Monday, February 11, 2008

At the drag king bar last week . . . by Ruby Vixen, guest blogger and friend of Seal

There's trouble a-brewin' in DC's gayborhood, Dupont Circle, over Club Chaos--a bar who's long running drag shows are recently in threat of being shut down by the Dupont Circle Citizen's Association. The exact nature of this trouble makes me want to walk right up to the Dupont Circle Citizen's Association and give them a piece of my mind, but I'm 3,000+ miles away in Berkeley, so I'm writing about it here.

According to one of the DC kings, it seems the DCCA is using shady tactics to prevent drag shows from continuing at Choas--they're citing "anonymous noise complaints" and an unfiled entertainer's license among their main problems.

There is definitely something else going on here though, something that looks suspiciously like a neighborhood in the process of gentrification trying to keep itself as heteronormative (and white) as possible.

In her post on feministing.com, Miriam Perez writes "Maybe this is too much to ask, but wouldn't you think that in 2008, in one of the gayest neighborhoods in DC, a couple of drag performers at a local gay bar wouldn't bother anyone?"

Unfortunately, issues of privilege, access, and racism extend themselves into the queer community in creepy and deeply troubling ways. Maybe, if the performers were attracting patrons the DCCA approved of, they wouldn't push the issue. Maybe.

There are several systems of oppression at play here: white male privilege, systemic racism, classism, gentrification, etc. But any way you look at it, the underlying message from the DCCA on this is clear (even if they haven't said it aloud) if you're genderqueer, if you're not white, if you're poor, they'll do whatever they can to get you to move somewhere else.

For today, it's Ruby Vixen, guestblogger, signing off.

1 comment:

Ebbs said...

Down with the DCCA. Great post, lady. Keep it up!