Today, with the rise of the internet, online dating sites and e-hookups, gay bars are no longer in their heyday. But some still do exist and the bigger ones manage to stay in business.
And I haven't seen or even heard of an exclusively lesbian bar ANYWHERE in about 25 years. Those exist now only in our fading memories!
At one time, of course, gay and lesbian bars were the ONLY safe spaces that existed for LGBT+ people to be freely and openly ourselves. Their decline in recent years is, in fact, a measure of the success of the Pride movement because now people can safely be open in many places in our society.
But hey, now it's AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION TIME! Confess ALL in the comments below! And c'mon, I know a lot of you straight people have been to our bars too -- yes, yes, JUST to see a drag show, I know -- SO YOU 'FESS UP TOO!
The first gay or lesbian bar I ever went to was MS PURDY'S in WINNIPEG. It operated from about 1985 to 1995 or so, if memory serves me correctly. As I described it once before on my blog --
It wasn't quite as seedy inside as it looked from the outside, LOL! Ms Purdy's was a small place but managed to pack in a pool table, a good-sized stand-up bar, about a dozen tables and chairs and a small mirrored dance floor. Its windows were, of course, unbreakable one-way glass so we could see out but no one on the street could see in. The front door led into a security foyer where you'd first have to run the gauntlet of a couple of big dyke bouncers before being allowed into the bar itself. The purpose of that was to keep out gaybashers, religious nuts seeking to condemn us and/or save our souls, irate husbands/boyfriends looking for their AWOL wives/girlfriends, and men of all descriptions.
[Photo © Debra She Who Seeks, 1990]
Ah, GOOD TIMES! Now I want to hear about YOURS!