Privileged and Entitled:
One of the biggest lies about gay male culture is that we all LOVE being around women. That we can’t wait to be BFFs for life with the opposite sex. This might be true for a small group of gay males, but definitely not for the majority of us. This doesn’t mean that we have issues with women, more that we prefer the company of men. Hence, the gay thing.
A recent study looked at straight women’s relationships with gay males.
“The current research tested the hypothesis that women engage in more comfortable and intimate interactions with a gay (but not a straight) man immediately after discovering his sexual orientation.
In two studies, female participants engaged in imagined or actual initial interactions with either a straight man or a gay man. After the man’s sexual orientation was revealed, women (particularly attractive ones) who were paired with a gay man reported greater anticipated comfort, which was mediated by their reduced worry about his sexual intentions (Study 1). Further, once women discovered that they were interacting with a gay man, they displayed more intimate engagement behaviors with him (Study 2). These findings reveal how, and why, close relationships often form quickly between women and gay men”.
Here are the problems with this research. No one asked gay men how we feel about this type of treatment from women. We were not asked how we feel about having relationships with women. And, no one asked how we felt about the level of closeness and intimacy these women are quick to give us.
Why? Because gay men are expected to love and enjoy the attention of women and being a support for them.
It is sexist and homophobic to state and repeat that women are safe for gay males. Also, there is a social fiction that gay males and straight women are alike and love to be around each other.
It is past time that we stop ignoring the reality of female homophobia, gay bashings, and other forms of abuse. So many young gay males have and are suffering under mothers’ that hate their homosexuality. Statistic show a great deal of them, especially those boys of colour, will end up homeless.
The work place is another place where women widely discriminate against gay males in hiring, promotion and salary. Especially in female dominated careers like nursing and healthcare. Even in housing, they hold power over us at all times.
Straight women, especially straight white women, have a large amount of privilege when compared to gay males, and definitely those of colour. This fact is ignored by those that wish to paint women as weaker creatures compared to straight (white) men who have many more layers of power. This status doesn’t apply to most gay males.
Our safe spaces are needed to protect us from all sorts of homophobia and a forced heteronormative life style. This can and does come from both genders. Inside of our clubs, women physically kiss, touch, grab and grope gay males, and think it’s ok because they are female. But the issue is that we are gay males, and this is unwanted sexual assault and rape. Yes, it is, even if the person is female.
Here are some fun facts relating specifically to New York in 2017
- New York City is home to the largest demographic of people who identify as LGBT in the United States; some 700,000 people
- New York City is home to roughly 1,700 bars
- Around 37 of those establishments are considered LGBT bars
- And only 35 are considered to be mostly male (with more closing each year)
It might not be obvious to detect but much of the outrage over all gay male safe spaces is based on privilege. Women, who are accustomed to being able to have free range of and roam any and all spaces, hate not being able to have control over our safe spaces.
These women have all of the earth to explore. In a city like New York, they literally have thousands of choices. We have 35! But even this seems to be too much for them. There is a growing number of women that won’t be satisfied until we have none.
We have carved out small little oases in the desert for our own protection from a hostile heteronormative world. Every thing that makes us gay males is either illegal now, or was until recently. From our sex to dancing together and any sort of socially and governmental acceptance of our relationships. Why is it so hard to understand that we are not the perpetrator, but rather the victims?
Right now, in the United States gay men are waiting to hear if we can legally be fired from our jobs, discriminated against in housing and even public accommodations based on the Religious Freedoms of others. Because of this, it is asinine to state that our safe spaces aren’t needed.
Are we seeking to keep (straight) women from our safe spaces? Hell yes, but there’s a huge difference in discrimination by the majority vs. a minority needing their own safe space. Discrimination is a form of social power and by definition, groups that lack social power cannot discriminate against groups that have social power. Setting up a safe space is an act of self-defense against discrimination, not discrimination itself.
Thankfully there are many that think it’s hugely important for people, especially minority groups, to have our own spaces. But they still wonder how a group can vie for and champion equality, then attempt to shut out people and cordon off specific areas?
The answer is simple. We are still fighting for equality, we have not achieved it. In the mean time, we need safe spaces to support each other through the struggle. Heal the traumas and comfort those too weak to fight any more. When all people are free and equal, then we can discuss dismantling gay male safe spaces. But not one second before.
Dear gay men, stop telling women they can’t be in gay bars:
The issue of gay male safe spaces and straight women’s desire to be in them, continues to cause controversy. With us, the tipping point was with an article written for Out.com by Rose Dommu. The title alone was problematic to us, but her words were even worse. The entire article is nothing more than a gay bashing, homophobic, sexist rant run amok.
*As we have found out, Ms. Dommu not only still is employed by Out magazine but the article in question is still posted, but with a photograph of a trans gender Latina from the popular show POSE. Also, during the promotion for this article Ms. Dommu wanted to make sure we understand that she was “I’m trans you fucking idiot”. We don’t understand what that has to do with the article she wrote from a straight woman’s perspective. And as we all know, trans women are women. She is a straight white women.
We took at look at the author’s thought process and reasoning for why women should be in all gay male safe spaces, and dissected the hate, paragraph by paragraph..
In law school, one of the first things you learn how to do is called “issue spotting”. This is a simple technique that relies upon you understanding what the true issue is before you can address it. If you focus on the wrong issue, you will come up with the wrong answer to the question. That is what Ms. Dommu and others like her have done. Further, they want us to focus on this wrong issue so that they never have to address the real ones.
“I know this might surprise you, but in 2017, women can go anywhere we want to! And furthermore, we don’t need your approval to do it.“
The issue isn’t if gay men can tell women where they can and/or cannot go. Rather, it is about straight women’s refusal to properly negotiate and respect gay male safe spaces. These spaces, which were created by us, and for us, should not be subject to satisfying the wants of a majority group.
As stated by the author, women can go wherever they want, but unfortunately gay men can’t. Our lives are put at risk every time we walk out the door. Our safe spaces are to be a refuge from these fears and worries.
“Women in gay bars are not limited to bachelorettes, did you forget that queer women exist? Trans women? Straight women with gay friends or straight women who just like gay bars or drag queens? Well, yeah, you probably did.“
Unnecessary snarky attitude and tone aside, the author again attempts to frame the issue as one of discrimination against a majority group. Yes, we do find bachelorette parties in our safe spaces to be a problem, not just because of the behaviour of the women, but these festivities were taking place at a point in American history where gay males could not marry our chosen partner. These women chose our safe space to flaunt their privilege but become angry when we complain? They had all of the rest of the world to hold these functions. It’s bad enough we couldn’t have our own weddings, but now we are forced to be entertainment for theirs?
The author pretends to care about other members of the GLBT community and drag them into her fight against us. We know that trans women exist as well as lesbians and other queer people; they aren’t the problem. Straight women are. Stay focused, or did you forget what you were talking about. Well, yeah, you probably did. (Lost in her privilege, Ms. Dommu must also have forgotten that gay males of colour exist and need these safe spaces the most. Or she doesn’t care.)
“Questioning a woman’s right to be anywhere or do anything is misogyny.“
More deflection from the author. Gay males are not questioning any woman’s right to be anywhere, rather demanding that they respect our safe spaces and understand that they were neither created by, nor for them. Throwing around the word misogyny doesn’t make it true.
“If you can’t dance to some shitty house song or go down on a stranger just because a woman is in the room, you need to examine what that says about you, not call for that woman’s removal.”
We don’t even know where to begin with unpacking this paragraph of unmitigated homophobia and sex shaming. But, we’ll give it a try.
First, if our music is so shitty, why do straight women feel the need to keep returning to our clubs? This is one of the main reasons given. So now, they can stop showing up, right?
There is nothing wrong with a guy sucking a strangers cock in a gay male safe space, and we refuse to apologize for it. But this is clearly a homophobic jab at our community while sex shaming those inside of our safe spaces. But, to say that we, gay males, should be ready, willing and able, to perform our most personal acts in front of those not only from outside our community but are known to be aggressors against us, is…well, shitty.
We will not be judged for not wanting to perform for her enjoyment and voyeuristic fetish. This very statement should call for her removal from every gay male space on earth. She obviously has a hatred for gay males but wants to frame it as discrimination against women. Most of all, we are saddened to see the great level of personal and emotional insecurity the author nurtures because gay men don’t find her, and other women, to be of sexual interest or want to be in her company. This is the type of heteronormative activity that gay males seek to escape in the outside world and should not have forced upon us in our safe spaces.
After this article was published and Ms. Dommu received considerable push back for her homophobia, we thought the issue dead, but then we heard Chelsea Cristene yell, “hold my beer” .
The Problem With Trying To Keep Women Out Of Gay Bars:
Ms. Cristene begins her rant by listing a bunch of negative statements regarding women that she attributes to gay males. We have no proof of the legitimacy of these claims, but they are used to set up gay males as the women hating monsters she knows us to be.
“An article asserting that women have the right to exist in public spaces causes controversy.“
Again, another author that begins an article with a lie and deflective tactics. Now, gay men are keeping women from existing in public spaces?
Referring to Ms. Dommu’s article, she writes: “She (Dommu) advocates for women who “harass and tokenize” men in gay bars to do better and to learn to respect the space that they are in, which is entirely reasonable.”
How is forcing gay males, in our own safe spaces, to wait until straight women “learn to respect” our spaces entirely reasonable? Why don’t they arrive knowing that these are safe spaces for gay males, not women, and how to properly behave? Further, as women harass and tokenize us, we are just to take it, as we wait for them to “do better”? If a man said this about his negative behaviour toward women, both of these authors would lose their collective shit.
“Ordering “gay people to the gay bar” and “straight people to the straight bar” has to be one of the most juvenile reactions out there to mixed-company spaces, not to mention one that smacks of insecurity”
And here is the bashing and name calling that you knew was coming. No one is ordering anyone anywhere. We are maintaining our rights to create and protect our safe spaces from those who would harm us. Clearly these women fall into this category. But, our safe spaces are not mixed company spaces, which is why they are called gay male bars. And of course, because we are male, everything we do is motivated by our alleged insecurity.
“Many people in the recent comments to the Out article framed gay bars as safe spaces, meaning spaces that they can be free to be themselves without harassment or judgement.Unfortunately, I have been inappropriately touched and grabbed by gay men in such spaces.I have also been told by gay male friends that they have been inappropriately touched and grabbed by women.”
We will admit that our safe spaces are still not safe for everyone within our gay male community. As gay males of colour, we have first hand experience with these issues, but these are our internal struggles and not up for debate from an outsider that cannot even respect the fact that these spaces are needed to begin with. Just because, unlike these authors, we have not reached the pinnacle of human development, doesn’t mean that we now must be forced to give up our spaces entirely. These spaces where created by gay men, for gay men, not women.
Finally, it is great that the author finally admits that women are not always safe for gay males, even in our safe spaces. This is the issue, not all of the other false flags thrown on the field.
“I assume that men who don’t want women in gay clubs are prepared to give up drag shows where men literally don being female as a costume and pay homage to gay icons like Barbara Streisand and Diana Ross. Think for a second how shitty it is to glorify women in theory while kicking them to the curb in practice. It is an open-and-shut case of appropriation when gay men not only police women in their spaces but deem that only men get to perform — pun intended — womanhood.”
First, we all know what happens when we assume. Next, we were pleased to read that the author does admit that these spaces are ours, and not hers or other women’s, but, she ends with more homophobia and stereotyping. Because of course, all gay men love drag, perform drag and need it in our lives. We don’t know what decade Ms. Cristene thinks we live in but you would be hard pressed to find a gay bar spinning tracks by either Streisand or Ms. Ross in this day and age. Either way, yes, these women are celebrated in our culture as well as Madonna, and Lady Gaga, but where would these women be without the gay men who styled their hair and wardrobe, wrote their songs, taught them choreography and even how to walk in high heels?
If the author believes we have appropriated anything from women and must return it, she should do the same regarding our culture, safe spaces, music, and clothing, considering the large amount of hate and distain she has for us.
We have a message for Ms. Dommu and Ms. Cristene
I want for women
men all over the country, all over the world, to listen to not only what gay men women experience, but to how gay men women constantly adapt their daily lives to avoid getting groped or followed or belittled or gay bashed, murdered, fired from our jobs, kicked out of our homes, ridiculed, denied medical care…etc. And then I want women men to reflexively adjust, to turn inward and evaluate their own past and present conduct. Confront things that have been normalized, but that are actually not OK. Confront times when they may have treated gay men women as less than human. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Especially if it’s uncomfortable. Our safety and livelihood depend on it.
The above was written by Ms. Cristene in another piece where she rants about the evil which is all men. All we did was strike through some words and replace them with ours in bold. This shows the hypocrisy of so many against our need for safe spaces. What is good and necessary for them, is to be ridiculed and denied when needed by us.
** When sending out Tweets promoting this article, Ms. Cristene contacted and threatened us, then called our website a “Troll site and Momma boys weekly”, for even addressing the issue. As usual, they are the victims, even when they are the aggressors. She blocked us and claimed to report us to Twitter. For what, we still don’t know.
False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which two completely opposing arguments appear to be logically equivalent when in fact they are not. This fallacy is categorized as a fallacy of inconsistency. A common way for this fallacy to be perpetuated is one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence, especially in order of magnitude, when equivalence is not necessarily the logical result. False equivalence is a common result when an anecdotal similarity is pointed out as equal, but the claim of equivalence doesn’t bear because the similarity is based on oversimplification or ignorance of additional factors.
When speaking to straight women about the need for all gay male safe spaces, there are those quick to reply; “what if you couldn’t go into a bar because of the colour of your skin?”
What she is doing is creating a false equivalency. Equating her desire to enter a gay male safe space, with racism and segregation. As a gay man of colour, and lawyer, I find this argument to be highly offensive.
In much of the Western world, people of colour don’t have to wonder what this situation would be like, we live it on a daily basis. And we damn sure don’t need a white woman to “school us” on bigotry. With this being said, systemic racism which has held people of colour back for hundreds of years both socially and economically, is much worse than a few straight women not being able to dance with a bunch of gay dudes. These women are not being discriminated against. They have every other bar and club on earth open to them. They are not being denied employment, housing, legal representation, the right to vote, or any of the other numerous issues that still face racial minorities to this day.
Further more, the maker of this argument is part of the majority and enjoys that standing where ever she goes. She is a straight white woman. Part of the ruling class.
Intersectionality & Black/Latino Gay Males:
Being a gay man of colour is hard. In the words of the great Bayard Rustin, we are doing time on two crosses. Gay bars have been safe spaces for our community much longer than Stonewall. Cities with large African-American populations often had underground gay establishments were members of our community could meet and even console each other. From the Harlem Renaissance, through the Civil Rights and gay Rights movements, these bars and clubs have been safe heavens for us.
Contrary to popular opinion, gay men of colour are not shut out of “traditional gay establishments”. In most places men of all races co-mingle, form friendships and even romantic bonds. The safety of gay bars becomes even clearer when you consider the daily racism we must face, coupled with homophobia.
If you watch the news, you should know that white straight women are not now, nor have they ever been “safe” for men of colour. We won’t run down the long list of names of Black and Brown, men and boys that have lost their lives due to the actions and lies of white women. We are not creating this list for our benefit, not yours. We refuse to give those individuals’ names power inside of this article or on our website.
Cell phones, are a new threat for us, when in the hands of white women. One call to the police and our lives are ruined, if we are not murdered in cold blood. They lock car doors when we walk by, move their purses and even children to safety. We are considered a constant threat to them that deserves nothing less than death. (#notallwhitewomen)
When this is the reality for all men of colour, it does not lessen because we are gay males. Now, imagine having these women demand entry into your safe space, without any recourse. That is what is happening to us right now. White women are seeking to invade one of the last of the few safe spaces we have as both men of colour and gay males. And if they are not able to do so, they are being discriminated against, and we are misogynists.
No Need to Explain and Don’t Need Permission:
Gay males have no need to explain to anyone why we need safe spaces. if every minority group had to ask for permission from the majority to create these venues, the answer would always be a resounding no.
Yes, women are discriminated against, and have need of safe spaces, but just not ours. They have created amazing women only gyms, bars, festivals and retreats, that gay males respect and honour.
The purpose of these two articles was not to explain to women why we need what we have created, but as always, it was for you, our gay brothers. We hope you take these words as comfort that you are not alone in your desire and need of safe spaces away from straight people. Use these articles when you discuss this need with others that choose to challenge your right to create and police them. Do not give up, or give in, because if you do, we will have no safe spaces left to defend.