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New Orleans American Bar


This is a… gay bar!
Originally uploaded by elmada.

So, as some of you might recall from a recent blog entry, I found the website for the “New Orleans American Bar” in Leipzig and was somewhat surprised to find that this gay bar had a Confederate Flag on its homepage.

So it was with some trepidation that I went into the gay bar to have a few drinks. I only knew the location of one other gay bar in Leipzig—Cocks was located about a 20 or 25 minute walk from my hotel in a cold, dark, and unfamiliar city, whilst the New Orleans American Bar was but 10 minutes away.

Intellectually I knew that the bar was a gay bar, but that didn’t stop me from having to hold my breath as I opened the bar’s Confederate Flag adorned doors. I sat down at the bar and ordered myself a gin-tonic (the “and” seems to be dropped in German bars) and looked around. Not only did the bar’s doors have painted Confederate Flags, there was a real Confederate Flag hanging above the bar’s front window, along with a legitimate American Flag and various gay pride items.

There was also a Louisiana flag in the bar, along with the usual New Orleans oriented décor choices.

Really, when you get right down to it, a New Orleans theme for a gay bar isn’t a bad idea—it is home to much fabulousness—not just Mardi Gras, but Southern Decadence—and despite being in a largely conservative state, the city has traditionally been very supportive of all minorities—not just racial but sexual.

However, the Confederate Flag was rather unsettling. I was disturbed by its presence—and was trying to come up with an example demonstrating to Germans why exactly this flag is offensive to use in any setting, especially gay bars. The best I could come up with as I nursed the two Gin-Tonics would be a Jewish Bar using the Nazi Flag as it’s welcoming greeting, although that might be a bit extreme.

However I didn’t want to discuss it that night with the bartender. My Crappy German isn’t remotely good enough to start suggesting that the flag is offensive. I don’t even know the word for flag, much less complicated concepts like “racist jerks who would like to enslave minorities or eliminate them all together.”

I’ve said before that I’m not opposed to the Confederate Flag: it has two important functions in this world. The first is to help teach history lessons, and secondly, to help identify the racist assholes in our society.

At some point I might try and write a letter that explains why the flag is a bad idea, especially for a gay bar, in German—it will be a challenge.

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