After the mass shooting at the gay bar Pulse in Orlando, folks on FB started talking about their 1st gay bar they ever went to. Then I read the @nytimes article where they asked celebrities & activists their 1st gay bar experience. Listers please add your own experience! ( NYT article: )
  1. Fallout, St. Louis, MO
    With my fake ID burning into the side of my pocket, I drove downtown w/my best friend Peter. We were both in the closet and terrified. I remember throwing my jacket in the trunk of my car because I didn't want to pay for coat check and shivering as we dashed from the parked car to the club entrance. I spent the entire night on the black plywood dance floor, dancing nonstop because I was so scared that someone would hit on me if I left it for a moment! I still mourn the closing of that club.
  2. I forgot the name of the bar. Birmingham Alabama
    Our best friend from high school came out early on in college. We were all home from school when he told us. We went with him to one the local gay bars.
    Suggested by @mallofamanda
  3. The Court. Perth, Australia
    As a straight woman it wasn't my first choice for the first time I went clubbing as an 18 yr old, but it was my best friend's birthday so he got to pick. I mainly drank water all night and all these friendly guys kept dancing with me and refused to believe it was water. There was a drag show and the club closed at 2am and only the fact that we had a kebab with one of the performers consoled me.
    Suggested by @estherlimtf
  4. Le petit marais, Nantes, France
    I don't remember my first time exactly but I know later, I spent every night there for like 8 month when I was 22. I loved every part of it.
    Suggested by @solena
  5. The Heat, San Antonio, Texas
    I was 22 and in my first gay relationship. I had recently come out. My girlfriend took me, and I felt completely supported and proud. It can be hard to be your most authentic self when you constantly are battling an internal monologue of whether or not to come out to a group of new people. But here, I didn't have to; I was free. In this experience, I learned the true value of a gay bar—it's a community filled with unconditional love and support
    Suggested by @christineeee89
  6. Nighthawks - Silverlake, CA
    When I moved to LA in 1994, my best friend used to meet women on a phone line called "Large & Lovely." (These are the things people did before Tinder!) One night, he connected with a woman whose brother was the Nighthawks bartender. My pal was uncomfortable going to a gay bar, so he asked me to go along with him (which makes zero sense if you really think about it). I got free drinks from his date's brother all night, got drunk and had a BLAST dancing!
    Suggested by @angusisley
  7. Alchemy (I think but I'm having trouble remembering the name 😁), New Haven, CT
    There weren't any gay bars in CT when I was a teen (or maybe there were but they weren't advertised), instead they had gay night. I was 19, and my friend Chris was a bartender. He invited me, and 2 friends to come out even though we weren't 21. We were nearly carded at the door until he yelled at the doorman to let us in. The patron flowed freely that night and we danced until morning with guys we knew wouldn't try to take us home. Dancing, drinking, & trying not to stare at Chris's tiny speedo.
    Suggested by @linzamauve
  8. C-Street (Chester Street) in Champaign, Illinois
    About 25 years ago with my still-best friend, before he came out. He started by taking me on "Trash Disco Tuesdays" (an unofficial "straight night") and then once he got comfortable, he'd head back by himself on the weekends.
    Suggested by @loriatx
  9. You'll laugh, but we went to The Lookout in the city with our friends, maybe 6 years ago..hilarious stories from that visit! (Also been to Esta Noche, which I'm sure is no longer in existence, but a fab drag show/bar!!!!)
    Suggested by @cvlop61
  10. The Connection, Louisville, Kentucky
    Whenever I was home from college, we'd go here for the stellar cabaret drag show, then drink and dance until we were exhausted. Such a fun place.
    Suggested by @readjulia