crews and tangos bachelorette

Popular Toronto drag bar stops accepting bachelorette party reservations

Horrendously tacky bachelorette parties are right on up there with "live laugh love" decor and talking about smoothie bowls in terms of things basic women are known for.

Between the shot glass necklaces, the matching t-shirts, the feather boas, the penis hats and the silhouette of drunk, sloppy ladies stumbling down the street, encountering such a party is annoying at best.

In some cases, bachelorette party behaviour can actually be offensive — and not only to the eyes and ears.

For whatever reason, straight women have taken to throwing such shindigs at gay and drag bars in recent decades. The phenomenon has been well documented in such major urban centres as New York City, Los AngelesMontreal and, of course, Toronto.

"For some reason, young, straight white women feel absolutely free to invade queer space," wrote Oregon State University women's studies professor Susan Shaw in a 2017 blog post on the topic.

"And because of their privilege as young, straight, and white, they never even have to think about the fact that they might be invading someone else's space, that their overwhelmingly white and heterosexual presence might create unsafe space for queer people, especially queers of colour."

Drag icon RuPaul Charles put it more bluntly when asked about the issue of bachlorette parties at gay or drag bars: "You better check yourself before you wreck yourself."

"If they are going as a group of girls, as a way so that they don't really have to go outside of their wheelhouse. They're tourists," said Charles in a 2017 podcast.

"It's not really saying: 'You are fierce and I'm going to respect you for who you are.' They [the gay men] are there as a party clown."

Whether it is for these such reasons, or because bachelorette parties are simply mad annoying, Toronto's own Crews & Tangos is no longer accepting reservations for brides-to-be and their rowdy friends.

An email from the popular drag club's manager was forwarded to us this week by a reader who recently tried to book a bachelorette party at Crews.

"Thank you for choosing Crews and Tangos to celebrate your friends/family members up and coming nuptials," it reads. "Unfortunately, we are no longer hosting/ reserving tables for bachelorette parties."

"We have decided to take our business in a different direction within our community," the email continues. "We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused... You are more then welcome to still join us to celebrate there just won't be a reservation available."

Crews and Tangos has yet to reply to a direct request for comment, but they're far from the first queer venue (or even mainstream venue) to ban bachelorette parties in recent years.

It's also important to note that not all communities are aligned on the issue. There is much debate to be found online over whether or not banning bachelorette parties from LGBTQ spaces is a helpful or hurtful move.

Drag Queen Miz Cracker of Ru Paul's Drag Race fame summed up the issue nicely in a widely-read piece for Slate.

"I can't suggest that gays open up their bars to all, because I believe we deserve a place to be ourselves," Cracker writes. "I can, however, point to something too often ignored: There is still a yawning gap of understanding and sensitivity between the straight and LGBTQ world."

"Like the straight girl who announces 'My best friend is gay,' I want to assert here that some of my best friends are straight," Cracker continues.

"But right or wrong, just or unjust—all political correctness, progressive philosophy, and gender-studies jargon aside—when a group of straight ladies steps into a queer room these days, there is a collective gritting of teeth."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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