Should Gay Bars Ban Bachelorette Parties?

Earlier this week, we ran a tongue-firmly-in-cheek guide to behaviors that some straight girls in gay bars should really knock off. Predictably, it received a lot of heated responses in the comments—some took offense, others thought we didn’t go far enough.

But honestly, annoying behavior in bars is universal: If we banned straight women from gay watering holes, I’m sure there’s be enough homo prima donnas to pick up the slack. It’s just something we all put up with. Heck, it probably pushes us to have another vodka cranberry.

But there’s one situation that I think really needs to be called out: the bachelorette party. For more than a decade, cabals of tipsy straight girls have been barging into queer bars wearing all manner of embarrassing accessories. They hoot and holler, order ridiculous shots and basically drag the spotlight onto the bride-to-be.

We’ll con-fucking-gratulations, missy—you’re getting married! Your friends, family, community and country are standing behind you as you make a lifelong commitment to the man you love.

Wish I knew what that felt like.

Acting irritating in a bar is one thing, but literally rubbing our faces in your wedding when we can’t have our relationships recognized is kind of disgusting.

Last year In December 2009, the very same day a marriage-equality measure was voted down in the New York Assembly, I was in a gay bar in the East Village as a bachelorette party stormed in. For the first time in my life, I was really feeling like a second-class citizen and these loud, drunken bacchae were the last things I needed to see. After the third “woo-hoo!” I went over to one of the girls and politely said, “We’re really happy for your friend, but since gays and lesbians can’t get married it’s a little tacky to be celebrating her straight marriage here.”

Maybe I was being bitchy or thin-skinned (Maybe? Definitely.) And I think it’s the only time I’ve ever said anything to anyone about their behavior in a bar. But I was caught up in the emotion of the day.

Of course, it didn’t really matter: the girl looked at me side-eyed for a second and then returned to her friends without comment.

I’ve had a while to think about that incident and, of course, since then same-sex marriage has since been legalized in New York State. But I still think it’s a bit reprehensible to hold your hen night in a gay bar when gays and lesbians can’t have their marriages recognized on a national level.

Rather than piss in the wind, though, I thought of a few ways brides-to-be and their pals could still party with the fags and help rather than hinder the cause:

* Spend, spend spend. Instead of buying the lucky bride novelty dildos and edible underwear, how about everyone writes a check to a marriage-rights group like MarriageEquality USA?

* Don some gay apparel. Instead of wrapping the bride in a toilet-paper wedding dress, everyone can wear a “Some Dudes Marry Dudes”  or Freedom to Marry T-shirt.

* Tip fucking generously. You’re demanding a lot of the bartender’s time. You’re probably asking her to make silly, complicated drinks like a Slippery Nipple or a Slow Comfortable Screw Against the Wall. So thank your drink-slinger for the extra effort by making it rain. (And we mean Lincolns and Hamiltons, not Washingtons).

* Support the cause. Even the most obnoxious straight-girl Carrie clone thinks she loves her gays. She can show it by coming to the rallies, calling her representatives, volunteering on Election Day, etc. Show me your “I Don’t Vote on Your Rights” placard and you can be as big an asshole at the bars as you want.

I’ll even buy you the next drink.

Photos: Dylan Duvergé, Freedom to Marry