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Vermont Trans Activists Lose Their Shit Over New Gay Bar Named “Mister Sister”

Two board members of the Pride Center of Vermont have resigned from LGBT center board citing its delay of the Center in taking a stance on the name of a new Winooski gay bar which they and other trans-activists have deemed “offensive.”

The bar’s name?  Mister Sister.

The only local gay in Winooski closed years ago. But now the owner of a successful Oak45 has closed his current venue and  is scheduled to reopen the bar next week as the gay bar Mister Sister.

The Pride Center of Vermont had been  trying to have town meetings because the bar owner is refusing to change the proposed ‘transphobic’ name from Mister Sister to something more ‘inclusive’ and the owner refuses to indulge this bullshit and meet with them

Owner Craig McGaughan says he sees the term as inclusive, but some say it’s a slur historically used to disparage transgender women.

Burlington resident Wiley Reading, who identifies as a transgender man, said he was “stoked” when he found out about the bar’s opening but “deeply concerned” when he saw the name.

“‘Mister sister’ is a transmisogynistic slur, and it is deeply uncomfortable,” Reading said. He added that the phrase historically has been used to denigrate transgender women, and transgender people often associate the term with the violence to which many of them have been victim.

“It antagonizes and excludes a large portion of the community, and especially a portion of the community that has historically been left out of the conversation or marginalized,” Reading said.

Craig McGaughan countered

“It is a term that has been used among gays and Drag Queens for decades intended to be positively gender-bending,” McGaughan wrote. “Mister Sister is for the Misters and the Sisters, those that identify as both and everyone in between. The official description of Mister Sister is ‘a gay bar for him, her and them.’ I have been very intentional in using a pronoun that isn’t specifically male or female as a way to include anyone that identifies as part of the LGBTQ community.”

The Burlington Free Press reports the Pride Center of Vermont board said it needed more information to take a position. The group, which serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, scheduled a town hall meeting for Thursday but Board members Timber Adamson and Bailey Cummings resigned, saying they won’t be part of an organization that won’t take a stance on issues that affect the people it serves.

In actuality the term “Mister Sister” IS NOT all that historic or a “transmisogynistic” slur.  There is surprisingly very little information out there on the term and what there is relates mostly  to “drag queens” and not the trans population.

According to the The Urban Dictionary:

 mister sister : A drag queen.

Example: “Will and Grace”

“Don’t mess with that mister sister, or you’ll end up looking like a Cher barbie doll gone bad.”

Ironically at the behest of trans and gender non-binary activists and theorists the term “queer”, which is a ” phrase that historically HAS been used to denigrate GAY MEN, and GAY MEN often associate the term with the violence to which many of them have been victim” has been added is okay and has been added “officially” to the LGBT acronym which is now LGBTQ.

Go figure.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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6 thoughts on “Vermont Trans Activists Lose Their Shit Over New Gay Bar Named “Mister Sister””

  1. I’m tired.
    However having gone to college in Winooski, I find it interesting that there will be a gay/LGBTQ bar there. In 1966 there was a pizza/grinder shop and a Forest Hills Discount Store and not much else. We would walk the 1.5 miles to get a pizza on a Friday night – often in sub-zero temps. Also interesting is the fact that the college, even though it hasn’t moved, is now magically in Colchester, VT. Obviously a “classier” sounding town than Winooski.
    Thanks for the chance to reminisce.

  2. You’re never going to win this one, there are people that just want to be offended no matter what. Give them a million dollars and they will be offended because the bills are tattered or wrinkled and of course that’s racist.

  3. I’m not sure what to think about this one. Personally I don’t feel offended by the name. I am a Trans Woman. But if there are Trans people who are uncomfortable with the name then maybe it should be changed. You cannot please everyone. I get that. But we can at least try to minimise the amount of people we offend.

What do you think?

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