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Gays take over a straight bar

Group aims to reclaim public space

Over 100 queer people and supporters took over a straight bar in Ottawa on Sep 14 as part of a new activist group, Guerilla Gay Fare.

At a Capital Pride event in August, Tim Campbell witnessed some hostility towards gays at a queer party hosted in a non-queer venue.

“A lot of us were really angry, so I thought ‘what the hell, I’ll actually do something about it,'” he says.

Campbell read about the guerilla gay group concept in a Capital Xtra editorial, and he decided to create a Facebook group called Guerilla Gay Fare. The group quickly grew to over 600 members in just over two weeks.

The aim of the group is simple: reclaim public space and get gays and lesbians to mix with heterosexuals. Campbell plans to stage a takeover at least once a month.

At the Sep 14 takeover of Tila Tequila in Ottawa’s Byward Market, it seems as though bar staff did not mind the influx of gays.

“All of them were really happy to have us, they said ‘you guys are welcome to party here, this is a great thing,'” says Campbell.

While this particular group is new to Ottawa, guerilla gay bar groups have existed for years. New guerilla gay bar groups have recently sprung up in several cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC.

Check out Xtra.ca’s video report below:
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Watch the video on Xtra.ca’s YouTube page.