On The Other Foot: Treating Women In Gay Clubs With Respect

drinksRegular readers of this blog know we have no love for herds of heterosexual ladies who storm gay bars and try to turn them into episodes of Sex and the City.

Queer bloggers have bemoaned the trend and several major nightclubs have even taken to banning bachelorette parties.

It’s not so much that we don’t like straight girls—it’s just that there’s a certain subsection of them that think because they’re usually the center of attention on their own turf, they can jump the line to the bar, shake spastically on the dance floor, ask strangers about their sexual habits and generally act like a diva.

However, that doesn’t give gay men the right to insult any woman who dares set foot on homo-hallowed ground.

We’ve seen some downright uncivil behavior directed at ladies whose only crime was not having a penis—from the tacky “fish” jokes to name calling and shoving, and even a thrown drink or two.

One straight-female Queerty reader found herself on the receiving end of this kind of shade, and shared her story:

 I am a straight woman who has a gay male friend that I hold near and dear to my heart, but by no means am I a “fag hag” or whatever term is…

I was in Atlanta over the Easter holiday visiting my friend (let’s call him Steve) as I have been doing for years ever since he moved there. We go out to bars and parties—normal weekend stuff with your best mate. One night we went out to a particular gay bar and we started drinking and socializing (something gay and straight people do). Mind you, I am not an obnoxious straight girl that goes into a gay social space, and tries to be BFFs with all the guys. I don’t tell gay couples that they are “cute together,” I don’t call gay guys “my gays,” I don’t make out with gay guys or ask them if they have ever been with women.

And I don’t roll with female friends into gays bars for birthdays or bachelorette parties. (I personally think that is weird, and borderline disrespectful).

Back to my story: I left to use the bathroom, and I clearly saw the sign said “women.”  I went it and saw a guy and girl arguing about why he was in the female bathroom. I didn’t really pay too much attention to what he was saying, but as he was leaving I overheard him say “By the way, I peed all over the seat,” which I thought was quite barbaric.

I went into the second open stall, did my business and, as I opened the stall door, another guy was bulldozing through two females to get into the bathroom. As they struggled the guy pushed the women on me, and then he started pushing me as well. I put my hand around his throat and held him against the wall to subdue him. (What can I say— it’s the Army in me.)

His friend then jumped me from behind, which gave him the opportunity to grab my hair (a wig) and throw it into the toilet.

The funny thing is that I was not really embarrassed about having my hair snatched: I am in the Army, I like to wear my hair short, but it is a real pain in the buns to have extensions and wear you PC cap. I was really just upset that this wig was custom-made 100% Indian Remy hair (the really good kind), and he ruined it!

What really took the biscuit for me was that, when we left the bathroom with my poor hair in tow, I went out to look for the guys that jumped me. I was met with a barrage of insults by my attacker’s friends—”This is a gay bar, you don’t belong here!”, “You fucking c***t!” and “Go back to England!” (On account of my accent, they assumed I was a foreigner.)

I ended up walking up to them, we talked and squashed the situation amicably without further incident.

A staunch ally to the LGBT community (she’s stood up to homophobia in the military), our reader now feels like throwing in the towel. Still reeling from the incident, she has a few questions for the group:
1. Was it wrong of her to use the women’s bathroom in a gay club? (Which begs the question of where women are supposed to relieve themselves.)

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  • Dixie Rect

    What is this – Valley of the Dolls? A wig gets snatched and flushed down the toilet? Queerty must of had a movie night and this fake story was dreamed up. How original!

  • ArthurTreacher

    Just as straight people are evolving, gay people really need to start evolving as well. It’s time to grow up and stop the queeny bitchy act – God that is tired and unattractive.

  • yaoming

    I try not to spend too much time with straights. My BFFs are gays, so this wouldn’t happen to me. What kind of gay bar has a Ladies’ Room (for ladies), anyway?

  • avesraggiana

    Misogynistic behaviour is just another form of gay self-loathing. To tell anyone, “You Don’t Belong Here” is hypocritical and just plain sad.

  • Caleb in SC

    @yaoming: Really?

  • Dionte

    Make these into web episodes and put them on YouTube.

  • JAW

    LOL… Sounds like it is slow news wednesday…

    She is the quiet, respectful, wig wearing soldier (Thank you for your service) straight girl, minding her own business and she was attacked by 2 different Gay boys in the ladies room… whit a bunch of other girls in there??? Plus… when she got out of the Ladies room… she went to start a row with her “attacker”???

    His friends jumped in to defend him… but she being the wonderful respectful straight soldier girl that she is was able “quashed the situation amicably without further incident.”

    LOL… was this actually posted on April Fools Day… and I missed it???

  • EScottG

    How much of the pee seater’s behavior was due to the girl before her that was kvetching about him being in the ladies room, which in Every Gay Bar USA means nothing, both bathrooms are used interchangeably. She was probably THAT type of straight girl at the gay bar. Not that it’s excusable, but how much of this was wrong place at the wrong time? And how much of the hair snatching (and that does sound like some expensive hair) was due to the throat grabbing? 9 times out of 10 what happens to straight girls at the gay bar are brought on by their not being able to hold their liquor and starting a bitch fest with some gay man that isn’t having any of it. Let’s face it, they can get reeeal sloppy.

  • jwrappaport

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen women openly mistreated in any gay club or bar. I have certainly not seen or heard of anything like this before.

    There is a justifiable general sentiment that a gay bar is a primarily gay male space in which heterosexual women are the clear interlopers, but I don’t think for a second that this story represents anything other than a highly unusual incident from which very little can be generalized.

  • jwrappaport

    @Dan: I would characterize the argument differently. It is not simply the behavior of rogue bachelorette parties in gay bars that’s at issue, but rather the presence of large numbers of heterosexual women in general, irrespective of their demeanor. It is problematic for one reason: Gay men have very, very few public spaces in which we can express ourselves sexually, i.e., hit on and dance with other guys without being leered at or berated. Straight women can and are encouraged to do that just about anywhere – in bars and out. We don’t have that privilege, which is why our space is so important not only instrumentally, but also culturally.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to see the presence of large numbers of women at gay bars as a cultural usurpation of sorts.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Dixie Rect: Pretty snippy of you. Jesus.

  • Bonerboy

    Bullshit, Queerty. This happened precisely BECAUSE of your semi-evil stand against bachlorette parties in gay bars. Its an easy to follow extension of this kind of minor hate. This makes me so angry!! As I’ve said before, you NEVER EVER ban any group of legally allowable patrons into ANY establishment. EVER. EVER!!!!!!!

  • tazz602

    @@EScottG: I think you have it, if she has been to gay clubs with her BFF before she knows the women’s room is more often used by men who are pee shy (take a look at most men’s rooms in bars – you are putting yourself on display no matter what you do) and there are usually less to zero women so it’s no big deal – Bars have to provide both facilities in most states, but I like that some bars now are just saying the women’s room is unisex. But in some bars I have heard more women complain about men in the ladies room lately. But guys – be respectful – number one, it is the woman’s room, if they are in line don’t barge past and go in anyway. I think she just got herself in the mix of two bad situations simultaneously – the wig part, well, she did have a guy pinned to the wall so anything goes in a gay bar fight, including losing your wig, lol.

  • Cam

    This isn’t a gay straight issue. This was an issue of somebody causing trouble in a bar, being subdued by somebody else and then in return calling that person any name they could.

    An asshole is going to be an asshole but presenting this story as if it’s a gay straight thing seems a bit off base.

  • B Damion

    @Cam- I totally agree.
    Denouncing an entire subculture for this type of behavior is most definetly off base.
    This entire situtation sounds very ignorant.

  • JAW

    GUYS… It was an April Fools Joke… the note was sent in as an April Fools Joke… looks like you all fell for it

  • kingkuy

    @yaoming: Burkharts does and it is the only gay club i have seen [fist] fights break out at so this story doesn’t surprise me

    sorry you had to go through that foolishness unnamed lady. especially after serving your country

  • Cam


    What an idiotic comment. Marriage is illegal, women coming in and loudly screaming about getting married can be upsetting to customers. The bars aren’t saying women can’t come in, just that they will not officially set up and host a bachelor party.

    Oh NO! MacDonalds won’t let us play baseball inside the restaurant, I guess they hate all men too?

  • Eriko

    1st problem… being in Atlanta.
    okay, joking.. sort of. dont hate me.

  • Dixie Rect

    @DarkZephyr: Shhh…I was at movie night, don’t tell anyone. Were you there too?

  • balehead

    Actually the hags will be the first to say….OH I saw him at a gay bar..can you make him leave the (straight) party?….(true story twice!)….

  • balehead

    Most women are actually against gay marriage by the way…. (too much competition?)

  • soldiergal

    No, it’s was not an April fools prank, I am the person it happened to, and I think it is very sad that most of you guys can find humour in somebody being attacked, I hope it never happens to you.

  • soldiergal

    Look, I was not looking for trouble, the sign on the building did not say “THE GAY BAR”, I was visiting a friend, and that is his hangout. It is really sad that most of you guys think what happened to me is justifiable because it was a “gay bar”..really? I guess it is a vicious circle after all.

  • mlbumiller

    These str8 women need to get their own damn club. When I can go to any club, dance and show signs of affection to my boyfriend, then they can come to a gay club and do what they want.

    The bathroom: someone piss on the seat on purpose… nasty f***er. Any of my girlfriend need to go to restroom at a gay club one of us guys always go with her knowing that there really isnt a womens room in reality.

    Soldiergal; you should have not only grabed him by the throat, but kneed him in the crotch like you were trained!

  • JAW

    @soldiergal: Th e fact that you tell us that….

    “I am not an obnoxious straight girl”… Leads me to think you might be… I am not sure how may gay guys have told you that, or perhaps you see that it you own mind.

    perhaps you were a part of the issue… why did you not get help from the other girls in the ladies room?

    Why did you go out to hunt him down… were you looking for more trouble?

    I go to bars in cities around the country… and I have never seen a woman (even a bachelorette) treated with any disrespect and to have 2 guys (who were not together) at one time do it to you and others, does not fly. Perhaps the girls that were already there started it.

  • soldiergal

    I meant “Obnoxious straight girl” in the sense that I don’t go hunting for gay guy acessories or hangout at gay bars for that matter, I was visiting a friend.. Probably the girls started it, I don’t know….but the point i was trying to make is the just because majority of the clientele happens to be gay does not mean everyone else has to piss off, they had female bartenders for pete sake, I just think it is almost laughable if it was not so sad that I would be told i don’t belong there just because I am a girl. I have been to places that had unisex bathrooms and everone waited there turn, not jump the line because you are a guy and this is your watering hole. the sign clearly stated womens bathroom. I was not even hurt about being jumped, what upset me that most was being told i don’t belong. I guess if you guys think that is acceptableable then the reverse should be too.

  • Dixie Rect


    Sorry, don’t believe the entire story. Let’s see some pictures of you and this infamous snatched wig. It’s all in the details, so prove it. Instead of some stock photo at the top, it should be you.

  • GayTampaCowboy

    Look, this isn’t the 70’s where gay bars were clandestine places (even after Stonewall), it’s 2013 and if we, as a community, demand equal rights – including expecting access to the same products and services that str8 couples get when getting married (reception halls, caterers, florists, etc) we have to accept the fact that gay bars are much more en-grained in most US cities.

    I have alot of empathy for SoldierGal, but i think we all need to keep this in context. she was recounting what happened to her at ONE bar, on ONE night. I didn’t read that she was lashing out at EVERY GAY MAN in EVERY GAY BAR!

    Personally, and i worked at a gay bar for several years, I think bar owners/managers need to keep a closer eye on bathrooms in gay bars in general (Yes, stuff like this happens in str8 bars too, but we’re talking about an incident that happened in a gay bar in atlanta). Here in tampa, in a bar i worked at, we had to have the bouncer go into the gal’s room every 15 minutes or so to stop the guys going into the commodes to do drugs.

    I have to also admit that i’m often embarassed at the lack of bathroom decorum at many gay bars…i often wonder if guys piss on the floor, leave paper towels all over the place, don’t flush their bowel movements, etc. at their own homes. I think it shows a bit of lack of class.

    now, yes, i’ve been to many str8 bars where their bathrooms are pig styes, but to be honest, i do hold our community to a bit of a higher standard at times. Ironically, some of the CLEANEST gay bar bathrooms i’ve used were at LEATHER bars. Even tho there was lots of “diddling” going on, guys were respectful and didn’t trash the bathrooms. For example, the DC Eagle and the LURE in NYC (when it was open) were amazingly clean. On the other hand, some of the “dance” clubs in those same cities were just gross.

    I think everyone should strive to treat others with as much respect as they expect – be you at a gay bar, bathroom or in line at Starbucks.

    Let’s also be honest. Alot of str8 gals go to gay bars because we have great music, great dance floors and its a SAFE place for them to go with their gal-pals and gay buds without being hit-on or harassed by drunk str8 guys. So, as long as everyone trys to “just get along,” situations like this will be few and far between.

    Just sayin’

  • Shannon1981

    Bachelorette parties in gay bars are about as insensitive as they come, considering that we can’t get married in most states, and, even in the ones where we can, it isn’t federally recognized. Bars are right to nip that.

    As for what happened to this lady, it should never happen to anyone, anywhere, period.

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