another venue, the Atlantic House, or A-House which supposedly was not checking for vaccine proof. The low ceilings and packed area, many feel was one of the breeding grounds for COVID during the Provincetown spike. Not placing blame, just reporting allegedly what many feel was an unsafe environment. Provincetown numbers have gone below the point to where a mas mandate is not needed but will still be enforced until August 21, just when Carnival is ending.
And what about Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors? Well, we know COVID never happened here in Florida so no mandates for proof of vaccination yet.
What do you think about proof of vaccination before entering a gay bar/establishment? Have you seen it at straight bars?
This story contains opinions that may not match those of the magazine or other writers.