“This is the least-gay gay bar,” claimed Matthew Heath-Fitzgerald, the owner of Fat Mary’s in McAlester, Oklahoma. The bar is in a former goat barn on a country road, next to the cemetery for the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, whose lights gleam across the fields. The other major employer is the Army ammunition plant at the … More Road Notes 5: The Least-Gay Gay Bar?
The 2017 Who Needs Gay Bars Road Trip has begun, in West and East Virginia. Also, I may have received free sunglasses at DC Pride: The first bar on this leg of the tour was Vice Versa in West Virginia, the largest of the remaining five gay bars in the state. Co-owner Montaz Hazleton met his husband … More Road Note 1: Virginias are for Lovers
Gay bars that are an hour or more away from another are special. They are the only physical place where LGBTQ people gather in public–often for regions that cross multiple states. For example, I spent an evening watching the entertainers at Fort Wayne’s Babylon Nightclub in March 2017. As patrons were brought on stage to … More Regional gay bars as outposts
My data about the changes in the numbers of gay bars over time are based on Damron Travel Guides. These slim address books have been published by the same company since 1964 and under the same editor, Gina Gatta, since 1992. This stability and their national coverage makes them a unique resource in an era … More Counting bars with Damron Travel Guides
If you want to understand gay life in America today, you need to go to a city with a historic gay neighborhood and thriving a womyn’s center, where gays won victories against police harassment of gay bars in 1969, where its corporate titans win Supreme Court cases, a city that has confronted the realities of … More Oklahoma City bound
What if the paucity of lesbian bars represented not a present failure or a return to a bad gay past, but the future of queer sociality for everyone? This was the challenge posed by Lyndsey Beutin when she, Crystal Biruk and I hung out a couple weeks ago. When San Francisco’s Lexington Club closed in … More Lesbian bar, queer futurities?