Earlier this month GA Voice asked readers ‘why can’t Atlanta sustain lesbian bars’ and Project Q featured a blog from James Keaton Maxwell who was ‘disappointed in midtown’ and likened Midtown and Blake’s to a ‘high school cafeteria’. After examining the evolution of my own hangout spots since I moved to Atlanta nearly 8 years ago, I’ve concluded that only one thing was important to me and that was being comfortable.
Sure, some of the reasons GA Voice offered as to why lesbians may not frequent bars as much as gay men (i.e. bars have different meaning in socialization, lesbians tend to have families and nightlife can be expensive) are valid, but why does My Sister’s Room have to be always referred to as a ‘lesbian’ bar. Why can’t it function as a LGBT business in which the G,B and T support it just as much if not more than the L’s? Why do we segment ourselves into the nightlife cliques?
After spending much of a recent Saturday afternoon at MSR trying the new sport’s bar menu and listening to new owner Jennifer Maguire’s explanations of what MSR is trying to become—I only felt comfortable. I felt like there was someone here who understood that the LGBT community is extremely diverse and hence the events and offerings at MSR would reflect that. Miss your country nightlife and can’t make it out during the week to the Heretic? MSR brings Round ‘Em Fridays starting February 3rd as a biweekly event to bring back that ‘yee-haw’ to the LGBT community. Question is- will our community attend? I hope so because I’d rather not see any more headlines lamenting the loss of gay-owned businesses in Atlanta.
In addition to MSR, I love hanging out at The Hideaway. Now I’ve heard the jokes when I first started going last year, but I‘ve never felt more comfortable at a bar with a set of bartenders, staff and patrons. Isn’t that what going out is about—enjoying yourself? So James Keaton Maxwell, you may be right in giving up Blake’s, only you can make that decision, but there are many other bars in the community that can show you a good time. Shrug off their labels and attempt to define them yourself. You might just find you like hiding out at The Hideaway or that My Sister’s Room has become your new room.