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    AC Benus
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The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Prose - 4. Unknown - "A Gay Bar's House Rules"

Unknown - "A Gay Bar's House Rules"

(Camp and drag are both terms the OED will happily tell you come from the generation before Shakespeare's time. Both are stage terms, and in the social imperative most LGBT people found themselves in Western Europe, a wry, insiders-only sense of humor helped a great deal. One Magazine -- an early Community monthly published from Los Angeles -- printed the following "Letter from Miami" in their March 1955 issue. It seems the police percussion of Gay people in that city was rampant, and One personally reported on 17(!) raids on Community gathering places for the calander year 1954 alone. The following list was from one bar laughing in the face of repression -- the very essence of camp humor. And a list like this makes you remember just how camp John Wayne actually was.)

Miami Bar Posts House Rules:

1) When customer wishes to go to the restroom -- please raise hand and barmaid will direct you to proper door.

2) Mother and daughter customers are not allowed to hold hands, kiss or pat each other on back. On week-ends they are not allowed to even talk to each other.

3) No talcum powder allowed on men customers, or after-shave lotion on women customers.

4) Women must wear make-up -- false eyelashes and beauty marks will be provided at the bar for those women customers who have just come from the beach and don’t have their make-up kits with them.

5) Men may wear only stiff shirts and tails.

6) Any male customer caught buying a beer for another male customer will have to buy a beer for the barmaid too, so that the management will know that the man customer is of high moral fiber and not one of those characters.

7) Female customers may not talk at all -- they are required to walk around the bar at least once every five minutes, dropping handkerchiefs and swooning at the far turn.

8 ) Male customers may NOT wave at friends or relatives passing by in the street, because we’ll have none of those gestures in this place, my dear.

9) Lady customers may smoke only if male customer lights cigarette for them.

10) Lady customers may smoke only cigarettes with ivory tips, jewelled pipes or Between the Acts cigars.

11) Male customers must have hair on the chest -- if you have none, please bring along another chest with the required hair on it. (We will gladly refrigerate it for you while you’re here).

12) Please do not be offended if we do not serve you. Here are but a few of the people we could not serve if they were able to patronize us: Socrates, Wilde, Proust, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Queen Christina, Amy Lowell, Lord Tennyson, etc., etc. and far into the night.




Copyright © 2021 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
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4 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

This is awesome. I laughed aloud at several of these, including (but not limited to) numbers 7, 8 and 11. 

I was thinking that No. 7 could be expanded to say "Management will provide fainting couches for tightly corseted women customers, but corseted men customers must be butch and stand at the bar like everyone else."  

Edited by AC Benus
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