Are straight women ruining the gay scene?!
Och aye the noo! My half Scottish self jigged all the way across the border this weekend as I took my girl to Glasgow for her very first trip to the highlands. It was her birthday, but it was my chance to show her just how proud I am of my Scottish roots, and frankly what a riot the Scots really are. And don’t get me wrong, you’s did me proud! But one stark similarity we were confronted with was that, no matter what city you’re in, straight women
flock to gay bars as though they’re covered in Magic Mike fairy dust.
The last time I visited Glasgow was NYE 2014 and it was spent at the Polo Lounge, Glasgow’s biggest gay club, and my memories of that night have stayed with me ever since. The music, the queers, the vibes, it was a must for my return trip with bae. But with it being just around the corner from Delmonicas, a campy drag bar, I thought we should start our night with a little light entertainment first. I am one half of an old, (practically) married couple after all, and so a warm up is always crucial.
We approached Dels from the alleyway entrance feeling like the hot femme/masc duo that we are, only to be cornered before we even entered the building. A woman, sporting a ‘Bride to Be’ sash made a beeline for us to ask us for a light, which was followed in quick procession by the dreaded question, ‘Are you lesbians?!’ She stood back in awe, eyes flitting between us and pronounced to the few smokey joe’s loitering at the bar’s entrance that we were the hottest lesbian couple she’d ever seen. My girlfriend and I glanced at each other with the silent acknowledgement that we were going to let this slide and to try to get out of this conversation as quickly as we possibly could.
Now look, we all love a good compliment, I love being told I’m hot by strangers, why do you think I have a tik tok account?! But, and I’m going toassume that she meant no harm by her comments, I’m kind of sick of feeling like a circus act on my own territory.She was straight, she told us so. In fact, she was one of those straight women who was desperate to ‘try being gay’ for the night as she told us how disappointed she was that she hadn’t been hit on yet… Jeez ‘Claire’, give me a fucking break. I don’t mind straight women wanting to come into LGBTQ* spaces to enjoy our environment, where they’re free to be whoever they want to be for the night and are able to feel safe. They were literally designed for us for that purpose. But please, don’t come into my space, one of the dwindling few that I have left where
I can feel like the majority for once, and corner me into a conversation about my
sexuality, praise me for being an acceptably attractive lesbian in your eyes, or to
try my sexuality on for the night for a laugh ‘cause you feel like it. I’ve spoken to some gay male friends recently who are usually a straight woman’s biggest ally, and they’ve expressed that even to them it’s getting a little tiring. A gay man not being interested in a straight woman sexually doesn’t give you the right to put your hands on him or them inappropriately, without permission or to invade their personal space. Gay men aren’t a possession to be acquired like the latest tote bag, or exist to help keep you in check with the latest celebrity gossip.
If you’re to continue entering our sacred spaces, it’s time you learned the word BOUNDARIES. If you’re there for the chance to stare freely at people who look different to you in some sort of safari like venture, you’re not welcome babes. If you’re there to feed your ego in the hopes of being hit on, only to offendedly decline as if it’s our bad that we thought you were gay, in a gay bar, you’re not welcome. If you’re there to glorify our culture for one night for your hen do and to treat our beloved bars as some sort of tourist attraction, guess what?! You’re not welcome.
Think about it, you have the literal whole world to do as you please, and my point is not that you’re not welcome, you absolutely are. But if you do decide to join us, it’s time you did so thoughtfully and on good behavior. If you’re joining us with an openness to learn something, to soak up our culture and form an alyship, to enjoy our space without taking away from it or to center yourself in our world, we would love to have you. Now, pass it on!
@helenscottuk / helenscottuk.com