Do Queer Bars And Queer People Spend More On Booze Than They Do On LGBT Organizations?

Urvashi Vaid, the former head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, described the failure of LGBT political groups to connect with gay bars as “a huge missed opportunity.” She told me: “We never figured out how to organize successfully through the bars. You see tables—information, literature, those kinds of strategies. You don’t see the bar owner or the party promoter sharing the bar [mailing] list with the local political organization.” Today, gay political groups largely ignore the hundreds of thousands of Americans who spend Saturday night in their local gay bar.

– Slate.com’s June Thomas discussing the rumored decline in gay bar culture. While the article came out a few months ago, as the political season ramps back up, it mades us wonder: “Do gay bars do enough to support the fight for gay rights? And do you spend more money in gay bars than you do on LGBT organizations?”

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  • christopher di spirito

    Not me. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. I am health-oriented and take care of my body.

    I make donations to LGBT organizations and dog-rescue groups who have a no-kill policy. I must admit, I stopped donating to the Human Rights Campaign during the Joe Solmonese era. I was delighted to learn he’s leaving. I may start giving to them once again depending on who his replacement happens to be.

  • dracukon

    I don’t think that’s an LGBT issue so much as a human issue – I’m sure the $ spent on liquor would take up most of a pie chart comparing charitable donations to booze funds. That said, while it’d be great if all bar owners or managers were philanthropy-minded and reached out to non-profits to organize fundraisers, the onus is on the organizations and their development teams to come up with smart ways to involve bars and clubs in their outreach. Unfortunately most non-profits are so under-staffed, these teams barely have the bandwidth to handle proactive donators, let alone devise strategies for the rest of the community, who you might call passive potentials.

  • Pitou

    @christopher di spirito: “I may start giving to them once again depending on who his replacement happens to be.”
    Then you’re a fool. How about waiting for them to bring on some fucking action. Period. They get none of my dollars until I see them actually do something other then black-tie cocktail parties with D.C. elite.

    Once again, regardless of who is running the operation.. be it Joe S. or Fancy Smurf, NONE of these organizatons should get Gay-dollars until they actually achieve something.. and an invite to hob-nob with super elite or lick Barack Obama’s schwety balls is not accomplishing a damn thing.

    Get DOMA. Get ENDA. Then you may have my money.

  • christopher di spirito

    The word I’m hearing about the post-Solmonese era at the HRC isn’t encouraging.

    HRC plans to focus more on members of the Tea Party and social conservatives on Capitol Hill. They’ve managed to convince themselves this is how best to further LGBT rights.

    If this turns out to be true, then I’m perfectly happy to not send them any money.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    Who goes to gay bars anymore?

    Outside of the big cities with gayborhoods or gay resort destinations, they barely exist anymore…especially in states or cities with G/L discrimination laws in place. There’s maybe three or four left in my whole state outside of Asbury Park. Once they pass G/L protections years ago, the off-campus gay bars closed or converted to dance clubs. The local gay watering holes all closed since now you and your BF and your friends can go drinking/dining at ANY bar in NJ, not just the gay ones.

    When I was in College we had five gay bars within a 15-mins.’ drive just in Trenton NJ alone, and three in New Hope PA. Now there hardly a gay bar within an hour’s drive. There’s driving an hour out-of-state all the way to Philly, or 50-mins. to the one gay bar left in New Hope PA. There’s driving an hour to the Jersey Shore to Asbury Park or two hours to AC. Or nearly an hour’s drive to New Brunswick for the only gay bar between NYC and Philly.

  • Eric in Chicago

    Well she’s not talking about Chicago – SIDETRACK – the most popular gay bar in Chicago – not only started the states GLBT lobbying group in Illinois (Equality Illinois) they also hold so many community and gay rights fundraisers it would make your head spin. (Ben Cohen is there tonight in fact). Don’t paint every Gay bar with the same brush. (and No I don’t work there or have anything to do with that bar except drinking there)

  • slanty

    UNhappy hours…

  • Jack

    yeah maybe we do who gives a fuck, but that’s just me…I’m an Irish gay retarded alcoholic

  • TommyOC

    Alcohol makes my troubles go away.

    HRC does not.

    Which should I be spending my money on again?

  • Bruce

    I’ve been disappointed by HRC. I used to be a member, but after paying my dues, they would have a bowling party that included a free membership. I called to take advantage, but didn’t receive a timely reply (twice)!
    A simple and effective improvement would be a name change, like “Equality for American Gays and Lesbians” because every time they’re in the media, it would be stated. HRC is so ambiguous, it is almost like being in the closet.

  • jcknck

    To be far, you don’t see straight politicians/PACs in straight bars…

  • skzip888

    It just means Queer right’s organizations should sell booze…

    I don’t remember the last time I got out after a long day of work and thought “gee, what I could really use is four hours of Lesbian beat poetry.”

Comments are closed.