Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rum Dump at the Stonewall Inn

I've reported in the past how utterly disappointed I was in the "new" Stonewall Inn -- to put it mildly -- the historic bar where began the modern-day Gay Rights movement. (There was a movement even before the Stonewall rebellion, let's make that clear.) This mostly straight-owned bar with its deluge of drunken straight tourists from The Duplex, closeted bartenders, weird hostesses, and an almost total absence of gay pride finally made a little burp in that direction, although it was activist Wayne Besen who deserves the credit for it. He got the bar's owners to stage a "Rum Dump" at the bar to protest and publicize the fact that Jamaica (from whence comes Myer's Rum and Red Stripe Beer) has become "the most homophobic place on Earth." But there are other world-wide trouble spots, as Besen reports on his blog, which is essential -- and scary -- reading.

I've no doubt the owners of the Stonewall see this as a chance for publicity and probably don't care all that much about the situation in Jamaica (and can probably afford to lose the one or two bottles they had of Myers Rum) but at least it's a step in the right direction. But this Stonewall Inn is not and never has been (nor, I believe, will it ever be) the "historic" Stonewall Inn" regardless of its name and its location. LGBT groups will hold occasional events there because of this "history," but it's clear to me, at least, that the owners are less interested in history than they are in the kachung of the cash register, and I'm sure they would say "we're businessmen, who can blame us?" But they did play up the history of the bar in interviews for the gay press, in which they were often mistaken for a gay couple.

Wonder how big a crowd they got for the Rum Dump?

But if Besen can keep at the owners and get them to support more activist-oriented events and protests, maybe the bar can at some point turn into what it should be, or at least some approximation thereof.

But forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

In the meantime, if you see any of the offending Jamaican brands in your local gay bar, ask the manager not to order any more. A complete and total boycott of Jamaica and its products is what is called for, as Besen has noted.


Anonymous said...

The really sat thing is that the old "straight-owned" Stonewall was a really hot bar full of attractive guys with lots of cruising. The new Stonewall is just a dull cocktail lounge with no character, full of tourists from Iowa and men who haven't had sex in so long they don't remember what a dick looks like.

Bill Samuels said...

The sad thing is that there are guys who haven't had sex in years and they're not even that old -- they've just given up. Julius also comes to mind.

You're not the only one who prefers the Stonewall of a few years ago to the Stonewall Inn of today! The old one was definitely more fun.

Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

I was at the old "straight owned" Stonewall which was ok and the "new" Stonewall which I think is better and I have had a great time. Maybe it's all just personal preference but every time i have gone there has been a lot of young hot (horny) guys. Maybe you just went on the wrong night?

Bill Samuels said...

Young hot horny guys at the Stonewall? Are you sure you weren't in Pieces bar down the block?

Anyway, thanks for your comment.