We meticulously planned a hotel to stay at that was within walking distance from an accessible, yes can you believe it, gay bar. We seldom get to be in gay spaces any more, most of them are inaccessible in one way or another, so we were excited.
It really did take work getting there, the distance wasn't great but there was a fairly steep hill that we hadn't anticipated. But the drive to be amongst our own was strong and drew us up the hill We made it to the bar and took great pleasure in just going in. The pride flag fluttered above us as we entered and we took it as a sign of welcome.
There was a long bar, almost full of men, our age, sitting on stools chatting with each other, a few were holding hands. There was an aisle that separated the men at the bar and tables along the outside wall. It wasn't a big place. We sat and were greeted by a waiter who seemed to genuinely want to welcome us. We ordered a drink.
Shortly thereafter a group of 6 straight people entered and took a table. Don't ask me how we knew they were straight, they made the fact that they were straight in a gay space perfectly clear as they marveled at their own tolerance. Two of the couples at the bar, who had been sitting closely moved apart from each other. They too, like us, remember the dark times of the not long ago past when being gay was met with violence and being in love could lead to murder. The noise that rose from that table was disproportionate to their numbers. They felt they could take up space in every way they wanted, so they did.
They were only there long enough to down a beer and congratulate themselves.
Suddenly, they were gone.
It took some time but everyone relaxed again. I need to be clear that gay people are not fragile but we have been marginalized and know how to be alert to the subtle changes in moods of gangs who feel free to objectify us into things to be tolerated.
They have so many spaces.
Is it so much to ask that they be respectful when they enter ours?
From the behaviour of those that intruded, I'm guessing it is.
TELL ME AGAIN ABOUT THE NEED FOR A STRAIGHT PRIDE DAY, LIKE THERE ISN'T ONE EVERY FUCKING DAY OF THE YEAR IN EVERY FUCKING PUBLIC SPACE.