On a recent podcast Cripples in da Club, Andrew Gurza talks about physical & emotional accessibility issues that he hits, repeatedly, when planning to go to any of the queer dance spots. His being directed the a sketchy laneway entrance as the accessibility portal, rather than easy front door entrance, made me think of the decades in which most gay men preferred the secrecy the dark laneway entrance offered.
There were some gay bars in TO that could only be entered through the back door (I’m not going to make jokes about gay men & rear entrances). At this time of year (Halloween) it was the only way to get to some bars without your costume being egged or harassed by offended guardians of public morals. Now Church street is blocked off to allow for fun fun fun when in heels & wigs for Halloween.
I recall those squeezed tight nights at the Barn – circulation around the dance floor was impossible once the place was packed. Rubbing against guys wasn’t unpleasant but there was alway someone who told you to get the fuck out of their face. Washrooms? Forget it. The floors were too slippery to risk. I dread the notion of trying get around with any mobility device.
On top of which there was, at one time, license issues in bars with more than one story – drinks bought one level couldn’t legally be taken to another as the stairs weren’t included in the license.
Those stairs were often so narrow, or crowded your shoulder pads would be in the way. I was always grateful not be a drunk trying to get up or down those stairs. There was usually no place to put your drink down if you wanted to dance. Luckily everyone adored getting beer slopped on them or picking up their drink, if they had a spot to put it down, to find cigarettes put out in it (laws have changed that).
I’ve never found a club emotional inviting – staff was attentive if you had the right drugs or good tips. Guys drunk, stoned or looking to be drunk, stoned are never emotionally accessible & often not even sexually available until they are too blasted to enjoy it anyway.
The only time I’ve been told to leave a club was when I wasn’t drinking enough – I had a soft drink I was sipping & when it wasn’t gone after an hour the waiter asked if I was ready for another & when I said no; he said, if you don’t order I’ll have to ask you leave. I left. He walked me to the coat check to make sure this unwanted, sober guy left their fine establishment. At another club I was informed that if I didn’t order alcohol (as opposed to a soft drink) I’d have to pay a $20 cover charge. I left.
I gave up on clubs as a way to socialize, to meet guys (hot or otherwise) – these are money making enterprises & the bottom line is their prime concern. Pay the rent comes first, even before pay the staff 😉 I did go out to dance not to get lucky. Even that lost its appeal to me. I didn’t like getting home late at night, smelling of booze & cigarette smoke.I empathize with Andrew’s gripes with the club scene & I suspect this is true around the world. Thanks to www meeting guys has become easier – the same ones who were jerks in bars are still jerks on line – but at least on line they aren’t going to slop beer on me.
just because I’m not with you
doesn’t mean I against you
I’m not taking sides
I’m not standing in your way
can’t be built on
don’t let that deter you
you can build
you can move forward
you don’t need my permission or support
I’m not a viper in your breast
that’s me on the sidewalk
the white entitled cismale
who doesn’t even have to count
on those factors
as long as others take them
I don’t have to do anything to re-enforce
those inherent historic qualities
they are merely there
don’t allow your judgements
of what is merely there
keep you from anything
I’m not you
not with you
not against you
no one needs my acknowledgement
any actions of direct support
to make changes
that need to be made
I don’t have the power
the moral commitment
to either cause or resist
I’ll stand back
keep out of your way
and when you are done
I’ll buy a coffee
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted: Disability after Dark iTunes
November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA
June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –
check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet