IRL Gay Male Privilege

by W.F. Price on May 25, 2012

I noticed a story about a gay bar that has banned bachelorette parties in the news, and had to see what that was all about. According to the story, the bar banned the parties because gay marriage is still illegal…

Now, there’s always a chance that the guy was sincere about it, but how much political impact could such a move really have? Does the owner think the kind of straight women who have bachelorette parties at a gay bar are the kind of people who would oppose gay marriage?

I don’t think so. I may not be gay, but there are more than a few things that gay and straight men have in common, and one of them, I suspect, is a strong distaste for bachelorette parties. In fact, gay men probably hate them even more than straight men. What could be more obnoxious than a bunch of feral young women getting all musky over some male dancer and trying to make themselves the center of attention — in the middle of a gay bar?!

Here’s what the owner has to say:

“We love our straight girlfriends [Editor: yeah, sure you do…] coming in to celebrate one of the happiest days of their life,” says Abbey owner David Cooley. “But it’s also a slap in the face to my customers and my life that we can’t have that same celebration.”

Male go-go dancers are just one reason why one of America’s most popular gay bars has become a big draw for straight women’s bachelorette parties.

Each weekend, The Abbey hosts several dozen ladies night parties. But Cooley says, no more. Until marriage is legal for everyone, straight women can no longer celebrate their pending nuptials at his club.

I can only imagine the complaints from the gay male clientele Cooley must have had to deal with.

However, without some really good excuse, a bar probably couldn’t ban such parties without risking a lawsuit — it would be gender discrimination. If the bar were a mainly straight bar run by a straight guy, he’d be really hard pressed to come up with a reason, and might have to take measures that would harm the bottom line.

But the gay marriage justification is just perfect. Now, instead of saying “we don’t want these obnoxious ladies monopolizing our space,” the owner can instantly make the ban a civil rights crusade. Totally convenient.

I can’t really hold it against the bar’s owner or clients for invoking the gay card, but I reserve the right to grumble about the unfairness of it all.

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