“In no way do I want this to be an attack on gay men. I fully support them having safe spaces that are welcoming. I don’t want to go to outer space either, but if someone suddenly said no women were allowed in space, I’d be first to join the protest.”
So says Amina Chaudhry as she attacks a safe space gay men have created for themselves. Chaudhry “filed a complaint alleging she was discriminated against because she wasn’t allowed to stay at an all-male resort that was clothing-optional for gay and bisexual men.”(The Advocate)
The all-male resort in question: The Island House in Key West. According to the Keys Weekly, The Island House Key West resort’s owners and attorneys say that they have units for women, but that the specific woman wasn’t allowed to stay because of prior negative behavior. The layers of this story continue to deepen. Chaudhry was at the Pride kickoff parties at the Island House in both June 2021 and 2022. And get this…
In June 2022 Chaudhry distributed flyers trashing the Island House. Flyers attacked the Island House and claimed it’s policies were discrimination. Yes, the same Island House that invited her in as a guest. The same Island House where she had been to before and had a great time. Is this biatch for real? Literally coming into our safe space and then trashing it for being a safe space. (I mean this isn’t funny but could you imagine being at the Pride party at the Island House and having this woman pass out flyers. Everyone is dancing, drinking, singing, having fun in the pool…I know my friends and I would have laughed it off and then probably clapped with everyone else as she was escorted out.)
Yes, I am making light out of this and yes I am going to crack jokes throughout this column but this is still an attack on the queer community.
I was going to write a paragraph about this woman’s motives or reasons but guess what I don’t give an F about any of those. End result is still the same. Just because you are not welcome somewhere does not make it discrimination.
The world is different now than it was at the beginning of the Gay Rights movement. Some of my first mentors were reluctant to give up their queer bars to women explaining to the younger generations (me in the early 2000s) that they fought long and hard for these spaces. Today in 2023 where everyone knows someone who is L G B T Q the social scene is more mixed. Most queer bars welcome all ages, shapes, and identities. BUT…
There are and should be, men-only spaces. And by the same reason, there should be women-only nights at bars and clubs and transgender-only parties. Is it discrimination? What about black-only or Jewish-only fraternities?
There are many bars in queer NYC I would go with my female friends, but would I take them to The Eagle? No probably not. Would I take them to the Brut parties? No definitely not. And I know I can speak for them when I say they do not feel discriminated against. Just like if I had two or three weekends to choose from to go to in Provincetown, ‘women’s weekend’ would not make my list.
Owner Bob Lore said “I felt affronted by the fact that there was someone who was invited to the space and enjoying it, but while passing out literature to the detriment of our property and aggravating our guests. We eventually had the police escort her off the property.” Good, I am glad. Aggravating our guests he said it right there. Again, I make jokes but this was an attack on our community.