I visited a gay bar for the first time last summer and was surprised that nobody paid any attention to me. Fellow Weeklyteer Eric Griffey and I were writing a warped blog post called “Little Mikey’s Big Adventure” and we stopped at Stampede’s, a gay bar south of downtown. While Griffey was talking to the manager I sat at a table next to a U-shaped bar where at least two-dozen men were drinking beer and cocktails. There wasn’t a woman in sight except local celebrity drag queen and AIDS activist Rhonda Mae, who has been written about previously in Fort Worth Weekly.
As I sat there, I kept figuring one of these guys would hit on me. I was going to politely explain to them that I wasn’t that way. Except nobody paid any attention to me. For 10 or 15 minutes not a single person spoke to me or approached me. I was relieved and offended at the same time. What am I chopped liver?
Another straight dude Weeklyteer Dan McGraw did a cover story called “Waking Up the Rainbow” in 2005 about gay politics in Fort Worth and spent several nights incognito at a gay bar called Best Friends. He had a similar experience of being ignored. “It was like hanging out at any other bar,” he said. “Most of the guys had been married before and had kids.”
For some reason, however, Fort Worth police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers went into a gay bar on Saturday night and the patrons allegedly became fraught with horn and damn near raped our boys in blue. Here’s the police account of how a routine bar inspection resulted in sexually explicit advances, a grabbed crotch, seven arrests, and a severe head injury (whether or not you believe this explanation is up to you):
“Officers arrived at the Rainbow Lounge to conduct the scheduled inspection. Some officers remained outside while some entered the club. While walking through the Rainbow Lounge, an extremely intoxicated patron made sexually explicit movements toward the police supervisor. This individual was arrested for public intoxication. Another intoxicated individual also made sexually explicit movements towards another officer and he was arrested for public intoxication. A third individual inside the lounge assaulted the TABC agent by grabbing the TABC agent’s groin. He was escorted outside and arrested for public intoxication. The decision was made to release him to paramedics due to his extreme intoxicated state as he was repeatedly vomiting. While dealing with this person, another officer requested assistance from inside the club as he had an intoxicated individual that was resisting arrest. This person was placed on the ground in an effort to control and apprehend. A total of seven (7) arrests were made from the Rainbow Lounge during this inspection.”