in 1990, two women—“gay but not lovers”—got kicked out of a Virginia bar for dancing together.

what comes next is a story about gay rights, racism, housing policy, and my attempt to understand a mean email I got yesterday

a thread—
in 1990 Dale was a house painter living in Silver Spring. She and her friend Gail would dance the Texas two-step at GW’s, a country & western nightclub in Alexandria. they’d dance with men and they’d dance together, then one night a bouncer appears—
he tells the women to stop dancing together, and then owner just kicks them out. “Go to your own club,” he says. at the time Alexandria was one of the few places with protections for gay people, so they file a complaint—…
and they win! GW’s apologizes and promises not to discriminate against gay people, but the owner says he was just following a 1934 Virginia law that banned bars from hiring or serving gay people—
nobody wants to touch it. state legislators didn’t want to be called “queer lover.” Governor Doug Wilder (to this day one of four Black governors in US history) was running for president. he doesn't hate gays, he insists, he even met “a transsexual” while campaigning—
so Dale and Murray Greenberg, who owns NoVa’s sole gay bar the French Quarter, sue. “I hope one day being gay will no longer be an issue," she says. "I can't think of a better place to start than to eliminate the crazy laws that restrict our freedom."…
the loudest supporter of the gay bar ban is this guy William Glasgow, who calls gay bars a "pathway to anarchy." it makes Virginia look bad, so they drop the ban, the last in the US.

Murray throws "the mother of all parties" to celebrate in his bar—…
so why am I talking about this?

I’m the Planning Chair of our neighborhood association. Dale lives by me but I've never met her. she’s been emailing me all week, unprompted, about a proposed zoning change in Montgomery County (see ⬇️)—…
Dale called me racist for talking about the history of racist housing policy in our neighborhood. "I don't give a flying fig what "color" you are," she said.

she also attached this newspaper clipping about her and Gail getting kicked out of a bar in 1990—
like Governor Wilder insisting he didn't hate gay people 30 years ago, tolerance is just the beginning. we have to acknowledge the discriminatory practices that still exist, understand the roles we play in them, and then work to undo this stuff—
gay bar bans sit alongside 20th century policies like redlining, racial covenants, and zoning that kept poor and/or Black people out of white neighborhoods. today's "gayborhoods” are often formerly-redlined areas. Black and queer struggles are intertwined…
queer people are paid less, experience more housing discrimination, and are more likely to live in poverty or experience homelessness. once-cheap, underinvested, redlined neighborhoods were where they could build community—…
Silver Spring today is 2/3 POC and has a lot queer folks. no surprise part of it was redlined! even today that section (part of what's now East Silver Spring) is more diverse and less affluent than what's around it
it's hard for white folks to confront this stuff. it was hard for me too! but it's a conversation we have to have. just like they had to 30 years ago with the gay bar ban, and for that I want to thank Dale for stepping up
I also want to thank my neighbors for stepping up and having a hard and often painful conversation about housing and change in our neighborhood. I've done a lot of soul-searching about whether I should even be doing this—
I keep thinking about how my partner and I spent years not just saving up for a house but trying to find a place where we belonged. I think we found it. but diversity and inclusion aren't just something you are, it's something you do—
anyway in my research I also found out that Dale is *also* a competitive swimmer who broke records as a teen, almost went to the Olympics, and competed in the Gay Games. it's pretty cool tbh and if she hadn't been so nasty to me I'd have loved to hear her life story. #fin

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with dan reed 🦀

dan reed 🦀 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @justupthepike

19 Feb
every time La Casita gets a positive review I want more people to know about the little strip of Latin American businesses that surrounds it on Piney Branch Road and Sligo Avenue, or as @alexbaca calls it, Little Mount Pleasant…
in Little Mount Pleasant you can buy paint, a refrigerator, a 6-pack of Ethiopian beer, a haircut, pupusas from at least four Salvadoran restaurants (including La Casita), then rent a car, board your dog, and drop your kid off at day care. truly a magical place Image
I'm just gonna call my neighborhood Little Mount Pleasant now, folks already have their own names for other parts of it ("Silver Spring Park", "Fenton Village") this one is mine
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep 20
Sligo Creek is at a record height due to today's flash flood, which is a good time for a thread about floodplains in MoCo (please prepare for a thread) -
growing up we'd drive out Georgia Avenue and I'd see this sign in Aspen Hill that said "Flood Area." every time we passed it I expected to see a flood, but there was none -
this area sits in the 500 year floodplain zone, meaning there's a small chance of flooding. it's not big, but you can see a number of homes and apartment buildings sit in it -
Read 13 tweets
12 Dec 19
350 people crowding the cafeteria at Julius West MS in Rockville for a meeting on MCPS’ school boundary analysis—our front, officials told us the room is full and we might want to attend one of the other scheduled meetings
meanwhile, protesters out front have signs and are handing out flyers that warn “FARMS (free and reduced lunch) rate trumps geography”
the consultants are trying to present, but keep getting interrupted by people like this gentleman, who demand to speak, and audience members cheering him on
Read 13 tweets
5 Apr 19

"White families are being punished"
“They won’t be able to keep up and they won’t study."
"It’s not our fault those children don’t have opportunities. You can’t put that burden on us."
I cannot tell you how triggered I am by reading this, twelve years of internalizing toxic nonsense from white parents and teachers in MCPS because we were Better Than Everyone Else so clearly this is how it was supposed to be
I got admitted to an MCPS magnet school in fourth grade (1996) and shipped off from Silver Spring to Rockville, to big houses and rich kids who had things I'd never heard of, like "summer camp" and "tutors," and I wanted to impress them so bad
Read 11 tweets
4 Mar 19
hey I went to One Loudoun today and I feel some kind of way about it. It’s an example of “Green Day urbanism”—purists say Green Day isn’t “punk” but it gets you into the harder stuff. So it goes here— (1/x)
my partner grew up a few miles from here, but in 90s middle class suburbia. One Loudoun wants you to know you’re downtown—in a county of 400k, there is very little historic urbanism, save for Leesburg and a few small towns
This is where I make some grumble about this being prefab and inauthentic and not DC. I’m less worried about the newness—people need time to get their grubby fingerprints all over a place— (3/x)
Read 16 tweets
27 Feb 19
two big events related to diversity in MoCo tonight: a town hall with @kojoshow on the achievement gap in schools, and a public hearing about making it easier to build accessory apartments, which I'm headed to soon
I'm going to livetweet as much of the @MoCoCouncilMD hearing on accessory apartments as I can, but may go home at a reasonable time, because after 13 years of this stuff I am trying to prioritize self-care 😬
@MoCoCouncilMD first up is the assistant to County Executive Marc Elrich, who says accessory apartments will create more traffic, overcrowd schools, won't be affordable, and will threaten the county's "carrying capacity" #MoCoADU (his full letter:…)
Read 30 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!