All emphasis will be mine.
April 27th, 2009
The Daily News -
I went to my first gay bar when I was a teenager, more than a decade ago. Then I was a wide-eyed ballerina at Boston Ballet, and a sophomore at a Catholic all-girls school, so some of the male dancers thought they should expand my decidedly limited horizons. We snuck out of rehearsal one night, threw some shorts over our tights and leotards, and hustled our way into a kitschy dive bar off Tremont St. that is probably now a Club Monaco or Chipotle.
We were there for less than 20 minutes, and that’s all I needed. I had discovered teenage-girl Xanadu. The jukebox played Madonna, the drinks tasted like vacation and the guys were gorgeous. If this place was for gay men, well, I discovered gay men and I had a lot in common.
Years later, I still like going to gay bars occasionally, and as a young woman-about-town in Manhattan I possess the requisite cadre of gay friends who are – let’s face it – smarter, funnier and more interesting than any of my straight friends.
So when I read recently that the owners of some gay bars said they felt attacked and mistreated by straight women like me, who I always imagined were welcome and pleasant-enough patrons, I wondered if the time-honored relationship between straight women and gay men, which I loved so dearly, was suddenly in jeopardy.
It’s such a shame. While I strongly oppose gay marriage, I do support civil unions, and giving gay couples all the rights of heterosexual couples, including health care, custodial rights and adoption rights. Women like me who are young, cultured and open-minded – even if we disagree with redefining marriage – have been nothing but loyal allies to the gay establishment.