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Galveston Gay Bar “More Than A Life Saver”

Jim Burroway

September 15th, 2008

While Galveston city officials have struggled to wrangle with the devastation left by hurricane Ike, one Galveston gay bar is pitching in:

The first of two bars to reopen after Ike’s onslaught on Saturday, Robert’s Lafitte is a haven in the storm — for gays, straights, anyone who needs a place to drink and find comfort.

“You can see there’s not too much worry and stress on people’s faces,” said Dixie Monroe, a transgender barmaid who wore a tiger-print cowboy hat and a low-cut top.

Amid the devastation and rescue operations, Lafitte has become an important focus of rescue and charity efforts:

The bar is setting out food donated by locals for people in need. Some 20,000 people are thought to be still on the island and food and water are scarce.

“It’s more than a life saver. This is like the Coast Guard,” said Brian DeLeon, a straight restaurant worker who had not visited the bar before.

“These are the people who take you up out of the water and make life livable. Once I get back to work, I’m coming back here.”

Comments

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Samantha Davis
September 16th, 2008 | LINK

Why is it that whenever a transgender person is mentioned in the news they always must, and without fail, mention what she’s wearing? They never seem to do that with any other demographic.

wendy
September 16th, 2008 | LINK

my hat is off to this group in Galviston…. that is love in action.

Jim Burroway
September 16th, 2008 | LINK

Thanks Samantha for raising an important point.

Although I can say that I have seen instances where the press wrote a serious story about an LGBT issue, but threw in frivolous “color” because, well, we’re amusing. One of the reporters for our local press is notorious for pulling stunts like that.

But yes, it does appear even more often when describing transgender people.

oakland753
September 16th, 2008 | LINK

And why is this even a story worthy of being written? Is it because a gay bar is actually caring? Oh, my God, now that is something unusal, isn´t it.

Or maybe this is newsworthy because straights actually have to accept help from gays? This whole article is worthless and only serves to continue sterotypes on many levels.

I can find better things to do then read this trash anywhere. It certainly cheapens the value of Box Turtle Bulletin in my eyes…find something worthwhile or do not clog our emails.

Jason D
September 16th, 2008 | LINK

oakland that’s a bit harsh. I think the point is rather obvious, but I’ll point a few things out to you:

(1) Human interest. Hurricane Ike has affected a lot of people.

(2) The opening line of the article(bold is mine)
“While Galveston city officials have struggled to wrangle with the devastation left by hurricane Ike, one Galveston gay bar is pitching in:” in other words….The city is struggling to help, but a local (gay) business is doing just fine.

(3) The General population is generally unaware of the philanthropy of gay bars.

(4) Straight people are seaking/accepting help from a group and in an environment that would normally not be a place heterosexuals feel welcome.

(5) This is Texas, which is not known for it’s acceptance and or tolerance of gays.

(6) Finally, up in the right hand corner of the site is this: “News, analysis, and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric” …this would qualify as “news”. Alternately, sometimes the best analyis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric…is to simply show the truth about gay people, that we’re not evil selfish monsters. This article highlights the humanity of gay people, and if that doesn’t fight anti-gay rhetoric, I don’t know what does.

And just a thought,
perhaps you would be better suited to visiting the site at your leisure rather than being an email subscriber. If it’s so important to keep your inbox clear, perhaps you should sign up for fewer email alerts.

I’m rather annoyed that you would call a story about generousity, kindness, and the humanity of gay people helping their neighbors and call it “trash”, “worthless”. At this point in election season, I think this story is a breath of fresh air!

Jim Burroway
September 16th, 2008 | LINK

Jason D.

Thank you for your spirited defense.

Indeed, news of the positive work of gay people is rare in the mainstream media, leaving our opponents a blank slate to draw caricatures on. That’s why we try to include the more interesting ones when we find them.

Stories like these remind all of us that we are an inseparable part of the fabric of humanity. Of all the criticisms that we face at this web site, I’m startled to find us criticized for repeating a heart-warming story that we all can be proud of. I’m sorry Oakland took offense at being confronted with a positive story for a change. I guess it’s true: you can’t please everyone.

But I do have a good take-away from this. Our readers have very clear (if sometimes conflicting) expectations of this web site that they aren’t afraid to express. This is good. It tells me that we matter to them and they have high expectations of us. Whatever criticisms may be lobbed our way, they are much better than the alternative: indifference.

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