Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert’s gay chief of staff Chris Heinbaugh (pictured) and some of the ‘mos he was with were denied entry to PM Nightclub at the Joule Hotel on a Friday night a couple weeks back, and it has some of them claiming sexual orientation discrimination. After all, they were attending a threeway joint birthday party, and dammit, why weren’t their names on a list? But management insists the doormen were only enforcing their standard girl-guy ratio, which any freakin’ straight club with a velvet rope does, and not getting all homophobic.
Daylon Pereira, a host of the birthday party, says the club was pretty dead when he got there around 9:30pm, but then “over 100 of our guests were turned away, all of whom were on the guest list given to the door men, the club was still empty and many of our friends were made to feel like second-class citizens. Had it been an issue of crowd control, I could understand, but the fact that PM was close to empty, I am having a tough time looking at this as anything but ‘gay’ control. All of my straight friends who arrived with their girlfriends were granted access with no issues.”
Except these clubs regularly keep it empty inside to build up a line outside, making it look more exclusive. (I can’t believe I have to explain this concept to gay men. Image is everything.) And while it’s standard practice for straight bars to maintain higher numbers of women than men, I’ve seen packed gay (male) bars administer similar policies when a whole crew of women show up. They’re forced to wait in a line outside, while hot guys breeze through. I endorse these door policies.
So while the 200 party guests and their hosts might’ve been upset with being turned away at PM’s door, maybe it’s time to use it as an indication that supporting your local gay watering hole is an important gesture, since they’re all closing.
This would be a non-story if one of the invited guests didn’t work for the mayor; this crap happens nightly. Is it gender discrimination? Of course. Is it sexual orientation discrimination? Less likely.