One evening earlier this week, a friend posted on Facebook about something unusual he witnessed while attending a drag show in Maine. No, it wasn’t an outlandish wig, a pair of gravity-defying platforms, or a scandalously revealing dress on one of the drag queens. It was a bachelorette party.
Now I realize that there is a wide variety of opinions and perspectives on the issue of bachelorette parties at gay bars, and part of my reason for writing this post is that I hope you’ll share your own thoughts in the comments section. But for me, the issue is crystal clear: if you’re thinking of having your bachelorette party in a gay bar, DON’T.
I know, at first it may seem counterintuitive. After all, in addition to serving as safe spaces for LGBT people to be themselves and gather in community, gay bars very often attract hetero females who enjoy spending an evening drinking and dancing with hot men without any fear that they’ll be taken advantage of. Further, some brides-to-be may want to show support for their LGBT friends, family members, and the community at large by spending their money at LGBT-owned or allied establishments.
But please, ladies, try to see this from the perspective of a happily married gay man whose legal marriage dissolves when he leaves New England (Maine notwithstanding). Imagine that, thanks to a law paradoxically known as the “Defense of Marriage Act,” the love of your life is regarded by the federal government as a total stranger. Or, worst of all, put yourself in the shoes of a person living a state in which they’re constitutionally prohibited from marrying the person they love — a gallingly unjust fact of life for LGBT people in 31 out of the 50 states.
So while I’m sure your heart is in the right place, if you choose to have that bachelorette party at a gay bar, this is what you’re REALLY saying: “Yay! Let’s celebrate my upcoming marriage in front of a whole bunch of people who can’t legally marry the person they love!”
In my view, what you may have intended to be a thoughtful gesture — or at least a harmless one — is actually beyond tacky, and to those of us at the bar who either can’t marry or whose marriages the federal government refuses to recognize, you’ll look both staggeringly clueless and completely classless.