Public Editor

Is mentioning bars served a gay clientele bigoted?

I heard an interesting, and I think for me novel, objection from a reader over a sidebar to the review of the movie "Kon-Tiki."

Read, with pleasure this morning the movie review about, 'Kon Tiki' and was enjoying the historical side article about the influence the movie had in Kansas City. That was until I came to the superfluous and bigoted sentence, in parentheses, [Castaways and Kon-Tiki on Main] 'both of which later became gay bars.' Seriously? Please explain to me just how that sentence added to the article. Had it been a side article about the history of Gays in Kansas City, then, yeah, it would not have been out of place. Because the side article clearly wasn't about that, your aside just appears to be both gratuitous and bigoted.

I don't think everyone would be on the same page here, but it's worth pondering. Some supporters of gay rights feel strongly that there is no shame in identifying establishments that primarily serve a gay clientele in the spirit of not hiding a truth that others may be uncomfortable with.

But then again, I also understand my emailer's point. Even if you don't consider "gay" a pejorative, it does clearly single out the bars as somehow different. Perhaps not normal. It's a fair objection.