Regarding Denise Jameson's letter "Sexism Against Women in the Castro": Bravo! Though male (gay and Caucasian to boot), I couldn't agree with you more. My hope as an independent activist since 1973, was for the Castro to become a shining example to the world of multicultural harmony in an LGBT milieu...putting your average heterosexual society to shame. Sadly, this has not happened (yet) and, in my own jaded perception, the Castro has been for way too many years, a haven to Nazi-macho white male leather cabals. Not only are they for the most part misogynistic, but racist, exclusionary, and anti-progressive as well.
While I still live in the Castro, I have not ever felt welcome here in my own neighborhood since, oh, well, around 1985 or so. The lack of interest and concern towards Ms. Jameson by bar owners is no surprise to me...and I don't know how you can make a dent in this armor of callous incivility. But one idea hatched in my head this morning, which inspired me to write this letter:
Organize a Lesbian's Night Out once a week, not necessarily at the same bar: perhaps rotate through all the Castro bars. I actually think the business you bring would be most welcome in these tough economic times. Those idiot pigs who resent any significant female presence will be free to take their hateful egos to any number of other watering holes. They would even know which bars to avoid, as Lesbian's Night Out would become part of our local events calendar. Who needs these bigoted dipwads anyway? Two suggestions though:
1) Why not help our rainbow dream come true, by also founding a "Multicultural Night Out" for queers of color, Pacific Islanders, Asians, Native Americans, and so on? Not asking you, Denise, to burden you with more than one vital cause; just putting this out in the gay ether, in hopes of inspiring interested parties. Both projects could become part of a greater movement: "Take Back The Castro." It would certainly make this lonely old activist queer feel at home once more, after many years living in spiritual exile!
2) Alcoholism needs to become far less of an influence in our social life and fund raising. No civil rights revolution was ever won on the backs of substance abuse of any kind. So do your girlfriends a big favor: encourage everyone to order non-alcoholic beverages, and increase the use of marijuana as a more healthful social lubrication. I hope that eventually, bar drinks will morph into exotic beverages based on cannabis infusions, and flavorful fruit juices, herbal teas and coffees. (Another dream I have, silly me, is to become the world's first Coffee/Tea Barrista And Herbal Dispenser IN A GAY BAR.)
Much success to you, Denise Jameson, in your rightful cause for sisterhood and cultural harmony here in the Castro. Perhaps you are destined to be a leader in getting our gay neighborhood to finally grow up. Someone's gotta do it!
One queer baby boomer flower child who has never sold out!