When Will We Learn

5 03 2008

I went to a Tea Dance with my peeps on Saturday. For those of you who don’t know what Tea is, allow me to explain. Tea dances are a gay/lesbian thing. Essentially, they are just an early dance. They usually start around 3 and end at 9. You go, you dance, drink and socialize. I like them because I can be home and in bed by 9:30. Some people see them as a “warm up” or a “pre-game” to the wild night life. I’m not so much down with the wild night life.

Anyway, there were 5 of us girls and 1 guy. Our guy peep was not allowed in because it is a “woman only dance”. I was pissed! This guy showed up with 5 chicks! He also is gay but I guess they had no way of knowing that. The following is a letter that I wrote to the D.J.

Dear Jodi,

I am writing to you because I have some concerns about the Tea Dances that you D.J. I am not sure who is responsible for hosting these events so I am writing this letter to you.

Last Saturday, March 1st, my friends and I went to the Tea at (insert local bar here). There were five women and one man in our party. To our dismay, our male friend was denied entry to the dance. We were told by the woman at the door that no men were allowed.

While I very much appreciate the fact that there is a screening process to the dance, I feel as though if a man is accompanied by a woman, he should be allowed in. I understand that the hosts of the Tea Dance want to provide the women who attend a safe and secure place where we can be ourselves and not have to worry about men whose intention is to pick up woman or gawk at them. I like that I don’t have to worry about my safety or deal with unwanted advances from men who are just looking for a hook-up.

My concern is that the tone set by not allowing woman’s male friends in to the dance. Isn’t there enough separation in the world? We have been fighting for years to pass homosexual marriage in to law. We have been fighting to get EQUAL rights for all. What does it say about the gay and lesbian population if we also require separation and different rules? The message that was sent to my friend on Saturday was “You are different so you are not allowed.” My friend happens to be a gay male. What happens if I want to bring a straight woman to the dance? What happens if I want to bring my sister to the dance? Are they going to be denied entry because of their sexual orientation? Is this dance going to turn in to “Lesbian only” one where we somehow have to prove our orientation?

I ask you; how on earth can we, as gay and lesbian people, ask to have equal rights when we are unwilling to afford those same rights to others? How can we ask that we not be discriminated against when we are willing to discriminate against people who are different then us? Our culture is one of “Us” versus “Them”. This culture is one that we have been fighting to change for years and years so that “WE” can have the same rights as “THEM.”  For things to change we need to be able to remove that attitude. We are all human and we all deserve the same rights. WE need to practice what we preach.

Again, I want to stress that I appreciate that the hosts of this event work hard to ensure the safety and security of the women who attend. However, I feel like no one should be denied entry if they are accompanied by a woman. In fact, I feel so strongly about this that if this policy remains in effect, I will no longer attend these events. I would rather make the drive to Boston or host my friends in my own home where EVERYONE feels welcome and accepted.

I respectfully ask that you forward this email to whoever is in charge of hosting these events. I truly hope that there will be a policy change soon. I have been attending Tea for years and enjoy them very much.

Thank you,

Auntie

I think it is sad that, in the year 2008, I have to write this letter. Even more sad is the fact that it being written to a group of people who have been discriminated against for so long.

Do (and don’t do) unto others.

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9 responses

5 03 2008
mrschili

Sweetie, this is beautiful. Respectful, professional, and pointed. As a matter of fact, I’m pointing to this post from MY site today – I really think this is an important part of the fight for equality; it’s got to be across the board – there can’t be some who are “more equal” than others.

I’m so proud of you.

5 03 2008
Kizz

Hey they’re talking about this same thing in Season 4 of the L Word, which I’m watching right now. (Yes, I know it’s badly written and often ridiculous but I LIKE them!)

Good letter. I hope you get a considered response.

5 03 2008
Laurie B

Well stated, well said, and I totally agree with you. Thanks.

5 03 2008
Because We Need to See It For What It Really Is « The Blue Door

[…] 5, 2008 by mrschili Auntie’s got something important to say today.  Please go and […]

5 03 2008
whodoesshethinksheisanyway

Chili, thank you.

Kizz, I have only watched the first episode of the Lword this year. Please! Don’t give anything away!!

Laurie B, thank you to you too!

5 03 2008
jrh

You go, Auntie. I love how you recognized what must be the rationale, explained the problem with it, and offered a solution. And that are proactive enough to do so.

5 03 2008
Grammar Snob

You GO, Girl! Well written, but with a crapload of gravitas. Well done, Auntie!!!

5 03 2008
Rich | Championable

There was a company in NYC last year that settled an EEOC lawsuit for 4.3 million dollars. It paid Jewish employees completely different wages than it paid hispanic employees for the same work.

That bothered me more than other kinds of discrimination, because of the abuse and discrimination heaped upon the Jews over time. When Jewish folks are racist, it makes me especially angry.

Simply said: I get your point in a big big way.

8 03 2008
Tom

Applause.. in fact.. Standing Ovation..

I managed a gay bar years ago. It was open to all but we did put a sign at the front door saying it was a gay bar and if they felt offended they shouldn’t enter.

Occasionally men would ask me why we allowed lesbians in the bar. I always said “because they are gay also”. I felt a little guilty because in the back of my mind I would think “Oh, you must be one of those women haters – not naturally born gay”.

So at some point, usually a bit later, I would ask them if they had ever been married before. Most of the time the answer was affirmative.

Human sexuality can not be placed into neat little boxes of logic. These are much more then black and white issues. There is much grey space in between.

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