You Must Be "This Gay" to Enter Boystown

Due to some of the backlash of this article I decided to include a small intro. I want to apologize immensely if I have or will offend anyone reading this article. I would hate for anyone to think that I have some sort of hollow fascination with the gay community. I want to open honest communication and understanding. What I want you to focus on is the issue of why it is o.k. to profile a group of people and thus deny them or wish to deny them entry into a specific area of Chicago? And try to put yourself in that group's shoes. How would it feel if you were outwardly told you don't belong in a certain part of town? I originally wanted to delete some of the post but felt as if it would be as if I spilled the paint and tried to hide my hands. So I left it up and instead struck out the things I would have chosen to be deleted.

I recently posted an article on one of my many visits to Chicago's Boystown. It all seemed so simple. I, mean, I've been there dozens of times through the years. I was merely putting it in print form. The article titled Babes in Boystown was catchy and clever to me. It had never occurred to me that the piece would be met with resistance. But I was rather shocked to see this message in my blog account email:

One of the scourges of Boystown is the gaggle of straight women touring the gay bars, perhaps as a bridal party, acting as they're at the zoo, staring and pointing when two guys are together, dancing, perhaps kissing, anything you'd see a straight couple doing at a straight bar.

Please, if you're not here with a gay man (or woman) -- and I've lived in the heart of Boystown for many years -- stick to the straight bars. Let us have OUR space.

BTW, I note your column has no way to post comments.  Interesting.

Now, I won't play naive to the game. I know the climate of Chicago. I've been here all my life. We almost thrive off separation and the idea of true unification amongst the different blocks, neighborhoods, sides, barrios, towns and hoods is pretty much the highest form of optimism but I thought...I don't know... that there were some places that a big booming black woman could find some comfort, especially in Boystown.

The thing is I do understand the struggle. Unfortunately not everyone in the city is racially and culturally sensitive and don't always speak in PC term. There are a few of my kind ('straights') that come into Boystown like they own the damn place, act like complete idiots and ultimately act like they don't realize that it is perfectly alright for a grown man to publicly make out with another grown man. I for one as a single woman would feel nothing but envy really seeing as I haven't had a decent make out session since Obama started his first term.

Completely understanding of all this I still don't like the connotation that as a straight woman I am somehow barred from entry into Boystown or must be offered some sort of  "gay pass" by accompanying a proper homosexual into that area of town. It just feels so antebellum South, so Jim Crow, so slave papers to me. And I know that might be a stretch, but think about it. If we took out "gay" and replaced it with "white" or "black" or any other race would it be any different? Would it still hurt? Would it still be trouncing on other people's rights? I don't know you make the call. I for one can say if you know me, I may like boys but I for one am just as gay on the inside as anyone else and you can't tell me I'm not. I attend PRIDE functions. I love my friends both gay and straight and I make sure I support ALL people. And I won't be run out of Boystown because one "queen" decided to have a little fit.

Here was my response:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. First off, I do have a comments section you would have to log in with facebook. Secondly, everything you said in that message is complete garbage. I'm not some boozed up bride-to-be completely ignorant to gay culture. While I admit I am a straight woman there's no one including you who can tell me I don't share a common ground with the homosexual community. I fought alongside gay and lesbians to fight for equality for ALL people. I'm not some ditsy fangirl looking to stare at same sex loving people like a circus act. I go there because I feel comfortable being myself. And I thought that's what Boystown was about. People who share the same loves and ideals to come together and party. Do you realize that if you had based this on color it'd be the equivalent to racism? Yea, us straights should stick with our kind. Do you live in the stoneage? I just can't believe after all these years to fight for understanding I would receive an email like this.

One of the reasons I have such a strong connection to the gay culture is because when I was in college that was the first group of people to welcome me. My first mixer on campus was a PRIDE meeting and it felt so cool to have people that were into the same things as me like musicals and other obscure things that was deemed "uncool" for a black girl to like. Ever since then I've made it my business to support the gay community and my hope for my article was to get more people to support Boystown. I don't think Boystown needs the help of a lone straight woman to get acceptance but what's wrong with someone saying, "Hey, I'm straight but I love Boystown!" I can't change your mind if that's how you feel. But I assure you I don't back down from ignorance and I don't plan on it now. I'll keep going to Boystown and paying my money to do what I want. If anyone other than the staff has a problem with it then it's just that, their problem.

Again, I am aware and understanding of the sensitivity by the homosexual community at not being allowed the same rights to marriage and free expression. And I don't believe we as straight people should shove it in their faces. (So bridal parties, you might want to leave the streamers and banners at home) But when do we as humans stop looking at the differences and focus on the commonalities between us?

Where do you stand on this issue? Gay or straight we want to hear from you! Contact us at fourstar.explorer@yahoo.com and visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/4StarExplorer and don't forget to "like" us!

 

Filed under: Interests

Tags: Boystown, Chicago, gay, lesbian, straight

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  • I hope you pointed out that you have a very clear space to leave comments on your blog.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I did Jimmy! He must have neglected to scroll down far enough.

  • Interestingly I had a similar conversation on this topic today. I have gay friends. I like to hang out with them. I like to go dancing. (I'm not a "hag" either, my gay friends have confirmed.) But there are definitely "straight friendly" bars where everyone can go and "gay-only" bars. I was once at Roscoe's for a birthday and someone jovially told me, "Oh honey, you're in the wrong bar!" I agree it's obnoxious for bachelorette parties to go to gay bars for the "show" and it's likely because they're suburban/country, honestly, and the lifestyle is totally foreign to them. But aside from brides-to-be, why shouldn't I be able to go to any bar in Boystown and have fun with friends?

  • In reply to Syren483:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. See, I've never had that happen to me. I've gone to Roscoe's plenty of times with no gay companion and I've had the best times. I always meet someone new and fabulous! I wasn't aware of the "gay-only" territory in Boystown. I also agree with the comments on women who are foreign to how Boystown work can ruin it for all of us.Thanks again!

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    If you are shivering from the frosty blow-back about your Babes in Boystown article, perhaps it's your patronizing attitude.

    “A rare place filled with the city's most fabulous and sharply dressed men. A place so bursting with men that live for sick fashion, 24 hour gyms, glitter and ferocity...they named a whole town after them. Chicago's Boystown is a beacon for those same sex loving and subversive patrons.”

    Then you counter a comment here to someone who blames “suburban/country” women for the negative comments with your own about how you “always meet someone new and fabulous!”

    Seriously? I won't go tit for tat with you about a white person making pandering and stereotyping descriptions about African American women. That would be demeaning.

    I've lived in/around that part of Lakeview since it was a run down strip in a neighborhood of run down people in the early 70's. Gay men worked hard to carve out a gay-friendly destination in a part of town nobody cared about when gay bars were still getting busted in the gold coast and near north side, a time when the city was not quite so friendly.

    It's not that the Boystown entertainment district does not welcome visitors of all stripes, but we do expect that you observe a handful of rules applicable to any district, the first one being to respect the sensibilities of the people who live there. In 2012 the majority of gay men are no longer “fabulous.” We don't all live for “sick fashion” We do not “glitter” nor are we “fierce.” Those are not gay-friendly descriptions, they are just cheap shorthand stereotypes that all of us are tired of hearing.

    You are always welcome to visit and write about the place I call home, but please leave your 40 years out of date attitude at Halsted and Belmont.

  • In reply to Andrew Agee:

    I certainly apologize if I've given you some sort of offense. Simply put, the men I know fit those characteristics. All my visits to Boystown have been paired with sayings like "girl you are fierce!" or "hunny you're fabulous!" Again it doesn't fit for all homosexual people but if you've flipped to LogoTv anytime soon I assure you many of those sayings and images are alive and well.

    It's like saying all black women like fried chicken and huge hoop earrings. That's an ignorant stereotype but if you to happen to know a black woman (myself included) who rocks big hoops and has an affinity for Popeye's chicken then is it rude to state?

    Again, I can understand that not all gay men fit these images but please understand that this description was due to attention-grabbing and not ignorant generalizations.I don't want this piece to come off as an attack on gay culture. It's not meant to be that. It's meant to bring light to the subject that I didn't even know was a subject until today. Why is ok to bar a "type" from a specific area of Chicago? That's it point blank period. Let's not read into everything and address the bigger issue. If a majority of the gay community tell me that straights aren't welcome and because we may not be aware of "what it means to be gay" then I'll let it be. I won't ever step a pump in Boystown again. Too much going on in Chicago to get hung up over it but you're just not going to convince me that's it right. That because I can't fit your criteria I am somehow insensitive and deemed unacceptable to enter Boystown.

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    In reply to 4-Star Explorer:

    I'll make you a deal. Come to Boystown with a man and not a "boi" for a drink. I'll try to rustle up something "fierce" and we can talk about how the other 75% of the gay world lives.

  • In reply to Andrew Agee:

    I know exactly what you mean. I'm a straight man but I've been going to BOYSTOWN since about 1988. Before those cable TV shows made it Hip and Cool to be associated with a very flamboyant gay man. And I went by myself, drank by myself but I opened myself up to any body that was willing to have a conversation. The last time I went to boystown I definitely got the sense that the majority of the people in the area were there only because they saw "GAY" men on TV. Just as somebody else pointed out "Like they were at a ZOO". The worst are those women that show up with there obviously "straight" uptight husbands. Ladies your jock husband is never gonna have an open mind, stick to your sports bars!!!!

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    I lived in lake view for 2 years and Boystown to me is no different than any other neighborhood that I have been to in Chicago with good eats and drinks and nice shopping and boutiques. I did read your article and know that you were coming from a positive place, yet there are some people who are over the stereotypical image Boystown receives and that might be where some of the backlash is coming from. Just don't let it take away from your experience, it seems like you had a good time. To be honest the description of Boystown was a little over the top, but like I said it was your experience I can't take that away from you, overall it was good article and I can't wait to see where you venture off to next (hint hint Wicker Park is amazing)!!!

  • This is an issue as old as the community.

    "And I won't be run out of Boystown because one "queen" decided to have a little fit."

    That, right there, is THE symptom of the problem. "Queen"? Don't do that. You don't know him. Use your manners. Your original column sets the same tone; exactly where none of us, at least none of the guys, not boys, not Queens, guys I know want it to be.

    If you come to gawk and find comfort in people proclaiming how 'fierce' you are, I'm sorry for you. And compare the North Halsted community to Logo once more and I'll compare your life to [fill-in-the-blank-stereotypical-show-with-big-booming-black-women]. Not cool.

    Finally, and this is what it really comes down to; we have a dozen or so bars where we explore our flavor of Gay bar culture on Halsted.

    You have HUNDREDS of others to choose from.

  • In reply to Peter M:

    Again, as I've been doing for most of the weekend I apologize if you were offended. Lots of people say the term "queen" to me, it was meant to be funny. The issue lies that I am a straight woman and thus shouldn't say it in your eyes. I never thought I'd be on this end of the conversation. As a black woman I can understand when some African-Americans say don't say "this" word, don't say "this" term.

    I know that not all homosexual people are like that. I'm not some homphobe who thinks every gay man walks around with rainbow flags. And I don't feel as if any of my articles sends that message. Honestly, if I didn't mention the original article was in Boystown no one would notice because all I focused on was the bars and lounges I visited. My goal wasn't to marginalize the gay community. I wanted to give an attention grabbing description. Maybe I was wrong, maybe it was I that wasn't aware of the proper PC terms to use but I assure you I did not mean it in harm. I would never go up to a gay man and call him "Gurl." And I don't like the idea that you are presuming that I go to Boystown to be "gawked" at. When did I say that? Don't misquote me. The only thing I have been stating is that I liked visiting Boystown because it was a place that I felt safe to be myself. But apparently all I am doing is continuously putting my foot in my mouth. If I have to keep explaining myself and feeling more awkward than I ever have in my lifetime maybe I should take this as a learning experience and as you have pointed out I presumably have "hundreds" of bars to choose from.

    But I wonder why no one has addressed the fact as to why it is ok for you to keep out a certain type of people? Is it because you want to keep the community to that of its own? Or is it because we as straight people have not acquired the proper ways to behave in your eyes?

  • I will just say that there are bars in neighborhoods in Chicago that are known to be for Blacks, Mexicans, motorcycle guys, goths, etc. and none of them particularly like people outside those groups. I am not saying it is right, but it is true.

    If people go to bar X because it makes them feel comfortable because of the type of people that hang out there, and it starts getting a lot of people that they aren't as comfortable with, I think it is not difficult to understand why they wouldn't like it. It doesn't mean they hate you, it means they are in that setting for a reason.

  • 4 Star just isn't much of a writer, and doesn't really have much to express beyond vague generalities propped up with trite and uninformed "observations". Thank the Web once again for giving every dull POV a place to satisfy their needs.

  • In reply to pmoose58:

    That's certainly your opinion. I don't claim to be an award winning writer. I blog as a hobby. But I that solice in the fact that at least I tried. When other close minded people would have just as easily wrote the whole thing off. I ventured to something outside of my sphere of knowledge and tried to get other people who may not be as understanding to check it out for themselves. It doesn't bother me that people don't like the article. It bothers me that many have this idea in their head that I'm some sort of vapid person who paints all homosexuals as one thing and I don't. I'm a person who is searching for understanding of the city around her. If I had known I'd be attacked when over and over I've explained that we should focus on what we have in common and also that I had no goal to offend then I would have left Boystown to the "gay-only" atmosphere in which people are requesting. I just wish people would take a second from being so offended and start opening up to some reasons why. And what can I as a straight woman do to dispell such stigmas.

  • In reply to 4-Star Explorer:

    Again, poor writing usually begins with poor thinking, which makes for poor communication and poor understanding. ANYONE, no matter how ill-informed or unprepared, can claim to be a blogger and spew nonsense. Stick to Yelp.

  • In reply to pmoose58:

    Sure. It's so much easier to ignore my questions and focus on my grammatical mistakes. Yep, that's what the main issue is here. Why does everyone think I'm some hateful person when all I've been trying to do is come from a good place? Either way you have a good one. I'll try to work on my writing and will work not to offend any more people.

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    In reply to pmoose58:

    I would like to disagree with the sentiment that poor writing is necessarily correlated with poor thinking. I have a very good friend who is very intelligent but not very well educated. She is from a poor family, and completed high school but no college. She's been working full time since then. But the fact that she may not use the best grammar or spelling -- or use colloquialisms frequently in her writing -- has absolutely no bearing on how well or poorly she thinks. I have 2 college degrees and love talking to her because she has such a different perspective on the world. She communicates well and understands everything I say -- even though I could have a field day editing her emails. I've been reading the comments and 4-star Explorer's responses, and while some of them have been tinged with emotion (which is the root of heated arguments), I've felt that none of what she's written is "nonsense" and it all seems to come from the heart. I agree that the "queen" comment (which she has since indicated she'd want to change/edit out) was insensitive, especially as a public writer, but this is a blog. Like an editorial except you don't get paid-- you write what you want, and what you truly think. 4SE is writing this for her own pleasure and self-exploration -- and if you know so much about writing, you should know that the more you write (aka PRACTICE), the better your writing gets. If you don't like the writing, don't read the blog.

  • so, here's my perspective as a member of the LGBT community (though not a member of the gay male community):

    i've never felt anything but welcome in boystown, and generally have the "but you look so straight!" conversation more than halfway through the night when i'm there. so i have experienced boystown while being perceived as a straight woman. (also, ps: the "but you don't look gay!" thing is also so not cool, but is totally off topic).

    the thing is that i'm respectful. i have definitely seen the phenomenon that is being discussed here in action (and occasionally have experienced it for myself) and it's wrong. it's degrading. it's demeaning. it's obnoxious. it's rude. and more than anything else, it's taking away safe space. if i am somewhere that i consider "safe" and open and am instead degraded and objectified without consent, i'm going to be majorly pissed about it.

    i understand the reaction to those particular people. i am not a zoo animal. but i'm sure you, too, can understand that if that is the majority of interaction you have with a group of people in your space, it would be tempting to expand the generalization to fit all people that look like them. in this respect, your emailer is very, very wrong. responding to your generalizations and stereotypes with more generalizations and stereotypes doesn't get anyone any where.

    which brings us to your generalizations: just apologize and leave it there. there is no reason to continue to try and explain that they are things you hear often. stereotypes usually are. you have admitted that they were an attention-grabber. you have apologized. that's awesome. but you have yet to do the same thing you're asking of the gay community: step back, realize what you said is problematic, and just accept that there is no justification for perpetuating the stereotypes that put us in this whole "zoo" position in the first place.

    as for the "gay-only" atmosphere? that has never been my experience, so i am incapable of offering anything up to you on that point. whenever i am out in boystown (which is usually with at least one straight friend), i have always been treated with the exact same amount of respect i show others. i think what we have here is a couple of reactions to small groups of people misplaced onto the larger straight community. i don't know a single person that would deny you a night out because of your orientation, as long as your night out is exactly as respectful of them as you want them to be of you. that emailer may feel differently, but that emailer is not the norm in my personal experience.

  • In reply to crazyredpenguin:

    Thank you, thank you THANK YOU! You have said it beautifully. I've really only been trying to come from a good place and the more I try to explain myself the more crazy I sound. I just hate it that people out there think I'm some sort of mean, superficial person who only thinks of the gay community as being one thing.

    That's why I was so surprised by the email as well as some of the responses because I've been nothing but respectful while out in Boystown. I've never had a bad experience out. I've never had to think "do I look gay enough?" I realize because of you that some people may feel angry at the straight community as a whole but not everyone feels that way. Thank you.

  • I have to agree with Peter M- just because people say "queen" around you doesn't mean it's going to be accepted on your blog.

    I can say "n****r" around my black friends, and "f****t" around my gay friends, and "Polack" around my Polish family, but I wouldn't dare risk offending anyone by using them in front of the general public.

    I'm neither black nor gay, but I know I would find it wrong if someone wrote a blog about going to Hegewisch and seeing a Polack.

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    For some straight women a gay bar is somewhere to go where they feel safe, where they don't feel like they're going to be harassed, and where they can just enjoy themselves and have a good time.

    After all, isn't that what we ALL want?

  • You are an idiot. Using the term Queen to the VAST majority of the gay the equivalent of using Uncle Tom to African-Americans or Beaner to Latinos. There is a worse word to use but a straight person such as yourself using it is inappropriate and insulting. THIS is why my partner and I do not go to some nightspots in Boystown. Because of people like you that DO look at it as a Zoo and with a superior attitude. Which your writing obviously prove you are anything but... The "I have gay friends" is again insulting and equal to the "I have black friends" cop-out. You come across as a self-involved, snotty wanna be and I wish you WOULD stay out of Boystown. Your condescending attitude is why we do like safe places. And I hope all the idiots that have Bachelorette Parties start having them at Strip Clubs instead of at Gay Bars. If you are going to gawk, point and stare, at least go to a place where it is expected and you have to pay those you are staring at for God's sake..

  • In reply to QueenEqualsUncleTom:

    It's certainly your opinion as to my intelligence level. I'll take that to mean you are some sort of professor. But I digress, if it offends you then I am sorry. I was not aware that that word was such a landmine. But everything you said after that was rude, degrading, and no cause for it. If you are angry because of some other issue don't take it out on me. When did I state that I looked at Boystown as a zoo? Please include quotes as to my condescending attitude?

    I never used the "I have gay friends..." excuse. I said I have gay and straight friends. I didn't go on and rattle of the common racist or homophobic ritual of "I have this many black or gay friends." That to me would come off as a cop-out. I support gay issues. And I support equality among EVERYONE!

    If you don't want straight people in Boystown then that is your prerogative. You are entitled to your opinion but you can't convince me that because I made a few slips of the tongue or do not fit your criteria of what it means to be culturally sensitive that it is ok to exclude a whole sex from Boystown. It's not right no matter how upset you get at me. And as soon as we address the situation and try to work towards some answer, the better the atmosphere may be between gay and straight people in the future. I mean at least when it comes to who is allowed or how one should act while in Boystown.

    If you want to be angry at me continue to do such but I feel good about the fact that I am trying to understand and my heart is in the right place. It's easier to be blindly angry but more difficult to stand and work towards something.

  • As a gay MAN who does not go out but a few times a year, I want to go to a MAN only bar. It's hard enough to deal with the young gay retail worker queens. Last night out first time in many, many months and seems there are more women every time I go out. I have no problem letting them know how unwelcome they are to be in a gay bar. I like women as friends sometimes I want to get away from them and hang with men. Most men 30+ don't like women taking up space in a gay bar.

    Bottom line women….You have 95% of the city to go party in…STAY OUT OF THE BOY BARS! Stay out of my sand box and I will not hit on your BF's in your bars.

  • In reply to Citycat:

    i'm a lesbian... are you saying that because i have lady parts i'm not welcome in a part of town i love and enjoy supporting?

    that seems.... not really fair. would you feel the same way if bar-goers at any bar in that 95% of the city you speak of decided to tell you that "you have boystown, so you should stay out of the straight bars?"

    come on. we can make safe spaces and be respectful of ALL people who are respectful of us.

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    In reply to Citycat:

    What you're saying is not exactly fair but I can respect where you are coming from. I think what you are saying is valid, we all need our spaces and places to feel comfortable and be surrounded by a familiar setting. I don't exactly agree but maybe Boystown bars could create sort of a "straight" night where the bars and places would be open those gay-friendly straight companions. Then gentlemen like yourself would avoid the bars those nights while straight people could feel free to enjoy the wonder of Boystown. But I wouldn't want those businesses in Boystown to feel as if they have to "cater" to straight people. It's a confusing situation but I like where the talking is going.

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    I think you are being attacked about this because you are black. I see people write dumb sh*t about gay people all the time, and no one utters a word. Half the sh*t on TV about gay people are way worse than anything you have said. They stereotypes on TV and on other websites are endless.

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    So many people going out of their way to be offended. I am more offended by gay men who can't handle the stereotypes, either.
    Gay culture is as broad a spectrum as the society at large.. Gay people need to get over our own internalized "homophobia". Yeah, not every gay is glittery of fashion slaves, or sex crazed deviants.
    I didn't find the article patronizing, I found it light-hearted and a little finger-pointing...

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    I just read the original article (after I posted my response to pmoose), and feel like I have a few things to add. First off, I absolutely do not think you are a bad writer. A bit wordy, perhaps, but then I'm not allowed to talk because I LOVE words. And I quite enjoyed yours. There are definitely places where I would re-word some things because it's confusing or just not good grammar, but hell, I see plenty worse writing all over the internet. Yours is hardly what I would call "bad." In terms of the content, I can see where some people are coming from, especially since yes, the gay community is as diverse as the black one and as you said in one of your comments, just because you like hoop earrings and fried chicken, not every black lady does. But overall I did enjoy reading it -- I've lived in Chicago and Oak Park nearly my whole life, and I am not straight (though I am a woman married to a man). So I spent a good portion of my teenage years in the Halsted/Belmont area, though more in the sushi restaurants, comic shops, and wonky clothing stores than in bars. I did spend one Halloween at the Kit Kat Lounge and it was a riot. They do have great drinks! Oh, and my personal opinion, I wouldn't strike out that last sentence just because it mentions designer shoes. I think it's ok to throw in a mention or two of fashion even though not every gay guy is fashion-conscious. Anyway, keep your spirits up, keep travelling, and above all, KEEP WRITING!

  • 4-Star Explorer, the premise of your article is wrong. We don't want to keep out a "type", everyone is welcome here. It is a behavior and attitude of some people (most typically crowds of bachelorette parties) who come to the neighborhood that our community has an issue with. You should hang out here on a Friday night in May or June to understand what we mean. I can’t count how many times I have seen a trolley bus full women driving down Halsted Street, music blaring, yelling and screaming at people walking on the sidewalk, and flashing their boobs at us. Do they do this down Michigan Avenue? State Street? Chinatown? Logan Square? No, they come to our neighborhood, where people have invested in homes and business to behave like that. Why here?!?! If a bunch of gay guys loaded up a bus and loudly drove back and forth through your neighborhood on a Friday night waggling their junk at you would you be ok with it? Are you “open and accepting” to that?

    Also, straight people come to this neighborhood and treat people who live here like we are animals at a zoo. This frequently happens with bachelorette parties and post-cubs games. There have been three time where I have been eating dinner at a local restaurant next to a bachelorette party where they started a conversation with me and my partner, and the third or fourth question starts down a sexual path, like who is the top/bottom, doesn’t it hurt, etc. etc. We stop talking to them and try to ignore them, but the questions continue. We have even been asked to kiss for them. As a straight woman – have you ever been made to feel like your relationship with someone you love was turned into someone else’s freak show style entertainment? Would you be open and accepting to being made to feel like that?

  • "It is a behavior and attitude of some people (most typically crowds of bachelorette parties) who come to the neighborhood that our community has an issue with."

    I completely agree. I am a straight female with several straight female friends who come to boystown in the hopes that they will meet a "gay bestie" and it will be just like an episode of Will and Grace. Well I find that irritating for two reasons...1)Those bachelorette party chicks come to boystown looking for a stereotype so they can run home and talk about how many sassy fabulous boys they met. I have many gay friends who DO NOT conform to those stereotypes and thier sexual preference is not some kind of joke. I dont appreciate women who treat someones life as a form of amusment. 2) I dont often make this comparison, but as a black female, I completely understand how it feels to have people seek you out looking for a comfortable stereo type. They seem to think 'we' all dish up some sass with a side of wisdom--Weiner Circle comes to mind but thats another rant.

    I think for those gay men and women who do not wish to live their lives being expected to put on a minstrel show, the "O.M.G lets get some girlfriends together and go to Roscoes!" gets a little old. Maybe if people didnt act like they were going to the zoo, they wouldnt be met with such distain.

  • I think you miss a large part of the point. Gay bars, in addition to feeling "safe," are places for gay men to meet other gay men for dating, for hookups, for friendship. For gay men, the majority of places straight people meet each other are so dilluted that it's next to impossible to meet people. Imagine if everywhere you went was filled with other straight women, no heterosexual men, and you only really had a few bars where straight men were available and all of a sudden a bunch of gay men starting filling the place up, dilluting the numbers of straight men you could meet and mingle with? I suspect you'd be pretty annoyed - more than annoyed, even, you'd be PISSED.

    This has nothing to do with human rights or race, it has to do with the practical impact of being a small minority group that, by definition, can only date within itself. Gay men are not like blacks, in that if a black person wants to date a black person, it's a choice. They can choose to date white people if they want. Gay people date other gay people because they're gay, and choosing to date straight people isn't even a choice.

    You fundamentally fail to understand that, which is what makes your patronizing attitude about gay bars so offensive. When gay guys go out to meet other gay guys in a place where they concentrate themselves, if/when it's dilluted by straight people then those straight people are effectively being one giant cock-block. Is that what you want guys to see you as? A cock-block?

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