Over the last 48 hours, I’ve had some really good conversations with both of my roommates about the issues I brought up in my previous post. Namely, my discomfort at emphatically ‘straight’ bars (particularly ‘frat-like’ bars, more on that language in a moment), and the growing disconnect in my social life between high school friends and queer/theatre friends. (Not that there isn’t an overlap between queer and theatre. Shocking, I know.)
I said, pretty firmly, that I’m done going to frat bars, dance clubs, whatever. One of my roommates, who was in a frat in college, was sort of annoyed with my terminology. He made sure to emphasize that he was in the least ‘frat-like’ frat on campus, that they had gay members, all implying that they wouldn’t have had a problem with me. And, to be honest, I mostly believe him. My issue with frat-like bars isn’t the potential for bigotry or harassment (although I’m conscious of those things) its the emphasis on masculinity and pressured drinking. I don’t like the strict gender divides I feel at those types of bars, ranging from the mode of dress for the patrons to the way they interact. Likewise, I really don’t like what feels like a pressure to drink, Drink, DRINK! If one person is drinking, everyone must be! Drink! Shots! Beer! Booze! I don’t like it.
But that’s honestly a secondary issue to the growing gap between how and why I socialize with my high school friends and my queer/theatre friends.