Hassled – Updated

My partner and I braved the bone-chilling cold and took Metro to DC and walked to the Green Lantern bar on Saturday afternoon to attend the Hotboots party held during MAL weekend.

Unfortunately, a bartender at the venue told me that “cameras weren’t allowed.” This was after I had been there for an hour and had taken about 30 photos of guys in boots — with their permission. Nonetheless, the bartender was afraid that someone seeing a camera flash might scare him away, and thus he doesn’t want to lose business. (That’s what he told someone else who tried to reason with him about his self-imposed rule and his crappy attitude.)

What the bartender didn’t see was how many guys entered the bar and left because they didn’t have ID with them. The bar enforces a 100% ID check. If you don’t have acceptable ID with you, you’re turned away. So the bar lost a lot of business, and I doubt anyone else would leave just because they saw a camera flash. And sure, if anyone told me that they didn’t want their photo taken, I would not do that.

UPDATE: A buddy who is a citizen of Australia told me that he tried to come to the party, but got there a little late. When he presented his Australian identification, he was turned away. He was told that they only accept passports from people who do not have U.S. driver’s licenses. What a crock of bull. That rule is self-imposed by the Green Lantern. I know from working with the various local police agencies that foreign official identification that shows proof of birth date is acceptable. The nut-case at the bar invented his own version of what is acceptable, or not, despite what the local police say. How awful!

There is banter on public internet boards about my problem with taking photos at the bar. One person suggested that due to observations about ongoing problems with the District of Columbia, that perhaps MAL should be moved out of DC to another venue. That ain’t gonna happen: MAL is “owned” by the Centaurs, which is a club based in Washington, DC. Of course they will hold their signature and money-making event in their home town. They’re not going to move all of MAL just because one bartender down the street has a crappy attitude and someone who wasn’t even registered to attend MAL had a problem.

Further, what we have to remember is that the Hotboots party is held at the same time as MAL, but isn’t sponsored by MAL itself. Without an official connection between MAL and this party, no one from the Centaurs will attempt to persuade this bar to change its self-imposed rule.

Instead, I’ll do this:

  • Vote with my boots and not patronize this bar. I’m sure they could care less if I don’t show up any more. But if enough people don’t patronize a bar whose representatives have “attitude problems,” then perhaps they’ll get the message (or close due to lack of business).
  • Remember that cameras aren’t allowed in this bar. Okay, fine, that’s their rule. I don’t have to go somewhere if I can’t do what I enjoy, which is to take pictures of guys in boots.
  • Make this the last time that my partner and I will go into DC during MAL weekend. As I have said before, we’ve long lost interest in going to that event.

UPDATE: I seriously recommend for anyone to avoid going to the Green Lantern bar. While there are few establishments in Washington, DC, that are “leather friendly,” this bar has proven to be among the most unfriendly-to-anyone place there is, and does not deserve patronage. Close the damn joint. My opinion, but it’s just awful, awful, awful, and the gay community should either force a change in management’s narrow-minded operations, or just cause it to shut down for lack of business.

Okay, basta. There are lots of other and more worthwhile things to which to devote my time and attention.