2 min

Dump Dyke March, says playwright

FRANK TALK. Bob Tivey looks into his soul - and wonders whether opening up bathhouses to women somehow lessens the space's sexual appeal for gay men. Credit: Mark Bogdanovic

Ken Brand likes the idea of a sex night for the gals.

“I just think it was a good opportunity for a lot of things,” says Brand, the author of a play which celebrates gay sex and community called The Bathhouse Suite.

“Not just educating women about safe-sex, but also encouraging women to express their sexuality in an environment where they don’t normally have a chance to do that. For me, I thought it was a good thing and a positive thing and it made me think, ‘Well, yeah, this is a community thing.’ A community is more than just one particular type of person or one particular view.”

No one should allow themselves to obsess over a location.

“[To me it was] about somehow making something sacred that isn’t sacred for men or women.

“It’s just a place. It’s not a threat to our space. People we need to be concerned about invading our space certainly aren’t lesbians. We need to be worried about things other than that.”

Playwright Brad Fraser agrees.

“It’s not like women are co-opting our sexual places or whatever, or are even trying to,” he says.

Saying women can’t have a night at the bathhouses is “the equivalent of having a gay bar that doesn’t allow women. We don’t let that happen anymore. That doesn’t exist anymore. Or having a lesbian bar that doesn’t allow men.”

Fraser also doesn’t believe in the idea of a separate Dyke March on Pride weekend. It’s just another way for the men and women of the community to be segregated.

“I think the whole point of gay Pride is that it’s about diversity and it’s about acceptance and it’s about all people who are not ashamed to admit they don’t fit into mainstream in some way.

“If they want to have the Dyke March some other night of the year or something, I’d go out and support the dykes. I’d march with them, or I’d yell on the side of the street or whatever. But on Pride weekend I think it’s very important that we at least find one time out of the year to express our solidarity as a community, male and female, and everything that falls in between….

“But we do need something that brings the men and women together. Even if it was a big party during Pride Day that was just one big party for everyone and we stopped having the fractious little parties where the lesbians have there parties and the guys have their parties. Generally they don’t mix. I don’t understand that. When I go into a lesbian bar they aren’t playing radically different music or drinking radically different drinks or behaving radically different than a gay male bar. Why do we divide ourselves like that?

“On one hand, when you’re not sexually attracted to the other gender and you’re socializing, that’s going to take a big reason for the socialization away. But if there were some space that was more open to both men and women, if there was a bar that catered to both parts of our community, that would be amazing.”