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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The "Guerilla Queer Bar"

There is a gay organization in some cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Detroit, called the Guerilla Queer Bar. It is comprised of gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people and their goal is to gather all their members, usually 100 to 200, and take over a traditionally straight bar in their city for one night every month.

The group is not confrontational and when they make their decision which popular straight bar they will visit, they always contact the bar owner and manager for his or her reaction. Usually straight friends accompany the group and there have been no reports of violence, so far. One male member stated that "A lot of people have never been around a lot of queer people before and they were fascinated." Really? About what? Is it that fascinating in the 21st century to see a man wearing a blue sequined dress? Is that any more fascinating than to see teen age boys punch holes the size of quarters in their ear lobes? That’s typical stuff these days.

I have nothing against these people if they want to take over a straight bar once a month in some large city. I’m sure the bars that are not doing much business are glad to have a couple hundred paying customers pack their place. Since being gay is still a stigma in many areas, I guess they just want to appear a bit more mainstream and encourage acceptance of their lifestyle within the straight community.

I haven’t heard of a Guerilla Queer Bar in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area but an incident a couple of years ago in Scottsdale resulted in Anderson’s Fifth Estate lounge going gay. As far as a couple hundred gay people taking over a straight bar for the night in Scottsdale, I would have concerns. With the bar scene being what it is in Scottsdale and the various outbreaks of violence over the years relating to gay customers, there could be some difficulty. On the other hand, nothing major has happened in other cities, so maybe that would be the case here. We may find out.

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