Gay Segregation

RECEIVED Wed., March 9, 2005

Dear Editor,
    It is clearly apparent that Kate Getty has not spent enough time in the gay bars of Austin to know that there has always been some form of segregation enforced (at one time) and just understood [“Gay Place,” Community Listings, March 4]. For years there were bars that stopped trannys from entering because the sex on the driver's license did not match what the doorman could see. One bar asked that women pay $25 to enter. Although it isn't like that anymore, there are still some places where not everyone in the gay community can go to and feel comfortable in a gay bar. Yes, it would be great if we could all hold hands together and sing “Coming out of Hiding” together as a tribute to Pamela Stanley, but that's not going to happen. Sidekicks/Xtreme is following the tradition of telling people that there are two bars in one. The slash tells only that. Kate seems to be seeing some form of prejudice that the men only go to the Xtreme side while the women are on the sports side watching television and playing pool (which sounds a bit stereotypical). So what if they are; they are in a bar and doing what they feel comfortable doing. I have spent many evenings there with men watching sports and on the dance side drinking and mingling with both sexes. The ratio of men to women in that building is better than any other gay bar in Austin. I do understand that we as gay people need to pull together to become a more powerful force, but to put down our own people in the process is only going to hurt the gay community. I personally feel that the owners of Sidekicks/Xtreme, who are a mixture of men and women, are helping in bringing both sexes together under one roof. Kate should spend some time in the other gay bars and see how diverse or lack thereof and how they compare to each other. I think she will find that these two bars in one cater to all kinds and welcome everyone. And considering Sidekicks/Xtreme won as the best gay bar in Austin, that has to prove they are doing something that the gay community wants and needs.
Anne Geneva Sanchez
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