Sunday, May 07, 2006

Straight people at gay clubs

There was a surprising problem with both of the gay clubs we went to in Austin this weekend: a complete overabundance of straight people. There was way too much man-on-woman action here and here, and nearly half the clientel was female. It seems rather unfair. There is just a small handfull of places in town where gay people can potentially be in the majority; the straight people just flood those bars and cause them to be no longer gay.


Blogger Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

This is a situation that pops up in your smaller cities, of which I guess Austin is still one in some regards. But while I can understand the gay resentment of encroachers, I think it's a good thing for both sides to learn to accept each other, and mingling is one way to do it. Ann and I occasionally danced at the New Bar at the Washington Hotel in Madison in the mid-80s. It was a lot of fun, we sometimes went in a hetero group and danced with both sexes. The hotel burned down, alas -- an accident.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Ann Althouse said...

But when you're trying to enjoy yourself at your own place, why do other people get to convert that into a learning place? Gay people don't exist for the purpose of teaching other people about gay people. But I think we went to the New Bar because it was a good dance club not to "learn to accept" gay people.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Christopher Althouse said...

^Yeah, that's the problem, though. In a city like Austin, straight people go because of the overall shortage of good dance clubs. One of the main points for gay people in going to a gay club is that they can approach a stranger and not have to worry about whether or not that person is also gay. That's taken away if too many straight people go.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Wickedpinto said...

I'm straight but have been to a lot of gay bars, not cuz I like it, though I think that if you want a FUN experience, go to a gay bar.

I have gone to gay bars because I have friends who are just coming out, and want support from their friends, and most newly open gays have mostly heterosexual friends.

Don't judge it as an usurpation, at least not at first, judge it as an honest support system for gay friends, by heterosexual friends.

However, if the MSM keeps making "gay" the new "black" then it's their fault, I never went to a gay bar without a gay friend to counteract my heterosexuality, and I ALWAYS acted as an allie to the gay concept.

It's hard to say.

I'm an almost "middle class" guy, who attends gay bars with his friends (or rather USED to) because I would be the first to be offended when a gay basher opened his mouth. But if the gay bars are just treated as pop culture status symbols? thats wrong.

I remember specificaly being at a gay bar, with my newly open "bi" friend who in fact was "gay" and he felt awkward attending a gay establishment.

If it weren't for myself, and a female friend he prolly wouldn't have interacted with the other homosexuals at all, because, if he talked to the wrong person, he might have been a victim.

Anyways, I'm sitting about 1/3 into the bar, with our female friend, and yelling at my homosexual friend, who's sitting on the corner so that he can be seen by all the other homosexuals.

My friend just got hit on by a guy he thought was cute, and he comes over, sits right next to me, and he's telling me about how well he spoke, how he was a computer geek like him, and blah blah blah, standard "I think she likes me" stuff, only it was a guy instead of a chick.

JUST then, (me being an urban guy) felt a hand on my wallet, not my ass, on my wallet, it touched briefly, and then it moved. I looked "meaningfuly" at my friend basicaly trying to say non-verbaly "is this cat stealing my friggen wallet?" and he looks back at me, like "are you friggen crazy"

then I turn around, and there is a guy, who is rubbing my ass, though I was concerned about my wallet, and the guy just FREAKED OUT! "OH MY GOD! I'm So Sorry, I thought you were someone else!"

He literally ran to a corner and hid his shame. I got up, and talked with him, I said, "i'm straight but I'm flattered" His friends ROARED!!!

I went back, and spoke with my friend, and introduced him to the group of people who made fun of their friend who hit on me, and nothing happened, but they both started to open up.

They are both friends to this day.

Having a hetero present, while a new out of the closet homo is tasting the life for the early moments of his new identity? Thats not bad.

In fact, it lets the hetero become a bit of a goon in the environment of homo's, thats not a bad thing, and I think my friend loves me because of my open and willing acceptance of homosexuality, cuz of how I reacted, and later, I said "All you guys who think me sexy get a drink!"

It was a joke, but I think it created an atmosphere.

Hetero's in SUPPORT belong at gay bars, but hetero's who are just being "fashionable" don't.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Christopher Althouse said...

wickedpinto: It might be that many straight people who go to gay bars believe that they're doing some sort of a social service. But while you're bestowing your heterosexual male body upon the gay community as an act of liberal faith, you should expect your ass to be grabbed as a result.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Back when I drank, I did it for the affect and to hell with the clientele and nature of the bars. It was some stiff belts of top-shelf bourbon that mattered, not some social/hustling affair. The decor and music may factor in a bit with this issue but then what the hell do I know? I've started off in top-notch joints and ended up in dives where the dead bodies were pulled to the side of the dance floor and the blood left to dry where it was spilled, and visa-versa.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Christopher Althouse said...

goesh: Mmm, people dying on the dance floor. Reminds me of my raver days. Don't make me nostalgic, now.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Wickedpinto said...

I told that story, for the fact that I had fun as well as my friend. I went because he's my friend, and I was just lending support for him, while he was just in the process of coming out.

2:44 PM  
Blogger downtownlad said...

I always prefer the gay bars that are more mixed. But I don't think the phenomenon you're describing happens to the same extent in big cities. If straight people are really overwhelming ALL of the gay bars, or at least all of the good ones, yeah - I can imagine that can be annoying.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Gahrie said...

How would you feel if I wrote a post talking about going out to a club last night, and then complaining that there was too many gays there?

How would you feel if we picked a couple of night clubs, declared them to be "straight" and announced that gays weren't welcome there?

Now to be clear, I have no problem with the existence of "gay bars" or gay people seeking to socialize with other gay people. I just wonder if you realize how hypocritical your comments are, and how offended you would be if the shoe was on the other foot?

12:53 PM  

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