I was meandering ’round the Twitterverse the other day and saw a friend had linked to Chloe Curran’s recent article: Get Out Of My Gay Bar Straight Girl!
Straight Girl: two words definitely apply to a certain adorkable someone.
It’s a strongly worded title and the ensuing rant pulls no punches. Not that Curran’s a straight-hater. She explains that:
I get it: Straight people don’t come to gay bars because they want to hate on gay people. They come because as the empowered majority, they feel entitled to access every space in the world.
I’m not here to argue for a ban on straight people in gay clubs; that’s discrimination, and clearly wrong. However I will ask you to a) rethink the entitlement you feel to occupy every space and b) respect that no matter how much you “love the gays,” sometimes gay people need to be amongst their peers and therefore apart from you.
Um…yeah. I can’t speak to any other gay-club-going-straight-person’s motives but I’ve enjoyed getting my dance on in queer spaces for years. Until I read this article, it never occurred to me that my presence might feel intrusive and/or disrespectful regardless of how awesomely accepting I believe myself to be. Looks like the entitlement thing applies to me as well.
“My girls and I just want to dance without being bothered by lame guys dancing up on us,” you’ll cry incredulously, eyes a’ flashin’ and gum a’ snappin’ with (what you think to be) righteous indignation, “Why is that so wrong?”
I admit, I’ve totally been that gal. I’ve sought refuge in gay clubs, using them as dance-sanctuaries when I wanted to flee from dudes who thought crotch grinding was an appropriate introduction.
I would never snap my gum, though. The odds that I’d swallow it and choke are too high.
Now I’m thinking about it and yeah…that shit ain’t on. I would never go into a synagogue and be all “Hi, folks! I’ve got some sick cantor music on my iPod but it’s just not the same as live davening. I’m gonna chill here with y’all because even though I’m not of your faith, it’s cool because I am TOTALLY DOWN with the Jews.”
I’m not beating myself up or saying I’m a horrible person. This is just a situation where I wasn’t aware. Now that I am, I’ll try to be more respectful of people’s need to have a little time and space away from the dominant culture. That doesn’t mean I’ll never set foot in a gay bar again, but it might best if I wait for an invitation before I boogie on in.
If you have a moment, I encourage you to read the entire article. Then come back here and tell me what you think. I’d love to get some other opinions on this, particularly from my queer readers. How do you feel about straight people hanging out in gay bars and other queer spaces?
In the meantime, I’m thinking I should open a club specifically for dance-lovin’ ladies, where come-ons are strictly forbotteen. There’s clearly a market for it. I can call it “No Hitters”. Huh? HUH? Who’s with me?