One of the joys of having friends is being able to go out with them and experience new things.
But that won’t work if one of the friends is made to feel uncomfortable, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Ok_Significance_8479 regularly went out with his female friends to gay bars, where they felt safer hanging out without being hit on.
But when he wanted to go to a lesbian bar where he wouldn’t be hit on for a change, the Original Poster (OP) was surprised by how angry his friends were with him.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for taking my straight female friends out to a lesbian bar because they always make me go to gay bars?”
The OP wanted to do something new for friends’ night.
“I’m (26 Male) and straight. I have a group of friends with a few more women than men, and we go out a couple of nights a week. Every time we go out, the girls all insist we end up at a gay club at the end of the night.”
“To be clear, I don’t normally mind, but it’s getting excessive. I can’t remember the last time they didn’t insist we go, and lately, I’ve been getting hit on a lot, and some of the drunk guys at the bars get very handsy.”
“It’s gotten uncomfortable at this point, so I’ve started leaving early to go home or hang out with other friends. Some of the other guys in our group feel the same way.”
The OP suggested trying out a different bar.
“I tried to bring it up, but they don’t listen and accuse me of acting homophobic, which I am not.”
“My sister is bi and suggested our city has a Lesbian bar and I should take them there to see how they react.”
“To be clear, this bar does openly welcome straight and cis-gendered people so we weren’t violating their space.”
The OP’s female friends were furious.
“Anyway, there was a basketball game last night and this bar sets up a game night whenever our local NBA team is playing. I suggested we go there to watch the game and most of the group came along.”
“They immediately got really uncomfortable when other women started flirting with them at the bar and offering to buy them drinks. It lasted about an hour before the girls all took off.”
“A couple of the other guys and I actually ended up staying, the women there were all really cool and we made some new friends.”
The evening ended in a big argument among the friends.
“The group chat this morning has been a big argument. The girls all say it was f**ked up that we took them there.”
“I told them to stop acting homophobic.”
“The other guys in the chat are mostly supporting me and saying they have no leg to stand on since we always constantly agree to join them at gay clubs and never complain.”
“I actually want to start going there regularly on game nights; it’s a really fun atmosphere and everyone we met was awesome.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with the OP as a welcome change to their plans.
“NTA. Sounds like your female friends only think about their own comfort level at any given time they are out with you. They subject you to sexual harassment so that they don’t have to receive any and blame your discomfort on homophobia.”
“I’m pretty sure NO ONE wants to be touched and hit on by anyone they aren’t interested in, regardless of sexuality. Which is why the girls want to be at the gay bar in the first place!! Find new female friends…” – Weekend_Breakfast
“NTA. I guarantee part of the allure of gay bars for these friends is a nice dance and drinks atmosphere without as many guys hitting on them, and they’re completely failing to understand that it is sometimes different for you.” – EdgeCityRed
“NTA. It’s unfortunate though, that the girls in your group couldn’t grasp that their discomfort was likely the same as what you and the other guys were feeling. Hopefully, your group can work something out. I’m happy that you were able to make some new friends, though.” – treadhead101
“NTA. I definitely get why you feel the way you do, though I wonder if the reason your female friends feel more comfortable at a gay bar is so that they can just relax there without worrying about people harassing them.”
“I’ve heard before that women prefer gay bars for that very reason. Have you ever asked them why they prefer it there?”
“Like sit and have an actual convo and see if there is an issue they’re trying to avoid, and then if there is, try and be more proactive in bars in general about making sure everyone is safe and comfortable?” – Bite_Me_16
“NTA. Sounds like they just wanted to go to a gay bar to avoid flirtation.”
“When it’s flipped on them, they get really uncomfortable.”
“They’re seriously the implicitly homophobic ones because the only reason they are around those gay people is to avoid flirtation, not to have a good time in a place that just happens to host gay people mainly.”
“Plus, what the h**l do they expect when they go to a bar? For people to NOT flirt? All they have to do is decline. Most people have enough sense to take the hint, and if you leave your drink unattended, just order a new one.”
“Also, in my opinion, lesbians tend to be some of the nicest and least entitled people out there. So they’re really good to hang around with, so glad to see you’ve made friends there.” – WoodenTreacle1717
“NTA. This is a crystal clear case of ‘What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.'”
“I assume they wanted to go to male gay bars because they feel more comfortable (i.e., not being hit on all the time). But you were being hit on all the time, and that would be annoying. And they insisted you were homophobic for not liking being hit on all the time.”
“So, it’s perfectly reasonable to go to a female, gay bar. And you made new friends. Yet they were uncomfortable being hit on.”
“Honestly, it sounds like the best answer here is for the group to split up, with the women going to the male gay bar and the men going to the female, gay bar. Everyone wins. Friend groups don’t have to hang out as a single unit all the time.”
“But, at this point, the girls are being the AHs, particularly because they labeled you homophobic for not wanting to be hit on all the time.” – bmyst70
“I’d say the friends are definitely fetishizing gay men, but OP and his male buddies seem great. They had a fun time at the lesbian bar and made new friends there! That’s not treating it like a zoo (cough, like the female friends are with the male gay bar) but just finding it a chill atmosphere with like-minded people.”
“I guarantee he and his dude buddies are welcome back there anytime because they treat it as a bar with human beings in, rather than his female friends who are disturbing the atmosphere of the other gay bar for their own purposes.” – purple235
But others had a much more prominent concern: taking up room in LGBTQ-friendly spaces.
“ESH. Honestly, can y’all just figure your s**t out on your own and leave gay people the h**l out of it? Let us enjoy our own bars in peace, thank you.”
“I’m fully on your side, though, OP. But I hope you do take a moment to consider that your discomfort is what they feel at every straight bar.”
“I just think this means you guys need to find better straight bars to go to. Not every bar is one where people are constantly coming up and hitting on you.” – alluce1414
“NTA, but you guys should really stop going to gay/lesbian bars. Generally, people go to these bars to meet people, and it kinda sucks accidentally hitting on someone who isn’t interested because they’re straight. You might technically be welcome, but it really just seems like you’re using them, which is lame.” – Wild_Excitement_4083
“Another lesbian here, and I hate this guy and all his friends. They only have EVERY OTHER F**KING BAR they can go to safely.”
“Stop using gay people as props. Go to a bar and leave these people to enjoy their space without your friend group drama.” – laurenconnor9
“If I started hitting on a woman in a gay bar and she reacted badly because she’s homophobic, and then I found out she was only in the bar because her straight male friend was trying to ‘teach her a lesson,’ I would not describe that man as ‘great’. He just violated a safe space and exposed me to homophobia for his own ends.”
“OP isn’t the a**hole for turning the table on his friends, but he is an a**hole for using gay people to do it without their consent.” – larkharrow
“The idea that it’s some kind of ‘gotcha’ that OP took his friends to a lesbian bar to experience the horror of getting hit on is icky. This isn’t ‘ally’ behavior. It’s invading people’s spaces who have very few safe spaces left and bringing a bunch of homophobic baggage. Queer bars are generally tolerant and accepting, not places for straight people to act out voyeuristic tourism.”
“ESH, including a lot of the commenters. Get to know the patrons of Queer bars, sure, but don’t bring your friends there because you think it’s funny to make them uncomfortable by assuming they’ll be subjected to sexual harassment (from people who are completely within their rights to think other patrons are in the community). What in the actual f**k.” – mkswords
The subReddit could understand where the OP was coming from with being frustrated about his female friends wanting to go to bars without being hit on and without being willing to give him and their own guy friends the same honor every once in a while.
But there was an issue with this logic, as well, because while the OP was trying to show his friends where he was coming from, he was also dishonoring the people these clubs were actually made for.