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“They called the bouncer trash and maybe they shouldn’t have, but his response was disgusting, “I hope HE saves you, I hope HE saves you all!”

by Prince Of Petworth June 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm 159 Comments


9th and U Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Sunday, my friends and I were floating around the U Street corridor area enjoying the sunshine and planning to meet friends at The Brixton Rooftop. Like so many other Pride weekends before, the weather was warm and well, my Gay guy friends love their tank tops and shorts 🙂 One of my 4 gay male friends was stopped by the bouncer and harassed by the shirt he was wearing – mind you I was in short-ish shorts and a crop top, we were showing equally the same amount of skin. I attempted to reason with the bouncer on his behalf, reminding him that it was Pride Weekend and very warm out and that there were many other people already there in very similar outfits.

He was rude, to be honest, and told my friend to find a new shirt or not go in. It felt very targetted. Needless-to-say, my friends were having none of it – they called the bouncer trash and maybe they shouldn’t have, but his response was disgusting, “I hope HE saves you, I hope HE saves you all!”

I immediately asked the bartender to call down the manager to have a quick chat. It was almost like he already knew what the bouncer had done and almost seemed annoyed or suggested that this wasn’t the first time today. I explained to the manager with big old tears in my eyes, what had taken place and while he was apologetic there was really nothing at that point he could have done to make it better! I reminded the manager that they are in the heart of a progressive neighborhood, across the street from Nellie’s and next to Dirty Goose in one of the most LBGTIA friendly cities America and that discriminatory actions like that would not be tolerated, but this community!”

  • bdale homie

    This is terrible and should not be tolerated…but the Brixton? Really?

  • anonr

    Okaaaay. You wore clothes that were not acceptable for that bar for dress code reasons, so they denied you entry. You then caused a scene and called him names. This re-affirmed his decision to deny you entry. zzzzzzzzzz.

    • KenyonDweller

      I think you missed the point.

    • _____Woods

      +1 and I’m sure certain details were left out, two sides to every story

      Unfortunate but yeah rules are rules?

    • InRosedale

      You really don’t think there was a chance this bouncer was just being a jerk? Even if he wasn’t, was his response at the end necessary? I hope no one ever turns you away for a “reason” they claim to be justified when you know it’s not. It is not a good feeling.

    • ms frizzle

      But they said “there were many other people already there in very similar outfits.”
      Also I have seen men in tank tops there before. Pretty sure Brixton doesn’t have a dress code.

      • dcd

        I am obviously guessing here, but my hunch is that the tank top was skimpy enough that it ran afoul of the no shirt, no service rule.

        • textdoc

          That was my guess as well.

    • Kingman Park It

      Since when does the Brixton have a dress code

      really?

  • Anonymous

    As you mentioned- Your friend called him trash. You should have asked for a manager before things got out of control- not afterwards. I’m not going to read into what the bouncer meant by his words–because Brixton has always been welcoming to the community from my experiences of going there.

    • L.

      Yeah, you lose the moral high ground when you call somebody trash. Period. I’m gay myself and I known generations of LGBT advocates didn’t fight for my right to be a dick at the slightest inconvenience.

      • MadMax

        Well said.

      • Anon

        +1

      • anonymous

        Yup. Gay here and I agree. Your friend lost your groups’ moral high-ground. You don’t get to call people names then stand on an LGBT soapbox afterwards.

  • Honest Abe

    Gotta be more to the story. Gay pride weekend and your first thought is to go to the Brixton?!?

    Almost sounds like OP and friends were baiting the bouncer.

    • InRosedale

      counterpoint: maybe the other bars were packed and the Brixton is a great spot.

      • U Street Neighbor

        One thing I can guarantee – using “great spot” when referring to the Brixton. 703/301 laden “bro bar”…

    • Anon

      Baiting? What? You get to there from choosing to go to the Brixton to there having to be more to the story to baiting??? That’s just bizarre and illogical speculation all around.

    • Duponter

      Every bar around there is a gay bar during pride. Please get out more.

  • Fantastic Man

    The Brixton is crap. Find better places to hang out.

    • Joshua

      +1. Sorry to hear about your bad experience, but aside from the location and having a decent roof deck, the Brixton pretty much sucks. You could do much better on U Street. It’s practically a chain.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I’m not familiar with the Brixton (I’m too old and not cool enough to hang out in this neighborhood), but if as others indicate they have a dress code, I don’t fault the bouncer for enforcing it (if they don’t have a dress code, that changes things). In any event, my read of this is that all parties involved behaved inappropriately and failed to treat one another with the respect and decency that one another deserves. No winners, all losers.

    • InRosedale

      this. a million times this.

    • Anon

      Don’t know if they have a dress code. OP says it was same amount skimpy as what she was wearing.
      .
      I’ll agree that both sides behaved badly (OP seems to mostly acknowledge that), but I don’t agree it was somehow a wash. The I-hope-God-saves you part was homophobic.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I don’t disagree that what the bouncer said was wrong, and I certainly wouldn’t have said that myself, but I hold basically anything that anybody might say in direct response to somebody who just called them trash to a somewhat lower standard than everyday conversation. If the bouncer just offered that remark completely out of the blue, I’d regard that as really, truly awful. That is distinctly not what happened here. And FWIW, I interpret “trash” as a insult based on perceived lower class/status, and I personally do not consider deriding somebody for being poor / lower class / blue collar / etc. to be any less out of bounds than remarks about race or religion or sexual orientation.

        • Duponter

          “I personally do not consider deriding somebody for being poor / lower class / blue collar / etc. to be any less out of bounds than remarks about race or religion or sexual orientation.”

          You can personally consider whatever you want, but you’re dead wrong.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Help me understand this one. I have already stipulated that making remarks about a person based on their race, religion, and sexual orientation are all wrong. Is it your argument that insults about somebody’s class are acceptable? I reject that notion.

          • lizcolleena

            I agree with Haile that derogatory remarks based on class, like race, sex, religion, orientation, etc., are unacceptable. They all constitute a form of discrimination in my opinion. Is there really a need to weigh these kinds of prejudice as worse than another kind?

          • Bobert

            Pretty sure Duponter is a recently-minted lawyer who thinks your statement had something to do with existing laws about discrimination, as opposed to something that you “personally consider” to be the case.
            .
            Duponter – they weren’t.

          • HaileUnlikely

            In case Bobert is correct, just to clear up any confusion, yes, I recognize that poor people are not a protected class in the eyes of the law like the others listed are. However, as a guy from a blue collar family who knows the feeling of others looking down at me or my extended family all too well, I maintain that calling somebody “trash” on the basis of their status or occupation is mean, wrong, and generally a Big No-No. Don’t do that.

          • Duponter

            Bobert, you can be pretty sure about whatever you want but you’d also be as wrong as Haile here is. My issue with Haile’s comment is frankly a personal one. I am not saying remarking on someone’s class (which we can argue here whether that is actually the intent of calling someone “trash” – I think it’s a term that gets used in more than just those situations frequently) is acceptable. But you put it on even footing with remarks about someone’s race or sexual orientation. I don’t see them as equally egregious. I am not talking about the law. Both can be wrong, but I don’t think both are equally wrong. Some of those go to the heart of a person’s immutable identity – the core of who they are. Your socioeconomic status may say a lot about you, but it isn’t who you are as a person.

          • Duponter

            If the bouncer had responded, “You’re an elitist entitled dickhead” to the patron, I would have probably said, yeah, measured and equal response. He didn’t. He attacked this guy and his friends for being gay. It isn’t the same.

          • Duponter

            Which, to satisfy Bobert’s superior attitude, is ALSO why we have protected classes in the first place. If you want me to actually argue the legal angle (and while I’m a lawyer, I’m not newly minted).

          • HaileUnlikely

            Duponter – thank you for articulating that. I get what you are saying, and I don’t really disagree that they don’t quite have equal footing, but in my book the difference isn’t that large. No, ones socioeconomic status is not who they are as a person, but to call somebody “trash” in effect communicates to that person that it’s all they are to you. This is a larger conversation for another day, but I don’t regard a person’s sexual orientation, race, age, gender identity, religion, or any of those things as “who you are as a person.” Every person is all of those things and much much more. Reducing them to any one of those things by calling them a slur is mean-spirited and is explicitly intended to be hurtful. Sure, you might regard it as worse to call somebody a homophobic slur than to call them trash. However, in the event that you or anybody else sees fit to call a service industry employee or a blue collar worker “trash” or a homeless person a “bum” or anything else along those lines, don’t act surprised when the object of said slur responds in kind.

          • Duponter

            You purport to agree, but clearly do not. That’s fine. Just please understand it isn’t YOUR view of whether these things are “who we are” that is important. For many people of color and gay people, it is actually a lot about who they are. And this guy attacked that. My point was that one’s socio-economic status is no doubt a cheap shot, but it’s far less one’s identity than their race or sexual orientation. You can disagree, that’s fine, but that was what I took issue with. These are not equal responses, even if they are both poor responses.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Here is my point: attacking ones SES is less of a cheap shot than attacking sexual orientation *to you,* a lawyer. I will admit that I do not know and am probably incapable of understanding what it is like to be attacked for my sexual orientation. Might you allow for the possibility that a self-respecting adult who might live on 200-300% of the poverty level and does a job that most people consider menial might be more offended or hurt than would a white-collar professional by being called “trash,” and in a way that perhaps you might not quite be able to identify with or completely understand?

          • Duponter

            “Attacking ones SES is less of a cheap shot than attacking sexual orientation *to you,* a lawyer.” No, to me, a person. I grew up in a very poor working class family who many would have simply called “white trash.” Please do not make assumptions about my personal experiences because I have mentioned I am a lawyer.

            “Might you allow for the possibility that a self-respecting adult who might live on 200-300% of the poverty level and does a job that most people consider menial might be more offended or hurt than would a white-collar professional by being called “trash,” and in a way that perhaps you might not quite be able to identify with or completely understand?” Of course, I’ve said it was wrong. And especially so considering, as noted above, that I do actually identify and understand what that means. But you’re also making a LOT of assumptions not just about me, but about the bouncer as well. YOU are assuming this person feels slighted because they are in a “menial” profession. That guy might have a nice job he works Monday through Friday. You have no idea. Not that any of that matters. Of course I can understand why the bouncer might be angry. But I do not think, nor do I think it is objectively possible for someone to think that is the same as being attacked based on your race or sexual orientation. Sorry.

          • lizcolleena

            Why are you the arbiter on this though? Why does your opinion that orientation is more important than class matter more than anyone else’s?

  • CPlums

    A tank top and shorts y’all! A tank top and shorts. This is a summertime DC uniform for gay and straight men alike. Come on y’all, be better!

    • eb

      +1 As an employee of the business I think implying that gay ppl need saving is really not acceptable in this neighborhood. I am curious what the manager said? Is this okay by the brixton? And yes the poster is not 100% in the right calling names but it doesnt take away what the employee said.

  • Gilla

    You broke the rules and used a classist pejorative against someone and complain that person used a pejorative in response? Yeah, you’re not getting much sympathy.

    • _____Woods

      +1

  • Commentator

    Yeah, this is The Brixton so not getting a surly attitude would have been an exception.

  • Bobert

    You called someone “trash” while wearing a trashy cut-off tank? Okie dokie.

    • stacksp

      Off topic but are tank tops considered to be trashy attire? I just thought that it was warm weather attire

      • Bort

        Sun’s out, guns out

      • Doc

        Trashy attire.

        • Kingman Park It

          It’s 100 degrees outside. What would you suggest I wear.

          • textdoc

            If you want to get into a bar with a dress code, you may need to wear something that covers more skin, like a lightweight, loose-fitting top.

          • AnonCT

            I wore a linen button down and linen shorts to the parade. Nice and cool.

        • _____Woods

          it might not be trashie but its certainly not formal

      • navyard

        Underarm hair grosses people out. It is, by definition, pubic hair. So either cover it, or shave it. If the guy in question had shaved armpits, then I have no objection.

        Also, if you can see any part of a nipple at any time, then that’s beachwear, not restaurant wear.

        • AnonCT

          Wow. Just wow.

        • Anonymous

          The weirdness of your psyche never ceases to amaze me, navyard.

          • navyard

            haha, me too.

          • Anon

            Yet navyard just provide some structure to my sometimes inchoate feelings of distaste surrounding tank tops.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      Where does it say it was a cut-off tank? It says it was a crop top, which are very much in style right now. And no, I do not consider a tank top to be trashy–especially in the humid DC heat!

      • anon

        pretty sure if I wore a crop top to a bar it would gross everyone out #dadbod

        • dcd

          You beat me to it.

        • Formerly ParkViewRes

          But these are gay guys. I feel pretty safe saying these guys had nothing close to a dad bod. #sixpackabs

          • textdoc

            What if they were bears?

          • MadMax

            Hah, you clearly need to meet some of my friends if you think all gay guys are ripped.

          • Formerly ParkViewRes

            Not all, but I’d say more of them than the average guy. And as textdoc pointed out they could have been bears.

  • InRosedale

    If he had let people in wearing similarly revealing clothes as the OP states, then calling the guy trash was absolutely justified. Even more-so once the bouncer brought in the whole religious angle. If, for arguments sake, your friends shirt was different from others enough so that it violated their dress code, then fine, enforce the rule as it is your job. But as security at a bar, its your job to remain calm and influence others to do so as well. You are more often than not dealing with intoxicated folks and you need to be able to handle them giving you a hard time. All that being said, his response about saving leads me to believe he was looking for any excuse to make those celebrating Pride feel unwanted.

    • CPlums

      Thank you for seeing the bigger picture. It isn’t about the bouncer ‘doing his job,’ which I acknowledge to be a tough one at times. If there is a dress code that states tank tops and shorts are out, fine. If the group was rowdy and intoxicated, fine – but this was about a bouncer targeting one out of four other guys to pick on and then making the group feel less than because of who and how they love.
      It’s the Brixton y’all – it ain’t church! HE should not have been brought up – no one was looking to be saved!

      • HaileUnlikely

        This in no way excuses the bouncer’s actions, but I suspect the proportion of the population of the demographic that might plausibly be hired as a bouncer (almost exclusively male, predominantly on the younger side, on the high end in terms of testosterone) who would respond rationally to being called “trash” is very very small. Provided that the response is verbal rather than physical, the goal of the response is typically to say something even more insulting (and immature) than the other guy who just called you trash.

        • Anono

          Being able to put up with verbal abuse without getting irrational is pretty much the single most important qualification to being a bouncer.

          That said I echo other comments that there were no rational people involved in this interaction.

          • HaileUnlikely

            No disagreement there. Just as a general matter, if you call a person “trash,” it is unlikely to lead anywhere good.

      • Joysbrother

        Bouncers routinely select who may enter an establishment in an arbitrary and unfair manner. So what.

  • SWChick

    I have so many questions for the OP. Was there writing on the tank? If so, was there any messaging that may come across as inappropriate? Was it a structured tank or a cut off? Was it basic white? I know it was HOT (steaming) last weekend but some dress codes are specific. A couple years back when I was dating my super buff ex, he would wear his skin tight tanks around the city but always have a shirt in the car as back up because you never know.

  • Anonymous

    My brain must not be working well this afternoon, but I don’t understand the disgusting-ness of “I hope HE saves you, I hope HE saves you all!” What “HE” is he referring to? Can you explain the insult? (seriously don’t mean to be snarky, just missing the context).

    • NWDC

      Assuming HE is Jesus?

      • Doc

        I think the grand scheme of horrible things that the bartender could have said a vague religious reference isn’t that bad (and I am in no way religious).

        Maybe the “savings” had nothing to do with sexual orientation and was a comment on the inebriation level?

        Bottom line: don’t insult bouncers. Nothing good comes of it.

        • stacksp

          I had a similar thought. The “You need Jesus” sort of comeback is usually reserved for people behaving badly or out of character. Bouncer denied entry, patrons insult bouncer (probably more than they are leading on), bouncer retorts.

      • navyard

        Yeah, when HE is capitalized as HE or He, it’s definitely meant to be god. But if I only heard the insult instead of seeing it in print, I would not have thought of god first. Unless the bouncer actually stressed the word “HE”.
        I reread the OP’s story, thinking “HE” could have been referring to the manager, but I guess the comment is what instigated the manager being called.

    • anon

      pulling from my conservative/churchy upbringing, I understood it to mean He = Jesus/God. Hoping He saves them from their “sinful” ways of loving others.

    • Dan

      The bouncer was stating (without saying it explicitly) that ‘He’ is God and that the LGBTQ folks in the story needed savin’ by God from their sins (of being gay…).

      I’m not condoning the behavior of either party – the friend shouldn’t call anyone trash, and the bouncer should keep his religious opinions to himself, especially during Pride month/weekend.

    • Bort

      BATMAN

      • MadMax

        +1

  • dcd

    The devil is, of course, in the details. You say only one of your friends was singled out – were his tank top and shorts different than your other friends? Were they different than the people you state were already in the bar? (As an aside, your belief that this was a “discriminatory action” is contradicted by your statements that your other three friends weren’t turned away, and that there were others similarly attired already in the bar.)
    .
    It sounds like your friend’s attire ran afoul of the dress code. You say the bouncer was rude, but don’t say how. It’s also really tough to complain about the bouncer’s subsequent statements after your friends called him trash – and I’ll guess it wasn’t just one of them saying “you’re trash” one time but several or all of them repeating that and other comments, multiple times.
    .
    I know this post is meant to elicit sympathy, but to get any (from me, at least) it’ll need more supporting details and less overwrought writing (“I explained to the manager with big old tears in my eyes . . . ” – really?)

    • DupontDC

      Agree. I also have to wonder if “my friends and I were floating around the U Street corridor area enjoying the sunshine” translates into “my friends and I went to brunch and then floated around to other bars before going to Brixton.” For all we know they could have already been hammered when they showed up, which usually tends to elicit rudeness from bouncers in the first place.

      • dcd

        I would be surprised if a group who had floated around U street for a wile during Pride was stone cold sober. I was there at about 5:00 Saturday, and I didn’t see too many people who hadn’t been imbibing.

      • Duponter

        But that’s a simple way to keep them from coming in. You’re drunk and messy so you’re not coming in here. Bars do it all the time. Not nearly enough really. But that isn’t what happened here. You’re inserting totally irrelevant facts and conveniently ignoring the actual ones presented to you.

    • Anon

      I think the “discriminatory action” she refers to is the comment, the most reasonable reading of which is that he is saying gays need to be saved because of their sin of being gay.

      • dcd

        That’s possibly the discriminatory action in question (and that’s definitely the only plausible reading of the bouncer’s comment). And homophobic comments are unquestionably wrong. However, rather than copy all of them here, see HaileUnlikely’s comments above regarding reactions of bouncers to being called trash.

        • textdoc

          +1. To me, everyone in this story comes out looking bad.

        • Duponter

          I imagine if upon being called a trash a white bounced called a patron the N-word, the response in the comments here would be wildly different.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I can’t argue with that, my other comments notwithstanding.

          • dcd

            That is probably true. But, was what the bouncer did really equivalent to calling someone the N-Word? Perhaps that is part of the disconnect – while homophobic, the bouncer’s comments weren’t abusive. It’s he’d said, “Get out of here, you effin’ ****!” and continued on from there, I likely would have a different opinion.
            .
            Also, I can’t deny that part of my reluctance to assign all claim to the bouncer is that I simply don’t believe the OP’s friends were as measured in their response as she suggests. (Her tendency towards dramatic expression suggests that she’s also apt to minimize her friends’ actions.)

          • Duponter

            I don’t know if you are gay or not DCD, but telling someone they need to be “saved” because they are gay isn’t particularly lighter than someone simply calling me a fa**ot. It actually would probably make me angrier. But I cannot speak for anyone but myself. How about this – if a black guy wanted in and was told there was a dress code and it seemed the bouncer was using that as a pretext to keep the black patron out, even without using the N-word, I’ think the comments here would be wildly different, even if the patron called the bouncer trash on his way out the door.

          • Duponter

            And just so I’m not skirting around it, I’m basically saying it seems homophobia is less offensive and more acceptable depending on context than racism among the comments here.

          • dcd

            “if a black guy wanted in and was told there was a dress code and it seemed the bouncer was using that as a pretext to keep the black patron out, even without using the N-word,”
            .
            I really don’t know how you can reach the conclusion that the guy was kept out because he was gay. The bouncer was willing to let in the three gay friends, and apparently had let it a number of people already who were gay. There is nothing in the initial post that leads to the conclusion that the bouncer rejected the fourth friend because he was gay.
            .
            As to the reaction to being saved, I understand why I would make you angry, or even angrier – it is obviously homophobic. But as I said above, it is not as abusive as unleashing a torrent of expletives, or even the “magic words” that are guaranteed to inflame members of protected classes.

    • AnonCT

      +1

    • MadMax

      I doubt it was explicitly to elicit sympathy (although that could be a side bonus for the OP), but rather to publicly bash a business on a well-read blog in order to get back at them for feeling wronged. I hate that this is what our society views as the normal recourse now.

  • Bort

    Has anyone here ever started shit with a bouncer and had it work out in their favor? OP(‘s group) set it off when they called the dude “trash.” Then they tried to cry their way in (?!?), hilariously turning a routine “L” into a total blowout. And now OP is crying here, or seeking reassurance that they’re not an asshole, or something. This whole thing is very stupid, but the comments are already a blast. Dan my man, this is internet gold.

  • Bort

    Has anyone here ever started sh*t with a bouncer and had it work out in their favor? OP(‘s group) set it off when they called the dude “trash.” Then they tried to cry their way in (?!?), hilariously turning a routine “L” into a total blowout. And now OP is crying here, or seeking reassurance that they’re not an assh*le, or something. This whole thing is very stupid, but the comments are already a blast. Very good internet.

    • Bort

      GAH SELF-OWN =/

  • U Street Resident

    Since when does the Brixton have a dress code??? None is stated on their website and have you seen what females wear there on the weekends standing in line. Some of you posters have no idea what you are talking about. And if you have never been there than your post is useless. Troll somewhere else.

  • CPC

    “harassed by the shirt he was wearing”? How can OP say that it felt targeted if he is saying that there were many people inside wearing similar outfits. If it felt targeted, it wasn’t cause OP’s friend is gay, unless the bouncer had just started his shift. Something else had to be the issue and the story is not complete.

  • James

    I don’t know the OP and wasn’t present, but this doesn’t surprise me, especially from non-gay bars in that area. My gay fiancé had a similar experience at a rooftop bar on U a month ago. He kissed a straight friend on the cheek and the bartender took his drink and told him to “go be gay across the street.” When we brought it up with them, they said “we have gay employees,” as if that made every employee an lgbt ally.

    My fiancé and I were walking down U (from 9th towards 14th) on Friday night, and my fiancé was pushed around and harassed with gay slurs by a group of guys. We weren’t holding hands, but yes, he was wearing rainbow “gay” clothing (for those who want to victim blame). After that happened though, everyone else on the street acknowledged us with “yaaass” “kweeen” “slay” or “happy pride.”

    This is the 4th time one of us has been harassed in the area. Each time it is unprovoked. The only other place one or both of us has been pushed and harassed with gay slurs is H street NE.

    While DC is overall very gay-friendly, homophobic occurances happen more than people think, even in areas filled with gay bars. (And when you’re gay, it is very easy to know when someone is just “being a jerk” and when someone is being homophobic.) We will, however, continue to wear our tank/crop tops and short shorts, and spend lots of money at places that welcome us.

  • anon

    I thought it was Flag Day not entitlement day. Between this post and the towing one, I am wondering how the writers’ parents never taught them you don’t always get your way in life.

    • Duponter

      Being refused service because of a homophobic bouncer means I’m just not getting my way in life? Jesus. Please crawl back under your rock.

      • anon

        Calling the bouncer trash is an acceptable response to being turned away? Let’s also not forget that after being told no, the OP tries to cry their way in. Just leave, there’s plenty of other bars to get in to. Like I said, you don’t always get your way in life.

        • Duponter

          Calling the bouncer trash if he’s finding some nonsense reason to keep you out because you’re gay? Yes. That’s acceptable.

  • G

    I haven’t visited and thanks to you I’ll make sure to never go and will inform any visitors or friends of your experience. The bouncer is right to his opinion but he was representing the Brixton not himself which should have been a huge problem for the manager and being that the manager didn’t do anything certainly should inform you where they stand.

  • Ally

    Yeah, manager should have either comped the heck out of you and your party, or explained next steps he/she would take to speak with the bouncer about customer relations. Sorry you guys had to deal with that. Bouncer was probably new to DC . That kind of bad behavior doesn’t last here for too long.

  • Petty Shabbazz

    The OP sounds like the real trash. Their story has a lot of holes.

    • Anon

      More holes than their shirts? Ba-da-bing! Seriously, though, I don’t see how picking apart their story (or even subbing in a way worse story) excuses the bouncer’s inexcusable comment.

  • Shawster

    Your friends ganged up on him & called him TRASH. What sort of response were you guys expecting in return that would have made you feel better?

  • Anonymous

    The joke here is that the Brixton doesn’t have a dress code. The bouncer was definitely targeting this individual for something else. Whether it was homophobia, noticeably drunken behavior, or just dickish’ness is not clear to me. Either way, there’s no “good guy” in this story.

  • Duponter

    People seem to miss here that yes, while the patron was wrong for calling someone trash, it was a response prompted by the erratic behavior of a bouncer. Brixton has no dress code posted anywhere. And based on the bouncer’s response to the “trash” comment, it seems clear to me he was purposefully making shit up to try to kick out someone who was probably obviously gay. F*** the bouncer and The Brixton.

    • textdoc

      I’m not clear that there’s a requirement for dress codes to be posted. Eighteenth Street Lounge (which has overlapping ownership with the Brixton) was infamous back in the day for its strict dress code, but it was never posted anywhere. (And its specifics tended to vary depending on who was working the door at any given time.)

      • Bort

        Sounds like the bouncer (and later, the manager) posted the dress code right in the OP and friends’ faces.

    • lizcolleena

      But he wanted to let the other friends in, and similarly-attired people were already in the bar? Something doesn’t add up here. Personally I think the most likely explanation is that OP was upset about a bad experience she had over the weekend, where no one really acted responsibly or reasonably, and thus her view is probably not very unbiased.

      • Duponter

        It doesn’t need to be really. She’s entitled to her perspective on the events. She clearly thought her friend was being harassed unnecessarily for being gay. That’s apparent. And the bouncer’s response would seem to support her feelings on this issue.

      • lizcolleena

        I didn’t say she wasn’t entitled to her perspective, but what’s her goal in writing into PoPville? If she’s read the blog much then she knows everyone’s going to discuss it, which would seem to mean that she’s trying to elicit support/sympathy or trying to get a boycott going, or something else along those lines. So I think her perspective is important – and hers seems biased. She may have thought her friend was being harassed for being gay, but that isn’t necessarily the case (considering there were other gay people present who weren’t barred from the bar, I think it’s reasonable to wonder). It’s also the case that the friend may not have intended to convey that bartender deserves to be thrown into a landfill to rot, but the use of the word trash does convey such. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and the bouncer should have at the least kept his cool, but the friend shouldn’t have instigated the situation in the first place.
        .
        Your perspective, by the way, has made me wonder if you are indeed the OP.

  • reder

    if the bouncer offered to let the guy in with a different shirt, then maybe the entry denial was about the shirt.

    never call a person trash and then expect good behavior from them.

  • TrinidadLopez

    I’m sorry this happened you. I’m not surprised it happened at the Brixton. I’ve been there when favored patrons were aggressive and rude to other patrons and complaints to bouncers and management resulted in the person complaining getting tossed out. They are trash (although I don’t suggest getting aggressive with any bounced for any reason – just leave – it’s never worth it just spread the word that this isn’t a place any decent person needs to patronize).

    And calling anyone out for what they’re wearing during Pride…that’s absurd. LGBT or supporter, folks are all dressed…interestingly. I can’t imagine any place that had a dress code even caring (and almost positive Brixton doesn’t have one – unless it’s douche casual).

  • textdoc

    “Trash” seems like a weird thing to call someone in this situation. I could understand better if the OP’s party had called the guy a jerk, or an @sshole, or something like that. “Trash” seems particularly contemptuous.

    • Duponter

      I’m not defending it, but I will say it’s become a popular derogatory phrase in the gay community. I use it all the time about someone doing something I don’t like and it has literally no bearing on their socio-economic status. I think Donald Trump is trash. I think he’s garbage. But clearly he isn’t poor. I don’t pretend to know what this angry patron meant by it, but I think it’s a great deal more ambiguous than what the bouncer said in return.

      • Shaw_Resident

        Just because it gets used by certain individuals, doesn’t mean everyone is OK with it.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I’m not sure your own comfort with casual use of a slur is a reliable guide for how others will take it. I’m old. “Retarded” was used as a casual put-down not seriously intended to communicate anything about a persons intellect well into my adult life. That changed, though. I was slow to adopt the change. It didn’t really sink in for me until I used the R-word casually about something I disagreed with in a conversation with a close friend who happened to be a special ed teacher. I received a much-deserved young-lashing for that one, learned my lesson, and don’t use that word anymore. A roughly analogous situation might be if you are visiting a friends family, and your friend’s dad operates a fork lift at WalMart and lives in a trailer, and you casually call somebody “trash” in front of him. You might find yourself suddenly in the midst of a massively uncomfortable situation in which you unexpectedly learn something.

        • HaileUnlikely

          *tongue-lashing, darn autocorrect

      • HaileUnlikely

        I’m not sure your comfort with using a word, and that of your self-identified peer group, is necessarily a reliable guide for how the term will be received by others, which as you argue above, is what counts. I’m old enough to remember when the R-word was used similarly, as a casual put-down not seriously intended to imply anything about the intellect of its target. However, that changed. I was slow to adopt the change. One day, in a conversation with a friend who happened to be a special ed teacher, I used the r-word as a generalized put-down for a third party whose opinion I thought was silly, and got a well-deserved tongue-lashing for it. I learned my lesson. A roughly analogous situation might be if you were to visit a the family of a friend, and your friend’s dad was a fork lift operator for WalMart and lived in a trailer, and you casually used the word “trash” as you describe being comfortable with using it. You might quickly find yourself in a massively uncomfortable situation in which you might unexpectedly learn something. You’re a lawyer. I’m an engineer. You and me calling one another “trash” doesn’t mean sh!t. But saying it to somebody of a different station in life is a fundamentally different thing.

        • MadMax

          Yeah, my wife, who grew up in a trailer park setting, and has subsequently done well for herself since then, will still resort to some pretty heated feelings if you were to call someone “trash” around her. It’s a pretty strong, well known pejorative for people of low SES.

        • Duponter

          My father was a truck driver and my mother a beautician and I lived in a poor part of the town I grew up in. I have no doubt my family has been called trash now and again. I can assure you it wouldn’t bother me today nearly as much as someone disparaging me for my sexual orientation. I also think you’re assuming a lot about the bouncer that is unwarranted. I don’t think every single person who doesn’t work in an office is self conscious about the word “trash” or would even assume that would apply to them. It’s so strange you act like you know the bouncer’s socioeconomic status or that being a bouncer is a “trashy” type of job. There are ton of ex military folks who are bouncers.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Congratulations, or something.
            .
            I’m not arguing that being called “trash” would necessarily be deeply hurtful to 100% of people of a certain class or profession. All I’m saying is that it might be to one, and that is enough.
            .
            Everything you were arguing with me up further was that what was important was not the the intent of the person slinging the insult but rather how it was perceived by the recipient (a comment about SES could never be as hurtful to you as a comment about sexual orientation). Here you are arguing the exact opposite (it’s ok for you to call somebody “trash” because you don’t mean anything by it, and if somebody takes it the wrong way, that’s basically on them for not being up to speed on the lingo that you and your buddies use these days) You can’t have it both ways.

          • Duponter

            I am NOT arguing that it is okay to call someone trash just because you do not mean it as a dig at someone’s SES. I did NOT argue that. I argued it isn’t the SAME type of attack on someone as their sexual orientation. That’s it. Period. And in this particular situation, one person’s words was objectively aimed at someone’s sexual orientation while the other’s MAY have been aimed at their SES and MAY have been taken that way by the recipient of the slur.

          • Duponter

            It just seems clear to me that you (Haile) want to argue that someone being attacked for their sexual orientation is no different than just calling someone any negative name. It isn’t the same. But hey, at least I know where some of you enlightened progressive POP crowd still stand on this issue.

          • HaileUnlikely

            P.s. I absolutely do not think that being a bouncer is a “trashy” type of job, nor do I think that performing any other form of work for an honest paycheck is in any way trashy. However, I see customers treat hospitality/service/retail industry staff with contempt, as if they are some sort of inferior form of life, all the damn time. To me, even in the OP’s own telling of the story, that’s exactly what they did here. And to a lot of people (especially if the person in question is the family breadwinner busting his @ss to support his family) it is really hurtful. Did the bouncer take it that way? I don’t know, but that’s not the point. One quite plausibly could have, and in my opinion that’s all that really matters.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Holy f* you are insufferable. Nobody should ever call another person by a homophobic slur. Ever. That is completely unacceptable. My point has absolutely positively 0% do to do with that. The entirety of my point is that other things can be hurtful to other people in ways that I initially thought you could not understand but you have subsequently revealed that you understand just fine but simply refuse to acknowledge.

          • lizcolleena

            “And in this particular situation, one person’s words was objectively aimed at someone’s sexual orientation while the other’s MAY have been aimed at their SES and MAY have been taken that way by the recipient of the slur.”
            .
            I disagree that there is no ambiguity to the bouncer’s words. He may have been equating being gay with a sin but he may have been referring to their pretty likely state of intoxication or to their other behavior or to the fact they were insulting and called him trash (not a very Christian thing to do to call someone names). Given that other gay people were allowed in the bar and that only one gay man was singled out for his attire, it’s possible it had nothing to do with his orientation.

      • textdoc

        Duponter, thanks for the context about the use of the word “trash” in the gay community — I didn’t know that.
        .
        If the bouncer didn’t know it either, he might have taken it more harshly than it was intended.

      • Blithe

        A few years back, I noticed that many teenagers and young adults used the word “gay” all the time in a similar way. When I questioned them about it, they said similar things — and indicated that while “that’s so gay” was clearly intended to be a derogatory phrase,” it had, literally, no bearing on sexuality”. Many derogatory words and terms are used to belittle their targets and aggrandize their proponents. And, startlingly — to me, at least, the proponents of the belittling often seem disingenuously taken aback when the response to their verbal aggression is — wow — more aggression, often ramped up a bit. While your view of a particular slur is that it might be “ambiguous”, clearly the recipients of such slurs may have their own opinions and their own experiences with such slurs and react accordingly.

        • dcd

          This is an awfully good point.

        • Duponter

          I agree. I was just simply providing some context that seemed to be missing here which is that the dig (it isn’t a slur, sorry) isn’t necessarily about socioeconomic status. It can be a description of one’s behavior as well. And I really hate to even make the comparison again, but I imagine some white dickhead could say the exact same about the N-word and you wouldn’t come here and use your “but kids use gay all the time so it is what it is” argument. This is just another sad attempt to try to tell gay people their identities don’t matter that much. I’m not accepting it.

          • Duponter

            And to add, I think “trash” is often used to describe behavior outside of the gay community as well. It’s just become a popular word inside the gay community as of late. But straight people calling someone trash/dumpster fire/garbage person all the time based on their behavior.

          • dcd

            “the dig (it isn’t a slur, sorry)”
            .
            The same is true of “I hope HE saves you.” It’s a dig, not a slur. Your comparison to the N-word is entirely inapt. You are creating this false distinction for reasons known only to you. Enough already.

          • Blithe

            Duponter: Please re-read my comments very carefully. I did not, as you put it: make an “argument” that “kids use gay all the time so it is what it is”. What I did do was, using words very similar to your own, point out that your own description of a “popular” use of the word “trash” is almost identical to the way that teens and young adults have described their own use of the word “gay”. My only “argument” , if you want to call it that, is the opposite of what you took from it. It is that many people use derogatory language about others — for all kinds of reasons — while attempting to diminish the possible impact of their language on others.

            . I’m not “attempt(ing) to tell gay people” anything. Again, please re-read my comments.

            – As to your comment about “the N-word” and your attempt to tell me what I would or “wouldn’t come here and do,” my guess is that you already have more than enough to handle focusing on your own comments and your own issues.

          • Blithe

            Also: Just to clarify, would you mind explaining your sense of the difference between a “slur” which means to talk about disparagingly or insultingly and a “dig”. I’ll leave the latter definition up to you, since you’re the one making the distinction.

      • Mike

        @ Duponter: It’s not always what YOU think about a label you slap on someone. The determining factor can be what THEY feel about what they are being called. Simply because you feel the term trash is “ambiguous” does not make it so to the person on the receiving end. Nor to me.

        • Duponter

          I didn’t say it was. I just said the speaker may not have intended it the way everyone is assuming they did. I didn’t actually comment on the reaction of the bouncer as to what was intended there. Obviously they could have taken it exactly as the dig you say. That wasn’t my point.

          • lizcolleena

            “Just please understand it isn’t YOUR view of whether these things are “who we are” that is important.”

            (Not) sorry but this implies that it is YOUR view and only your view that matters. No one else here is a minority? Gay? A person of color? Disenfranchised in any way? It’s a very us v them mentality.

  • Non-biased

    Both parties are equally to be blamed. Everyone deserves respect – be it patrons or bouncer. Just because he is in the service industry doesn’t entitle patrons to call him trash.

  • Reality

    The Brixton has a dress code? Really?

  • illinoisandjefferson

    i call 100% bs on this. i play here often and every single staff member are MORE than nice. have you guys seen the non-stop amateur of drunk people that patronize this place on the weekends!? sometimes idk how they do it. they are the MOST tolerable. there has never been a dress code to my knowledge, but i wouldn’t be surprised if this person was wearing something that wouldn’t even be considered a tank top. sounds like someone was a little too intoxicated and got denied entry.

  • MadMax

    I don’t even really like The Brixton, but this story has so many holes. It’s so unfair that people get to bash businesses to audiences of hundreds, if not thousands, of readers, without the business having equal space at the same time to respond. Knowing that this happened during Pride weekend means the bar was already probably packed with people from the gay community, and / or their friends, so the fact that this bouncer decided to single out your friend out of your whole party ought to tell you something that he wasn’t suddenly having a “come to Jesus” moment. Even if the two of you were wearing the literal exact same outfit, bouncers are under no obligation to follow “equal” standards across the board. Go to any high class establishment, bouncers can be downright ruthless in who they allow access. What he supposedly said sounds odd, for sure, but no less odd than your ridiculous account of the whole thing, and since they aren’t here to offer their own side of the story I’ve got no reason to believe this particular detail is even accurate.

  • John

    Oh please! Grow up and stop complaining. You called a bouncer “trash” and he dished it back at you? Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it and never whine.

  • Anon

    Kind of shocked by all the comments defending the bouncer/the Brixton. If OP is recounting the story accurately, it absolutely sounds like a homophobic bouncer excluded her friend for looking “too” gay. This is evidenced by the fact that he invoked jesus in turning him away. And I can’t believe ppl think the fact that the group called the bouncer “trash” AFTER being barred from the establishment somehow justifies the initial decision by the bouncer to discriminate against a patron based on their perceived sexual orientation. Maybe we aren’t getting the whole story, but if this is true I absolutely think the bar should have to answer for it.

    • Bort

      The bouncer was ready to admit at least three(?) gay people, in addition to however many were already inside. One person in the OP’s party was wearing attire deemed to be inappropriate, an assessment that was eventually backed up by the manager. OP even admits the bouncer would have let him in if he found a different shirt. But OP and friends instead inexcusably insulted the bouncer, continued to escalate to the point of embarrassment, and the bouncer, vindicated and likely exasperated, let a master-troll comment rip as they finally walked away. What is shocking here is the number of comments defending the group calling the bouncer trash because he refused entry to one person based on their attire and/or suggesting the bar owes the OP’s group anything after pulling the variously entitled/mean/crybaby nonsense they pulled. Find a different shirt or find a different bar.

      • MadMax

        I honestly wish that if we were going to continually have these types of stories posted without comment simultaneous from the business that they would remove the anonymous nature from them. If you make up biased, drunken stories about places and omit details you should have to attach your name to them, so people can judge you the same way you want them to judge a business.

        • lizcolleena

          Good point, it really is pretty unfair to the bar.

    • Anonymous

      “If OP is recounting the story accurately,”
      .
      And I’m going to stop you right there. That’s a big IF, and if we’re going to fairly speculate on who is right or wrong in this situation I think we have to consider that the one side of the story we have might not be accurate or complete. You can’t demand that the bar “answer for it” when you don’t even know what (or if) they’ve done wrong – I’m sure you wouldn’t accept that if someone demanded it of you.

    • Anon

      Saying that both parties acted inappropriately is not the same thing as defending the bouncer. As a black woman, I’m empathetic to the experience described.I’ve been in plenty of similar situations (and I’m sure many of us who are members of a minority group have been too), many of them involving the service industry. However, I personally don’t believe that any of that makes it ok for me to tell a service PERSON that they are “trash.” I don’t say that to downplay anyone’s experience or to excuse the bouncer’s actions. I just don’t think that being at a social disadvantage (for lack of a better term) in one respect, makes me immune to blind spots regarding others (such as say, social class).

  • MPLady

    No one took the high road in this exchange, but I gotta say I’m amused that the OP thinks what the bouncer said was disgusting. The bouncer could have said, “I hope HE sends you all to hell.” That is closer to disgusting. I imagine he thought he was being charitable. The management still need to chat with the bouncer about the neighborhood in which he works but disgusting is a bit over the top, I think.

    • Duponter

      What the bouncer said was disgusting. If you think otherwise, you should rethink your views on how to treat people.

      • Petty Shabbazz

        I’ve seen a lot of your comments giving the OP the benefit of the doubt on what was intended by the term trash but not a lot of benefit of the doubt given to the bouncer, who from my reading could also have meant he hopes the manager saves them and lets them in. This seems like an unfair treatment of the situation. Additionally, I suspect the bouncer is black (if he is the same guy I saw at the door on Sunday) and I suspect (and could be wrong) the OP and friends were white. If i saw a group of white guys calling a black man trash he wouldn’t even have the chance to pass back an insult because I would be cursing them out up and down the block. So you might want to check your response on this.

  • duh

    Isn’t it possible the bouncer was saying “I hope HE saves you” as a response to the patron’s behavior (calling a person trash) vs. the fact that they were gay?

    I’m sure Duponter will be adamant that it couldn’t be the case, but I think the bouncer might’ve been chastising the patrons behavior not attire.

  • Anonymous

    I have heard “religious” people say something similar to what was said in this case – “You need to find Jesus/Get right with the Lord; I’ll pray for you,” etc – in situations that had nothing whatsoever to do with the sexual preference of the person the statement was directed to. It was a response to perceived improper behavior of the target of the statement.
    So it’s just as likely that this statement was about the OP’s friend being a dick, than it was about his sexuality.

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