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Letters to the editor – March 18, 2016

Posted: March 18th, 2016 | Featured, Letters to the editor, Opinions | No Comments

More feedback on The Eagle

[Ref: Editorial: “#WeAllMatter: continuing the conversation about bars,” Vol. 7, Issue 4, or at gay-sd.com/editorial-weallmatter.]

When I lived in San Antonio in 2009, I was at a bar called the Electric Company. I was mistaken for someone else and ended up on the sidewalk with a broken jaw.

When my friend asked the owner to call an ambulance, her response was “her tranny ass shouldn’t have been in my bar,” then she turned and walked away. I quickly realized that I had to leave San Antonio in order to transition safely.

Bars should be a place of safety for the intended audience, particularly LGBT bars.

The one predominant leather bar in San Diego has a known history of preferring certain clientele, but recently changed its policy to appear not to welcome women. I do not frequent The Eagle as I don’t feel safe there as a transgender man.

I’ve seen many women in there and many men, mostly a mixed crowd. I’ve also seen women asked to leave for no reason. So, apparently some women are OK and some aren’t. There are trans community members I know that go there, but they’re very stealth, with the exception of a few. The better you “pass,” the more you’re accepted. I’m not saying they discriminate against the trans community at all, because The Eagle has held trans fundraisers and helped the entire community at one point or another.

What I am saying is it’s not OK for the community to stay silent when the owner or an employee blatantly is discriminating against Morgan Hurley, or anyone else. It’s further not OK for any employee to sell his soul to the devil in order to make a living. Nothing good is ever gained by staying silent with the excuse, “I wasn’t there,” or “I didn’t see it,” doesn’t fly.

We must have the urgency to stop the mentality of staying silent because something doesn’t directly affect us. It should affect you. You should not sit idly by and pretend like nothing’s happening because you just got a nice cold beer, and it’s easier to ignore, or it’s “not your business.”

If we tolerate bullying in our own community and do nothing, we’re just as guilty. Morgan is a veteran, an amazing journalist, and a huge part of the LGBT community and no one, including her, should ever be tossed out of any bar by a bully for no reason.

Shame on those who stood by and let it happen; and shame on The Eagle for perpetuating inequality and discrimination.

—Blue Montana, via email 

A different perspective

[Ref: Letters to the editor in response to editorial: “#WeAllMatter: continuing the conversation about bars,” Vol. 7, Issue 5, or at tinyurl.com/hmphzes]

Regarding the controversy over The Eagle:

Hey, it’s a gay man’s leather bar. That’s the atmosphere the patrons want — leather and masculine.

Everyone else seems to demand their “own space.” Why aren’t gay men allowed to have that as well?

Aren’t there 1,000 other bars women and straights can go to?

Can’t lesbians have their own bars just for them?

And if you want to mix it up, aren’t there plenty of coffee shops in this town that are open to everyone and maybe even serve beer and wine?

As far as I am concerned, this is just another example of homophobia directed at gay men — “We’re going to take over your spaces — whether you like it or not.”

What is the point of that?

Just what do you hope to accomplish by spoiling the atmosphere that the patrons of one little bar want for themselves?

And what do some gay men hope to accomplish by bringing their girlfriends into gay male bars?

What’s next? Women demanding entry into gay bathhouses?

Do gay male bars now have to become private clubs?

How strange.

Back in the old days when we gays were rejected by society, we were at least allowed to have our own places.

Now that we’re supposedly accepted, gay public space is disappearing along with gay neighborhoods.

I do not consider that progress. I consider it a more subtle form of oppression and co-opting.

Why is respect only a one-way street? Sure, you have the legal right to do whatever — but what about common sense and consideration for others?

I guess that doesn’t mean anything anymore.

I haven’t been made welcome in the few lesbian bars I’ve gone into. And you don’t hear me complaining about it.

I do go to straight bars, but I am well aware that they are straight and I don’t throw my weight around letting everyone know that I’m gay. I go for a drink, and if anyone wants to talk to me, fine. But that is all.

C’mon, people. Stop making a federal case out of everything!

—Andrew Towne, via gay-sd.com

On the watch

[Ref: “San Diegans on the watch,” Vol. 7, Issue 5, or at tinyurl.com/jgavwmb.]

A great article covering the wonderful people representing San Diego for AIDS Watch 2016! We thank our team for doing a tremendous job in Washington, D.C. and we can’t wait for next year!

—Janelle Hickey, via gay-sd.com

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