Tag Archives: gay bar

Gay History – April 21, 1966: NYC Gay Rights Activist Stage “Sip-In” Protesting Over Refusal To Serve Homosexuals

On this date a little-known but very important milestone in gay history took place at Julius’ bar on West 10th Street in NYC that helped pave the way for the Stonewall uprising and gay rights. 

The Mattachine Society “staged” the first civil rights “sip-in.”

At the time, being homosexual was in itself seen as a disorder,” said Dick Leitsch, an original member of the group. It was also “illegal” to serve a homosexual liquor by order of the New York State Liquor Authority.

On April 21, 1966 Mattachine Society activists invited along four newspaper reporters, including Thomas A. Johnson of The New York Times. The plan was to convene at noon at the Ukrainian-American Village Hall, a bar on St. Marks Place. “ The Times reporter tipped off the owners, who shut the bar for the day. A sign in the window made the establishment’s attitude clear: “If you are gay, please stay away.”

So the men then moved across the street to The Dom, a club that, by night hosted concerts by the Velvet Underground. It had a sign just as unwelcoming as the one at the Ukrainian Hall. The Dom, too, was closed.

After going to a Howard Johnson’s, at Eighth Street and the Avenue of the Americas which served them. The men then advanced to a Mafia-owned tiki bar, The Waikiki. The  amused manager told them: “How do I know you’re homosexuals? Give these guys a drink on us.”

In desperation, the troupe trudged over to Julius’ on West 10th Street. “It was a rather dull, neighborhood place which was about three-quarters gay,” said Randy Wicker, 78, who joined the action at that stop. “I called it a closet queen bar.”

The activists knew Julius’ had to refuse them, because the night before, a man who had been served there had later been entrapped by an officer for “gay activity,” meaning the bar was in jeopardy of having its liquor license revoked. As they entered, the men spied a sign that read “Patrons Must Face the Bar While Drinking,” an instruction used to thwart cruising.  

As soon as they approached, the bartender put a glass in front of him. When the men announced they were gay, the bartender put his hand over the glass; it was captured in a photograph by Fred McDarrah for The Village Voice.

The next day’s New York Times featured an article about the event with the headline “3 Deviates Invite Exclusion by Bars.” Two weeks later, a far more sympathetic piece appeared in The Voice. The publicity prompted a response from the State Liquor Authority chairman, Donald S. Hostetter, who denied that his organization ever threatened the liquor licenses of bars that served gays. The decision to serve was up to individual bartenders, he said.

At that point, the Commission on Human Rights became involved. It’s chairman, William H. Booth, told The Times in a later article: “We have jurisdiction over discrimination based on sex. Denial of bar service to a homosexual solely for that reason would come within those bounds.”

From that moment on gay men could not be refused service in any New York State Liquor Authority  licensed establishment.

Andrew Dolkart, co-director of the New York City LGBT Historic Sites Project, is seeking to have Julius’ made the second gay history site to enter the national register, after the Stonewall Inn. The building, which dates from 1826, has been a bar since 1864 and has had a gay clientele since the 1950s. It has been a setting for films including: The Boys in the Band, The Normal Heart, and most recently Can You Ever Forgive Me.

The small grill within the bar also makes one helluva cheeseburger .

 

NYC's Oldest Gay Bar "Julius'" To Be Honored With Historic Site Plaque

NYC’s Oldest Gay Bar “Julius'” To Be Honored With Historic Site Plaque

Broadway star John Michael Cameron will join the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project and honor Julius’ Bar, located at 159 West 10th Street. New York City as not only the oldest operating gay bar in the city but it also for the bar’s significance to LGBT activism and history.

On April 21, 1966, a “Sip-In” was organized by members of the Mattachine Society, one of the country’s earliest gay rights organizations, to challenge the State Liquor Authority’s discriminatory policy of revoking the licenses of bars that served known or suspected gay men and lesbians. At Julius’ Bar – they were refused service after intentionally revealing they were “homosexuals” – this was one of the earliest pre-Stonewall public actions for LGBT rights. (You can read the whole story by CLICING HERE.)

Julius’ was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016 following the site being determined eligible for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2012 based on research by Village Preservation and listing on the New York State Register of Historic Places in 2015 by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. It is one of only ten sites in New York City listed on the National Register specifically for LGBT associations.

We need more.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: NYC Gay Bar Guide 1978

BLAST FROM THE PAST: NYC Gay Bar Guide 1978

Metropolitan Bar Guide from Where It’s At Magazine March 6, 1978.

This is just the first page of many. Now you can count the number of NYC gay bars on your fingers.

Those were the days my friends.

No photo description available.

*Image thanks to Charles Cosentino and the THEN & NOW: Uncle Charlie Remembers Facebook page.

Lost NYC Gay Bars - The Only Known Video Of The Original Eagles Nest Bar In NYC (1971 - 2000)

Lost NYC Gay Bars – The Only Known Video Of The Original Eagle’s Nest Bar In NYC (1971 – 2000)

Located at 11th. Avenue and 21st. Street, NYC’s The Eagle’s Nest was originally a longshoreman’s bar called the Eagle Open Kitchen from 1931 – 1970 which was then acquired by Jack Modica who turned the rough and tumble pub into a Leather/ Levi bar

With a few coats of black paint and an old beat up motorcycle for decoration, a gay institution was born. “The Eagle” was open 7 days a week including holidays.  And was always the place to go.

Back in those days it’s patrons loved the isolation and the raw masculinity of this dark sexual playground and bar on the West Side Highway.  Cigars, uniforms, poppers, and sex in the bathrooms and backroom were on the menu nightly.

But with the onset of AIDS in the mid – late 80’s, sexual habits were changing and the gay community was reassessing itself. By the 90’s the neighborhood was evolving and the frontier was now being gentrified.  Old warehouses were converted into upscale loft buildings or art galleries. Landlords were not renewing old leases and by the year 2000, Jack Modica chose to retire rather than to reopen The Eagle elsewhere.

And while a new version of called the Eagle NYC was reopened on, October 5, 2001, by different owners at 554 W 28th Street it was never the same. 

The video below taken after hours shortly before it’s closing and is all remains other than the memories of its patrons of the infamous gay leather bar.

Have a story about the original Eagle’s Nest?  Post it below and share the memories.

EXCLUSIVE: Three People Shot Outside San Antonio Gay Bar

EXCLUSIVE: Three People Shot Outside San Antonio Gay Bar

Three people have been injured after someone open fired outside a gay bar in San Antonio. Texas last night.

According to San Antonio police at the scene there was an altercation between two parties and as one group left the Pegasus nightclub someone drove off in a red vehicle and fired shots at the bar.

Two men and a woman were injured during the shooting and were taking to San Antonio Military Medical Center and were treated for their non-life-threatening injuries.

The shooter reportedly fled the scene.

San Antonio police are still looking for the shooter as they continue to investigate.

Matt Massey of KSAT reported on his Twitter account that the altercation began when the groups left the club to get tacos which are sold outside. One of the men was called a slur and the situation escalated. The manager of Pegasus said that he heard 8 shots fired outside the club.

None of those shot were involved in the initial confrontation.

This is a developing story. Please check up as we will update this story with the latest developments.

 

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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.

Iconic NYC Gay Bar RAWHIDE To Close – SAVE THE RAWHIDE!

Rawhide

Opened in 1979, the Rawhide in Chelsea is was one of the last of a handful of old-school, unpretentious gay bars left in New York City.  An old motorcycle hangs from chains over a red-felt pool table, a grimy baby doll strapped to its muffler. The ceiling is painted black and a blackout curtian hangs in front of the door to keep the light and prying eyes of 8th Avenue out.  The walls are decorated with Herb Ritts posters of muscle models, Mr. International Leather 1990, and Tom of Finland poses–everywhere Tom of Finland posters.

It has seen generations of gay men pass through its door and lived and mourned its customers who did not survive the AIDS crisis.

It is a survivor. But it won’t be for long. The building that houses it on 8th and 21st in Chelsea was sold a couple of years ago and the new landlord has jacked up the rent, nearly doubling it from $15,000 to $27,000 a month. The Rawhide has officially been evicted. Their last day will be March 31.

Our history is being erased and forgotten.  Gentrification and assimilation is killing us.

Mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn just had this to say about the Rawhide to New York magazine in January:

One of the things I loved about Chelsea is that on Eighth Avenue,  there is the Rawhide bar–not a luxury product. And for many years there  were Latino guys from the neighborhood who had a folding card table  every Friday and Saturday night and played dominoes. And they knew every  guy who walked into the Rawhide, and every guy that walked in the  Rawhide knew them. A leather bar may or may not be the best example,  but it is the type of neighborhood experience we want to be able to  have, what Jane Jacobs called ‘the eyes on the streets’ all watching out  for each other.” 

CLICK HERE to contact Christine Quinn and ask her to back up her words. We have lost so much of our history and landmarks.

The Rawhide must be saved!

Source: Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

NYC Oldest Gay Bar “Julius”, Found Eligible to Become National Historic Landmark

 

The oldest gay bar in New York City, Julius has just been named eligible for State and National Historic registers according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

Based upon research and a request made by GVSHP, the New York State Historic Preservation Office has determined Julius’ Bar at 159 West 10th Street/188 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places (read GVSHP’s nomination HERE, and the State’s finding HERE).

The oldest gay bar in New York, Julius’ was also the site of a groundbreaking gay civil rights action in 1966 which resulted in the end of New York State’s prohibition on serving alcohol to anyone known to be gay. The “sip-in,” in which several members of a gay civil rights organization known as the Mattachine Society went to the bar identifying themselves as ‘homosexuals’ and asked to be served a drink, was based upon the “sit-ins” being staged at segregated lunch counters throughout the South, and was one of the first recorded instances of civil disobedience against anti-gay discrimination. At the time, the New York Times covered the incident referring to the protesters as “sexual deviates.”

Only two places in America are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places that have connection to the gay civil rights movement — the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village (site of 1969’s Stonewall Riots and considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement,
and the Washington D.C. home of Frank Kameny, the co-founder of the Mattachine Society.

If only those walls could talk.

 

Gay Night Club In Utah Attacked With “Flaming Projectiles”

A popular Gay Bar, JAM, in Salt Lake City, Utah was attacked in the early hours of Thursday morning with what is described as ‘flaming projectiles’. Fernando Noriega,  gave a detailed report of the incident:

“So we had at least 30 to 40 people here,”Everybody’s congregated to about here. All the tables were set up. It was very busy. All the sudden we saw something bright,–I thought they were fireworks on the floor. Out of a group of 30 people, all of those flares to be hitting at the same time we don’t know how, everyone was very lucky. As soon as they saw us and we shouted at them they just went screeching down Beck Street.”

 Nearby neighbor, Regan Mower, also saw the attempted attack and reported:

“Then I saw two or three flare or firework looking things flying over the patio at JAM.At first I just thought it was a practical joke, Then I saw people screaming and running inside. Even from here you can’t miss the fact there’s lots of people there. You can hear the people; see the people so you know there are people in there. It was definitely malicious. They definitely knew what they were doing.”

Noriega,who is also the  founder of THEGAYHOTSPOT.COM, gave a detailed description of the suspects along with the suspected vehicle used to escape the scene of the crime in his blog. No one was seriously hurt in the attack and the flames were extinguished fairly easily.

It also was reported that the suspects were unable to even deter patrons at JAM from their karaoke night. Noriega then climbed the fence, saw the three assailants and along with patrons from the club chase down the assailants unsuccessfully.The suspects are described as Caucasian, males, with “blonde shaggy” hair that appear to be in their “late teens to early 20s driving a maroon Pontiac Grand AM”.

This is the second time in the past week that Utah has experienced some from of vandalism involving LGBT. In the neighboring town of Provo Utah, a terminal traffic sign was altered reading “God Hates Gays” at a construction site.

Atlanta Police Officers Call Gay Bar Patrons “Sweetie” and “Princess”.

Looks like the APD is at it again with allegations of discrimination, harassment and misconduct fight at Atlanta’s popular Midtown gay bar Blake’s on Friday which resulted in two arrests and  the alleged assault of an off-duty Atlanta Police Department officer.

According to the report released by APD:

Two males were asked by the manager to leave the establishment (Blake’s). They refused. The manager called for the off-duty officer working at Blake’s, who advised one of the individuals they would have to leave. One of the males refused and threw his drink in the officer’s face and then punched him in the face.

“At some point, a call for assistance went out over the radio and several Zone 5 officers and a supervisor arrived on scene. One of the individuals damaged a third person’s vehicle in the parking lot and was charged with Criminal Damage to Property. The first individual that punched the off-duty officer was charged initially with Felony Obstruction. Our LGBT Liaison officers have been notified of the incident.

But Project Q Atlanta is reporting that the APD whle on the scene used undue force with at least one customer and other  police officers were calling patrons “sweetie” and “princess.”

Some responding officers called patrons in the gay bar “sweetie” and “princess,” according to the witness. He also alleges that another officer ordered the man to stop recording the scene on his mobile phone, knocked it out of his hand then ordered the man to delete most of what he recorded.  “It was really an overwhelming force and they started running into the bar. People were freaking out,” the witness said. “They kept calling us princess, sweetie and being sarcastic and laughing. It was awful.”

On June 28, 2009, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

In 2009, the APD raided the Atlanta Eagle internal investigations showed that APD officers involved in the Eagle raid used anti-gay language against those in the bar as well as violated constitutional rights. . The city eventually settled a federal civil lawsuit for $1.025 million filed by patrons of the bar. Two other lawsuits are currently pending.

 The LGBT Advisory Board is scheduled to meet on Monday at 7 PM at City Hall and is open to the public and is a forum to express interest and to demand answers from our APD Liasons.