While Chicago clubs ban bachelorette parties, Gay 90s tries to embrace them

Categories: How We Live
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Photo by The Divine Miss M.
Downtown Minneapolis was made for bachelorette parties. If you ever actively choose to drink downtown, you've chosen to deal with these freaks of nature. The skeezy dance clubs, the expensive cocktails, the strip joints. What better way to spend your last days as a single woman than to stumble around the dirty row of clubs in your too-high heels, a giant penis hat and vomit running down your chin? It's what we call classy at its very best.

And you begin to wonder: Why would any club let these fumbling fools into their clubs? More importantly, why would any legitimate gay club, meant to attract gay men who would like to meet each other, allow a pack of gawkers into their joint for a night of giggles? Acceptance of course.
 
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Photo courtesy of BacheloretteParties
In Chicago, the gay clubs have had enough. Not only are these women flat-out obnoxious, they are flaunting something most of the patrons can't have: a legal marriage.

More from the Chicago Tribune:
The women come to celebrate without having to worry about straight men pawing them. The gay men are there because, well, they don't want to be around a lot of women.

For years, some bar owners have tried to accommodate both groups, but that's becoming increasingly difficult. With California's vote last November in favor of the gay-marriage ban known as Proposition 8, some gays are saying that bachelorette parties at their bars are becoming more than a minor nuisance. They're a constant reminder that gays don't have equal marriage rights.

"The women are a hoot, and some can be just delightful," said Geno Zaharakis, the owner of Cocktail, a gay bar on North Halsted Street. "But because not everybody can get married, watching them celebrate, it's such a slap in the face. Prop 8 just reopened the wound." Zaharakis told me that Cocktail stopped hosting bachelorette parties a couple of years ago when he noticed his gay patrons weren't just complaining about the women being minor irritants but about them "flaunting" their right to marry.

So Zaharakis hung a sign on the front door of his establishment that says, "Bachelorette Parties Are Not Allowed."
When you think of "bachelorette parties" and "gay clubs" in Minneapolis, Gay 90s probably comes to mind. It's the gay club everyone knows about and probably gets more gawkers than any other one in town. Suburbanites looking to see the world of gay folks usually adventure here first to get a taste. And who doesn't love a raunchy drag show once in awhile?

We decided to contact Gay 90s to see how they handle groups of giggly, drunk penis-decorated women. While the Chicago clubs are closing their doors on the ladies, Gay 90s says they are trying to do the exact opposite.

Here is what General Manager Robert Parker had to say in an email about bachelorette parties:
I personally don't think they are flaunting the right to marry. They are just out to have a good time, and what better place then a gay bar

We do have some guys that think it's not right and even offensive. I've met over 100 such parties, and they have always been fun, and accepting of the GLBT community. The problem usually comes when some one confronts them about the issue, and liquor and politics never mix.
Parker says the bar has had longstanding rules that ask bachelorette parties to remove ridiculous items such as veils and penis/condom covered shirts. The ladies can simply pick up their items when they leave.

So what does it all come down to? If the gay clubs close out those who are trying to be accepting or more understanding, they are losing support.
We have to remember that gay rights are not won on the votes of just GLBT people but the votes of the whole society. And if we can't get along inside the bars and clubs, we don't stand a chance.

Why deny someone the right to party because we don't have the right to marry (yet). I say invite them in, and let them see what great fun people we really are. We just may get them to vote for our right to marry.
And in the end, gay guys dressed (and acting) like bachelorette parties might be the greatest gift we could ask for. Drink away, ladies. You'll be married and miserable in no time.


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