Daniel Craig, the actor best known for his role as James Bond, has revealed that he used frequent gay bars. Mixed reactions were received by the LGBTQ community.
Actor Daniel Craig is best known for his portrayal of the handsome and determinedly heterosexual James Bond. However, he made waves this week by revealing that he is a huge fan of gay bars.
Craig, 53, stated Tuesday that he has been going to gay bars since he was a child. “I don’t get in fights at gay bars as often,” Craig said.
Craig said gay bars “would just be the best place to go.” Everyone was relaxed, everyone. It didn’t matter how you sex. It was fine. It was very safe.
Craig, who is married to Rachel Weisz, a British actor, has said that he used to go to gay bars as a teenager to meet single women.
Mixed reactions were received online by the LGBTQ community.
Craig’s comments, which stated, “There’s enough room for everyone at the table,” were cheered by many.
One user posted on Twitter, “If they are allies and being respectful, I don’t see any issue with it.” “We don’t win support by telling straight folks they aren’t welcome.”
Others said Craig and other straight men going to gay bars “comes with the expense of LGBTQ spaces.”
One user posted on Twitter, “If gay bars *full* with straight people, then they’re not gay bars anymore.” “I found safety in two or three London lesbian clubs/bars so important when I was trying to figure things out. Because I knew other women who were there for the same reasons as me, it felt safe.
As many LGBTQ bars have shut down over the past several decades, there is a lot of debate about straight people’s role in gay and lesbian bars.
According to a study done by Greggor Mattson (associate professor of sociology at Oberlin College), 37 percent of America’s gay bars were closed between 2007 and 2019. The study showed that the number and quality of lesbian bars decreased by 52 percent, while the number of bars that serve LGBTQ people of colour dropped 59 percent.
Mattson’s research also showed that LGBTQ bars in the country have been closing at a higher rate over the past few years. From 2017 to 2019, 14% of LGBTQ bars were closed.
Mattson stated that the loss to the LGBTQ community is far greater than many people may believe.
He said that bars are more common than other communities which have churches or food places as their main organizing place. “In many areas of the country, it’s not possible to find a gay bar that has a gender-inclusive toilet or a bulletin board with LGBTQ+ business owners advertising their services. A bartender can also direct you to the place where you can apply for a LGBTQ+ friendly job.
Mattson said, “When these places are lost, we lose the face to face connections and especially the chance encounters with strangers that are what we as a community knit ourself together.”
The economic impact of the pandemic has only exacerbated this trend with many small businesses closing last year.
Erica Rose and Elina street co-founded the Lesbian Bar Project to prevent closures. This national effort supports lesbian nightlife that is being threatened by the pandemic. Since 2020, the fund has raised more than $260,000 to support the 21 remaining lesbian bars in the country.
Rose and Street want lesbian bars to be safe places for all, including straight allies. However, they worry that straight people may go to the “spectacle” for an opportunity.
Both lesbians, the women, recall a recent trip to a Fire Island lesbian bar where they met a straight bachelorette party.
Street stated that they cheered, were excited to see how everyone was dressing, and that it felt like they were there for the entertainment, as if it was an exotic experience.
Rose said that people are fascinated by alternative cultures, even though this is their everyday life. Rose said, “We don’t have the right to wear a gay hat only when we feel like it.” We are queer 24/7 and need places that support that.
Mattson stated that, while he sympathizes deeply with LGBTQ people who want queer-only spaces and Craig’s comments should encourage straight bars to create more welcoming environments.
He said, “My gut instinct was to say: “How sad,” “Yes, gay spaces are vulnerable, but what about straight bars? Even a well-known, handsome guy doesn’t feel secure going out?”