WaPo: D.C. Gay Bars 'Stations of the Social Cross'
The Washington Post celebrated the first gay bar in populous Fairfax County with a splashy front-page article headlined "Rainbow flag aloft, nightclub is Fairfax County's first gay bar." Next to the headline was a color picture of the drag queen "La Countess Farrington." Reporter J. Freedom du Lac may want to celebrate, but it's a poor choice of metaphors to compare the hot homosexual night spots to the crucifixion of Jesus. The inept religious metaphor came in comparing Virginia to DC:
Historically, of course, the center of gay nightlife in the region has been the District, where bars such as Apex, Town and Ziegfeld's are like stations of the social cross.
At least when Post reporters like Bob Woodward referred to Hillary Clinton's "own stations of the cross in the Whitewater investigation," he was at least referring to suffering, and not partying. The Stations of the Cross are a primarily Catholic devotion during Lent recounting 14 events on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, or Christ's carrying the cross to His death.
The Post article also included three more large color pictures inside on A-6. The Post also showed its favoritism by using what are surely overestimates of the gay population:
"I like the unique business opportunity," Yen said. If there are 7,000 gays in Herndon and Reston, and 25,000 in Fairfax County (both numbers were guesses because there's no reliable data, according to Gustafson), not to mention underserved gay people in Loudoun and Prince William counties, that seems to offer "great possibilities," Yen said.
That refers to activist Sarah Gustafson, whose e-mail list for Equality Fairfax has only 900 names on it, so she's somehow missed the other 24,100:
By flying a rainbow flag directly across from the old Herndon Town Hall on Elden Street, So Addictive already has become a key marker in the gay diaspora. Sarah Gustafson, president of the gay rights organization Equality Fairfax, recently e-mailed the 900 people on her list to announce the "fantastic news" that "yes, Virginia, there is a gay bar in Fairfax County."
"There's a tremendous amount of gay, lesbian and transsexual people who live in the county, so it's really great that a bar's coming to us," Gustafson said. "People might not realize there's a significant gay and lesbian population in the suburbs; everybody assumes we live downtown. But we are everywhere. We are your neighbors, and having a neighborhood bar finally puts a permanent face on that."
Were there any critics in this piece? Yes, but they were only commercial neighbors solicited for their feelings on the business climate:
At Horn Motors, an auto parts store one block down Elden, an employee who answered the phone Friday said of his neighbor: "I don't think you want to print what I got to say."
The general manager, Wayne P., declined to give his last name and wondered whether he should say anything at all, "because anymore you have to be politically correct." Then, he said: "I'm not going to degrade them in any way, shape or form. But I'll be honest with you, I don't believe in that type of lifestyle. But it's not affecting me or my business at all. As long as they keep it orderly, I don't have a problem with it. Hopefully, they work on it and take care of their business and good for them."
Jimmy Cirrito, the owner of Jimmy's Old Town Tavern, said he welcomed the gayification of So Addictive, which is across the street from his bar. "If somebody's against having a gay bar, then they're against America," he said. "It's freedom. We're all God's people. We do what we want."