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8:56am August 22, 2013
Article in the paper yesterday about a local gay bar, and how a bunch of straight girls showed up for their bachelorette party on a Saturday night. A discussion ensued, and I said a few things I felt needed saying.
(TRANSCRIPT:Me: You know, one of these days I have to write a straight peoples’ guide to behaving themselves in a gay bar.
ElChicharron: What about a gay person’s guide to behaving in a straight bar?
Me: Oh, we already know all about that. We’ve spent a lifetime in straight bars, straight houses, straight shopping malls, straight churches, straight businesses, straight freakin’ universes. We’ve learned how to be nonthreatening, upbeat, safe and sanitized. We’ve spent a lifetime putting you at your ease, singing and dancing and being your best buddy, your ‘safe’ guy friend, your distant aunt or the guy next door. We learned a long time ago that this is your world, and our only chance to live in it was on your terms. So we adapted. We did. We grit our teeth and put on the ol’ happy face when we stepped out our doors.


But a gay bar? A gay bar is a place we made for us. Where we can step inside and let the mask fall away, if only for a little while. Where we don’t have to worry about being inoffensive, or watching over our own shoulders. We can be real. Back in the bad old days, it was often the only place we had. Sure, it’s getting better now, lord yes, but we ain’t there yet. Everyone needs a place where they aren’t outsiders, you see?
So, straight people, I can make this real quick: y’all are welcome to join us, but remember that for once in your life, this is not your world: this is a space we carved out for us, not for you. Remember that, and respect it. We’re not here to be your ‘big adventure’, or to be gawked at, or to show how totally cool you are. We’re here for each other; we’re family (and sometimes, the only family we’ve got). You are a guest, and as long as you conduct yourself with respect for our space and the people who inhabit it, you are welcome. It really is that simple.)

Article in the paper yesterday about a local gay bar, and how a bunch of straight girls showed up for their bachelorette party on a Saturday night. A discussion ensued, and I said a few things I felt needed saying.

(TRANSCRIPT:
Me: You know, one of these days I have to write a straight peoples’ guide to behaving themselves in a gay bar.

ElChicharron: What about a gay person’s guide to behaving in a straight bar?

Me: Oh, we already know all about that. We’ve spent a lifetime in straight bars, straight houses, straight shopping malls, straight churches, straight businesses, straight freakin’ universes. We’ve learned how to be nonthreatening, upbeat, safe and sanitized. We’ve spent a lifetime putting you at your ease, singing and dancing and being your best buddy, your ‘safe’ guy friend, your distant aunt or the guy next door. We learned a long time ago that this is your world, and our only chance to live in it was on your terms. So we adapted. We did. We grit our teeth and put on the ol’ happy face when we stepped out our doors.

But a gay bar? A gay bar is a place we made for us. Where we can step inside and let the mask fall away, if only for a little while. Where we don’t have to worry about being inoffensive, or watching over our own shoulders. We can be real. Back in the bad old days, it was often the only place we had. Sure, it’s getting better now, lord yes, but we ain’t there yet. Everyone needs a place where they aren’t outsiders, you see?

So, straight people, I can make this real quick: y’all are welcome to join us, but remember that for once in your life, this is not your world: this is a space we carved out for us, not for you. Remember that, and respect it. We’re not here to be your ‘big adventure’, or to be gawked at, or to show how totally cool you are. We’re here for each other; we’re family (and sometimes, the only family we’ve got). You are a guest, and as long as you conduct yourself with respect for our space and the people who inhabit it, you are welcome. It really is that simple.)

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