Citing lack of marriage equality, Hollywood gay bar bans bachelorette parties

The Abbey Food and Bar in West Hollywood has decided to ban bachelorette parties, according to CBS. The owner of the bar said he decided to implement the ban until GLBTQ individuals have the right to marriage equality.

David Cooley, founder and president of The Abbey Food And Bar, says he gets flooded with requests for bachelorette parties on Fridays and Saturdays.

“I just felt after seeing so many bachelorette parties… having our wonderful straight girlfriends having a special time, a special night, having fun that it’s almost a slap in the face to my clientele. Myself being a gay person a kind of slap in my face that I couldn’t have that same experience,” Cooley said.

“So I thought that I would put a ban on bachelorette parties until every person will have the right to have a marriage and be able to marry their loved one,” he said.

In a press release Cooley also said:

Every Friday and Saturday night, we’re flooded with requests from straight girls in penis hats who want to ogle our gogos, dance with the gays and celebrate their pending nuptials. They are completely unaware that the people around them are legally prohibited from getting married.

Over the past 22 years, The Abbey has been a place that accepts everyone, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and everything in between. We love our straight girlfriends and they are welcome here, just not for bachelorette parties. It has long been a policy at The Abbey to deny admission to groups in costume, including Bachelorette regalia. Bachelorette parties had previously been allowed inside if they removed their costumes.

The Abbey’s Bachelorette Ban comes on the heels of a ban on Gay Marriage in North Carolina and a number of other states across the south. The Abbey encourages other gay-owned and operated establishments to institute their own bans as a sign of solidarity until Marriage is legal everywhere for everyone.

One word: bravo!

Any straight woman who feels the need to have her bachelorette party at a GLBTQ establishment or flaunt her new marriage could care less about the GLBTQ community’s inequality in society. Not only is it exploitative in nature, it also reeks of the straight privilege many women often flex in the company of GLBTQ folks without even thinking twice about their actions.

A woman who chooses to have her bachelorette party at a GLBTQ venue is not showing an act of solidarity, friendship or alliance. A woman’s decision to hold her bachelorette parties at GLBTQ venues is one of many instances in which the GLBTQ community is reminded that straight privilege, homphobia, bigotry, cissexism and transphobia all stand in the way of them achieving equal protection and rights under the law. A woman who makes this choice most likely views her so-called GLBTQ friends and their safe spaces as nothing more than a vehicle in which she can explore the otherness imposed upon this community by a heterosexist society.

GLBTQ individuals and establishments have the right to shield themselves from the onslaught of straight experimenters, who feel it’s okay to impose their privilege as a means to venture out and explore The Others. They have a right to ban or restrict what they feel is an institution that’s been used as a means to keep them from achieving full equality under the law. GLBTQ individuals on daily basis are assaulted with straightness and cissexist images, conversations and attitudes from individuals and institutions who have no concept of how overbearing and oppressive those attitudes can be for marginalized bodies.

It would be interesting to see if Cooley’s message catches on and other GLBTQ establishments begin protecting their patrons from straight women using them and their venues as a path to experience The Exotic. While it’s not my place as a straight, cisgendered woman to tell GLBTQ individuals and establishments how they should feel and how they should respond to bachelorette parties, the exploitative nature of throwing these parties at venues where patrons have been historically denied basic human rights is too repulsive for me to ignore.

Cooley’s decision is one of self-preservation. It’s one that protects the feelings and dignity of GLBTQ patrons from having their sexuality, their spaces and their lives exploited by straight women who feign tolerance and acceptance. No GLBTQ person entering a safe space should be reminded of their second-class citizenship by straight women celebrating their last night of freedom before validating an institution used by bigots to prohibit the GLBTQ community from achieving full equality.