With the election of the first African-American president, the nation ushered in a new era of tolerance and acceptance. The visible shift in American ideology brought forth bright expectations for people across the spectrum. But will all communities benefit from this change? With sexual orientation hate crimes consistently on the rise in the past decade, we wondered.
To test Americans' increasing open-mindedness, we staged a verbal gay-bashing scenario at a local sports bar in Linden, N.J. We hired actor Vince August to play a homophobic patron. Dusty St. Amand and Dominic Benevento, a gay couple in real life, played the targets of his slurs. Two additional actors, Traci Hovel and Brad Lee Wind, played a heterosexual couple at the opposite end of the bar.
Will DVR this one. I can say my boyfriend and I wouldn't dream of testing this in any of our local twin city burb hangouts and clubs. LOL. We don't patronize these establishments as a "couple" only as buds. No tolerance. Downtown mpls sports bars and clubs are different. Somewhat more tolerant, but mixed by witnessing situations from afar, there again haven't tested the ground by establishing ourselves as a couple there.
posted by TrevorHere, at
3/24/2009 4:28 PM
I saw the video commercial about this and was amazed when some straight woman in the bar yelled, "You're making me uncomfortable!" as though the world belongs to her and people who think like her. When will these people get it though their thick skulls? Wake up! Gays have as much a right as anyone else to exist and live as openly as straight people do. I can't wait to see this report.
posted by Chris L., at
3/24/2009 6:34 PM
Chris L.: oh bummer. I thought the woman was screaming at the ignorant bozo who was pounding his chest with hollow machismo. I do not think it is a good thing to test the waters in a bar full of alcohol drinkers. It is not really a controlled study if you will.
posted by mail, at
3/24/2009 8:52 PM
We all know that an ignorant straight guy all by himself would do nothing but if in a pack mentality and/or fueled with alcohol, a whole different scenario is possible.
posted by mail, at
3/24/2009 8:55 PM
Chris, interracial couples used to be subjected to this, and I'm sure they still are in areas of the country where the level of consciousness is still below sea-level. In the 70s, interracial couples often came to the gay bars and discos that I went to because they knew no one would bother them there. Hopefully some day (not in my lifetime, I'm sure) all of this will be a thing of the past.
posted by gary, at
3/25/2009 10:34 AM
Great so where are the Gay couple's supposed to go? Gay Bars allow straight clientele.
posted by Frank, at
3/26/2009 9:57 AM