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There’s lots to be said, and much has already been said, about the Queer/Trans invasion of spaces for lesbian and bisexual women. I guess what I am wondering is, how do we resist this type of colonization? Having women-centered spaces like Ovarit online is one thing, but keeping spaces and circles for ourselves in the real world is another.

I have heard so many stories about one TIM/male enby/straight female enby destroying the integrity of WLW groups. With the frequency this is happening it becomes apparent, at least to me that lesbians and bisexual women need to start becoming aggressive at pushing back against this. But how do we do this without going underground? I’m somewhat baffled as to how gay men have managed to keep TIF free spaces public while all exclusively lesbian events are now on the downlow. What are some strategies we can use in our everyday lives in our communities to be gatekeepers and keep spaces only for homo/bi women?

There’s lots to be said, and much has already been said, about the Queer/Trans invasion of spaces for lesbian and bisexual women. I guess what I am wondering is, how do we resist this type of colonization? Having women-centered spaces like Ovarit online is one thing, but keeping spaces and circles for ourselves in the real world is another. I have heard so many stories about one TIM/male enby/straight female enby destroying the integrity of WLW groups. With the frequency this is happening it becomes apparent, at least to me that lesbians and bisexual women need to start becoming aggressive at pushing back against this. But how do we do this without going underground? I’m somewhat baffled as to how gay men have managed to keep TIF free spaces public while all exclusively lesbian events are now on the downlow. What are some strategies we can use in our everyday lives in our communities to be gatekeepers and keep spaces only for homo/bi women?

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I'm just thinking back to my experience in a men's bar in SF. There are gay bars for everyone and then there are men's bars (at least in the bigger cities. A little backstory there are pretty much little to no public bathrooms in SF. If you want to use the bathroom the best bet is to run until a bar and buy a drink for them to let you in. So me and a friend are walking and she needs to go. We see a rainbow flag in front of a bar with a short line of only 4 people still we head over. Once we get to the guy checking IDs he asks us "do you know what kind of bar this is?" I let him know my friend needs to use the bathroom and I'll buy a drink. He rolls his eyes, thinks it over for a second, and then reluctantly says "ok, you to the bathroom and you, one drink, that's it". When I went inside I was surprised at first that there were absolutely no women. No straight women friends who tag along, no women bartenders or bar backs like you see eat other gay bars. I get to the bar which you can see from the entrance and the bartender looks confused too see me. He then looks at the bouncer who gives him a nod like "it's ok, I let her in". The bartender then says "ok, one drink only, what will it be?" Eventually I get my drink and my friends returns from the bathroom. She wanted to stay and get a drink herself but I let her know they want us out.

Tl;dr: Some things I've learned from experiences and from taking directly with gay men friends is that they might not be underground but they're discreet. Like the bar we went to that only served men wasn't listed as a gay bar online at the time. They were totally comfortable being rude and icing out whoever didn't belong. They take full advantage of the right to refuse service. Another thing is, these men must appreciate the space because the place was packed on a weeknight. The patrons/community kept the place alive.

That’s pretty cool and interesting how they were able to do that, especially when you mention it wasn’t advertised as a gay bar online. Makes me think that lesbian and bi women need to focus on being the business owners and creating our own undercover establishments…stuff that is gay friendly but wouldn’t always be advertised as such

It's not like it's underground. There's a rainbow flag and it's in Castro which is a gay district. I think it's listed online as a gay bar now and I'm sure they're still in business and male only