PRUDE ALERT: Let's not shame gay men for hooking up in bars

Men kissing making out patio gay bar lgbtq nightclub
Men kissing making out patio gay bar lgbtq nightclub

Remember when gay bars used to be a safe space?

Unfortunately, some people in the younger generations are struggling with the idea that gay bars should be private and for gay people, and are shaming men for hooking up in the bathrooms of such establishments.

A recent post on X (formerly Twitter) went viral over the weekend where a young person took multiple pictures of two men hooking up with each other in a bathroom to shame them. (We won't be link to the X post, in order to protect the identity of the men whose photograph was taken of them, seemingly without their consent.)

"I hate gay people so much," the X user wrote in their post, which a the time of writing has over 4.2 millions views. "Get a room! A stall! SOMETHING."

The thing is, historically, gay bars and other gay spaces were invented and built so that gay men had a place to go and be themselves without risking being shamed, attacked, arrested, or worse. They were invented because homosexuality was criminalized and the community needed spaces where people could meet (and hookup) in privacy.

Do people not realize that archaic sodomy laws only became invalidated across the U.S. a little over 20 years ago in 2003? If you can get into a gay bar right now, chances are you were alive when adults in America could be arrested and prosecuted for committing acts of consensual sex with another adult.

Before the landmark Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case, 10 states across the country were actively banning sodomy, with four more prohibiting same-sex couples from engaging in anal or oral sex. People in these states were arrested and punished for these "crimes."

Thankfully, SCOTUS ruled that Americans have a right to privacy (that includes not being filmed while in a bathroom) and that laws that include criminal punishment for consensual, non-procreative adult sexual encounters are unconstitutional.

There are currently 12 US States that still have anti-sodomy laws, including Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas (where the aforementioned X post shaming gay men for hooking up in a gay bar bathroom is coming from).

The history of the queer community is made by our ability to have safe spaces. Without gay bars, without gay house parties, without ballroom culture, without online queer communities, we would have nowhere to go.

We already have so many outside forces trying to destroy our safe spaces, we don't need to destroy them from inside.

It's fine if public hookups aren't for you, but the queer community is built around safe and consensual freedom, and shaming men for hooking up in a gay bar bathroom is the exact opposite of that.