Armistead Maupin, who wrote a little book you might’ve heard of called Tales in the City, is on a book tour in Australia this week when his husband Christopher Turner tried to use the bathroom during lunch at Bojangles Saloon in Alice Springs, in central Australia, when the bartender told him he’d have to find another place to piss: the men’s room is for “real men” only.
According to Mr Maupin, they were told to take a seat, after which Mr Maupin’s husband Chris asked if he could use a rest room. “The guy said, sorry, we don’t have one in here but you can go across the street to the public facility.” Mr Maupin, who had used the toilet in Bojangles the day before, said he pointed in the direction of the toilet and said ‘what’s that over there?’ “[The barman] gave me a very pointed look and said that’s reserved for ‘real men’,” said Mr Maupin. “Neither one of us could quite believe he’d said it, and he actually repeated it, [he said] ‘see the sign on the door, it says gents, it’s for real men.'”
Mr Maupin and Mr Turner immediately left the establishment and made an official complaint at the Visitor Information Centre. “I think it was less than 24 hours later that we got an email from Peter Griggs in the tourism office saying he’d spoken to the proprieter of the business who was just as shocked as we were and that the man had extended his apologies.”
I think the only reasonable punishment for the staffer, if he isn’t fired, is obvious: cleaning the bathroom for the next six month.