I've been to a few gay bars in my time, but frankly, they aren't really "my thing". I prefer old men and summit over spiked drinks and drama. However, I will say that I do love to dance, and most gay clubs offer quite a bit of dancing. (love to rita, one of the few girls I know who can shake what her momma gave her).
Anyhow, there this bar called "Pi", in the seward area of Minneapolis. It opened a couple years ago, and has been the ONE place in the twin cities specifically for lesbians (and their friends/allies/etc). Anyhow, due to the toilet bowl we have for an economy, the owners of Pi were not able to refinance their loan. Basically what this means is they had less than a month to come up with 600,000 dollars to buy the building that had been a safe-haven for so many over the last few years. In a matter of a couple of weeks, they raised over 112,000 dollars. Pretty awesome in my opinion, yet not enough to keep the bar open. Their last day of business was this past Saturday, November 15 2008.
Jen and I went the previous night (after her Sr. Art Show!!) to see my old roommate (Pat) and his band The Kredentials play. I was impressed. The group is complete with talented musicians. All of them. They are amazing. They have an awesome stage presence, can carry on Jams (that get AND keep people dancing), and they really all do stick out as some amazing, confident, and talented musicians. Well done, my friend.
Anyhow, Jen and I also went Saturday night, for the "closing of pi". It was good, for the most part. It was certainly packed... too much for my liking, actually. But I saw some old friends (meli t, amanda, rita, kate, will and alex, etc...). It was good, and we left before too much drama could ensue.
It is quite unfortunate that Pi is closing. Not only because the owners fell vicim to the shitty economy, but also because it really was a place for a marginalized group of folks to come. I'd only been 3 or 4 times, but each time, there was a few men, and lots women (white, brown, black, yellow, red, rainbow, sparkley, middle age, just 21, fat, skrawny, straight, gay, bi, curious, you get my point...). It was just a big melting pot, I guess... where people could get along (for the most part), dance, play games like Dildo Bingo (later changed to "dingo" for legal reasons).
There's one thing I really disagree with that the owners (?) are doing as a result of Pi closing. They are working on a t-shirt design (and a "campaign" really.... advertising as "Pi Refugee". Refugee, eh? Seems like an awefully heated/controversial/heavy word. REFUGEE. One who flees (their home), especially to escape danger. Ok. So, Pi patrons are not "fleeing", not to escape danger (in my opinion). It may be more dangerous outside of Pi, to show yourself in ways like you can (at Pi), but I think that using the word "refugee" as a campaign tactic or advertising tactic is something worth looking at (and reconsidering). There are tens of thousands of refugee's living in Minnesota, ones who did not leave their country because their bar closed. They left due to civil wars, massacres, etc.... should "we" really be throwing around the word "refugee" like we do? Something to think about.
I'm not trying to hate on Pi. As I've said all along, I think it was a good bar, and I think it's really unfortunate that it is closing. I guess I was just rubbed the wrong way by the idea of "Pi Refugees", especially on a t-shirt. Feel free to point out mistakes in my argument. Afterall, if we don't challenge eachother, how will we grow.
This was LONG. Maybe I need to put a picture in here or something. I'll see what I can find.... That's all for now. Bus comes in 17 minutes. Also, shout out to Retired St Paul Police Officer, Melvin Carter Jr for his wonderful hug and sound advice yesterday. His children have a band called ten65. I went to school with Alanna, on an off for like 20 years (well, almost). Anyhow, shout out to the whole Carter Fam for their love and support.