Behavior in bars has recently been a topic that was brought up in an article where Mama Ru discusses the importance of it concerning female patrons in gay spaces. There are some fair points brought up, but the sidebar and discussion that has brought about from this has been appalling. I don’t know where we got the idea that it was ever okay to show prejudice to any group of people based on their gender, orientation, race, or any other kind of class. Last I checked, this is precisely the kind of behavior that we are fighting tooth and nail to stop others from doing to us.
To My Fellow Gay Brothers
Public gay spaces are just that: public. Private events excluded, any public gay bar, night club, or venue can allow any patron that wishes to enter. This has (in my opinion) always been the entire premise of a gay space: where people can go to be accepted for who they are and escape from the world where we are shamed for being who we are. Save for people who enter a gay bar not realizing that it’s a gay space, those who are entering the bar are fully aware that they’re entering a gay bar and, if they’re not gay, they understand that they’re an outsider and are there to show support and respect for that community. In my many years of going to bars, I have yet to see a non-gay patron tell me otherwise, and I interact with a fair amount of them to know this.
Stop prejudicing people based on their gender. It’s sexist; plain and simple. If you look at a female or a group of females entering a bar and your attitude changes toward them in a negative way, stop that behavior. Just because they are female, even if they’re a bachelorette party or any of the other popularly-complained-about groups of females, it does not automatically mean that they are going to spoil your evening, nor should you scrutinize their behavior any more or less than you do your own or a fellow brother. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: gay men are as prone for bad behavior in gay bars as women are.
Should the situation arise where a female does act out of line or cause a ruckus in the bar, it does not give us license to throw all the shade and vitriol at them at the slightest mistake they may make in the bar. While alcohol does not excuse behavior, it may explain goofs and other things. We can earn a lot more allies by showing them kindness while explaining to them what went wrong, and (in my personal experience) the outcome of that interaction is usually a lot better for all of us for the rest of the night. Just. Be. Nice.
To My Female Friends
You are always welcome in a gay bar. Unless there’s some kind of private event that excludes you from entry, please feel welcome in our space. Yes, there’s a certain decorum that is expected from you while you’re here, but it is no different than what is expected from the male patrons that are also at the bar. If they make you think otherwise, I apologize for that and hope that you will continue to feel welcome in our space to have as much fun as your inner gay heart desires.
Feel free to flirt with our bartenders and dancers (as we do), dance on our dance floor (as we do), tip our drag queens generously (as we do…or at least as we should do…heh), and have a gay ol’ time (as we most definitely do). I know that you are there to be a part of the process and part of the community, and I’m here to celebrate that.