Israel Ruben may wonder why Chicago Pride banned his anti-gay ways, but some gay activists are questioning queer communities’ segregationist trend. Two discrimination-related news stories grabbed headlines this week. First came news that an Australian bar called The Peel Hotel won the legal right to exclude straights and lesbians. Then came word that a Montreal gay bar booted a woman named Audrey Vachon. Both cases rubbed us the wrong way. The idea that we as a marginalized social group could endorse discrimination while also fighting for our own rights borders on absurd.
On the surface, certainly everyone deserves a place where they can drink freely, but the problem with requesting separate facilities is that it endorses the notion that our lifestyles are so disparate that co-existence is impossible. That stance is one that encourages intolerance and disunity with a treacherous and slippery slope. If the Peel is only “convivial” without heteros, perhaps Hooters is so only without gays, and Augusta National without blacks? Given how hard the homosexual community has battled to achieve their current level of acceptance, it seems not only short-sighted, but also self-destructive to take such a hypocritical stance.
We do ourselves a disservice by sponsoring segregation. Not only does it punch a hole through homo rights ideology, it deprives people the opportunity to meet people from different social groups. We’re all about the gays, but we love our straight allies just as much. We’d hate for them to be left out in the cold while we party at a fags only bar.