It was wednesday and i had a busy weekend aheda of me, so for our new bar this week we decided to just stop in quickly to a place near Natasha’s house called Chaise Lounge. We’re trying to diversify the bars that we check out and see as many different neighborhoods as we can as well as seeing as many different types of bars as we can. This was our first bar in Bernal Heights and also our first lesbian bar. after standing next to the door apprehensively for a second, we walked inside into the sea of women.
the place was packed. i quickly scanned the room to see if Tom and i were the only guys there. there were two other guys in the rom besides us, bot other than that it was all women. Tom and Natasha wanted to bolt immediately, but i said we had to stay for at least 2 drinks. i figure we should give every place a chance right? we got our drinks and went to go huddle by the wall trying to look as inconspicuous as possible.
i gotta admit, all of us felt pretty awkward… and honestly, i’m not really sure why. ok, so everyone there was a lesbian except for us, but that shouldn’t matter right? before you get any weird ideas, none of us are homophobic (lesbophobic?), but still for some reason we all just felt on the spot. were we unwelcome here? did people think it was weird that we came? the thing is… as far as i could tell, no one did anythig or said anything to make us think that this might be the case, and yet we still felt like maybe we should leave. maybe all of it was in our heads?
part of the problem was that usually when we go to bars, we like to people watch. here, people watching just somehow felt wrong. we didnt want people to think that we were there to “gawk at the lesbians”… like we somehow planned this whole thing out just so we could come here and stare. maybe it’s cause of the image of the typical douchebag guy who thinks that lesbians exist solely so they can make out in front of him and entertain him.
so there we were, standing as close to the wall as we could, staring down in to our drinks and trying to not make eye contact. so odd that even though we dont have any weird stereotypical views of lesbians, we were afraid of them thinking that we did, and so felt like we were on the spot. although, is thinking that lesbians would assume that all guys who go into a lesbian bar are there to gawk at them, a stereotype in itself? probably. so, the whole night ended up becoming more of some kind of weird social experiment than a fun night out drinking. as soon as we gupled down our second drinks, we took off.
the funny thing is that some of my closest friends have been lesbians and i’ve hung out with tons of lesbians in my life… and it’s never been a problem. i guess things would have been different if we knew someone there at the bar. then we would have been part of the group and not just spectators? i dunno. weird.
Chaise Lounge is at 309 Cortland Ave, San Francisco.