Listling Without Commentary: 26 Excerpts From Negative Yelp Reviews Of Lesbian Bars By Men and Straight People

relevant image from The Lex last weekend

relevant image from our trip to The Lex last weekend

A few weeks ago, we all had a nice time reading excerpts from 1-star Yelp reviews of lesbian bars from actual queer women. But lesbians aren’t the only humans with feelings about their lesbian bars — there are some straights and gay men with a few choice words to share as well. (This list could’ve easily been 26 accusations of “hypocritical” stances on equality or reminders that “discrimination goes both ways” from people horrified that there might ever be a space that doesn’t immediately prioritize their needs.) Everybody has mixed feelings about mixed crowds at lesbian bars, and the reviews are mixed, too — for every straight and/or male hater, there’s another who loves the place despite not being its target audience! Every night, in some lesbian bar somewhere around the world, a straight woman or a man is having a really nice time with his gay lady pals. It’s true! But there are also some straight women and men who can’t handle the adventure and instead wrote these reviews on Yelp. (Also, #23 isn’t actually a negative review, I just thought it was funny.)

If you think lesbians hate lesbian bars, just listen to these folks!

Everything below has been ripped mercilessly out of context.

1. “The staff act like they don’t want you there — or maybe it’s my penis they don’t want there.”

2. “To The Drew Carey lookalike Lesbian bouncer: be nice to people, especially to customers. You never know who will write a review and call you out on your rudeness. Oh and for your own health reasons: lose some weight or adjust your attitude. Nobody likes a Mean Fat Person. You can’t be both!”

3. “One star for interesting “go-go” dancers.”

4. “When my friend used the men’s restroom he discovered that someone had written above the urinal “you are not welcome here.” Really?

5. “I intentionally let some stranger beat me at pool because 1. this girl was sporting a mullet and 2. I think she was carrying a knife.”

6. “Why do I keep finding myself at [gay bar]?! Oh yeah… my friend has to score some blow.”

7. “Well, after building this place up in my mind for years and begging countless females to let me tag along, last Friday I finally got to experience [bar]. It was so anti-climatic to realize it is just a neighborhood bar that happens to be very woman-identified.”

8. “I have a feeling as to why we were rushed out: we weren’t lesbians.”

9. “Can you imagine what kind of uproar these women would have caused if the roles were reversed and they were refused entrance into a straight business?  LOL!  They’d probably call all the local news stations!”

10. “The door dyke was SO rude and sour that I’m a little scurred of her — even though I’m over 6′ and she’s probably a foot shorter.”

11. “Most of the “ladies ” here are haters. So much for a supportive, all-inclusive gay community. Perhaps they were jealous because I have fuller facial hair.”

12. “No matter how much you tip or compliment the bartenders, you cannot get them to crack a smile. You may, however, see their crack as their Dickies sag or when they bend over to grab a beer.”

13. “The place is so dingy, grimy, and gross that I seriously believe monsters are going to come flying out of the bathroom at any moment and swoop down on all the dudes and chop our heads off.”

14. “I had met the owner a dozen times but either she never remembered my name or pretended not to. This was obviously because I was a guy.”

15. “The place smelled like onions.”

16. “I tried making conversations with a couple chicks there with no intentions but a friendly gesture and I would literally get quick, sharp answers. I’m sorry, I was interested in how adorable your pug was, not you. I’m straight.”

17. “Talking with my female friends, their guess is that the owner is a manhater.”

18. “I’m reviewing [bar] solely as a neighbor sick of the asinine wasted jackasses that roll out of here at all hours. I’m talking each and every night, around 2 am, girls AND guys are yelling in the streets, usually fighting with each other, trees, street poles, god knows what.”

19. “I must say though, never have I seen a more dapper bunch of men and a more openly horny female population.”

20. “She had no cause to be rude to me, unless she’s male-o-phobic or something.”

21. “Gay or not, If you have a dangling unit, don’t go here.”

22. “Some girl with a fake purse tried to tell my friend that she had a mullet, when it was clearly layered fringe.”

23. “even tho I am a dong pirate, I like [bar]. The crowd is fun and rad, the bartenderwomen are hot so if i was going to go the other way id probably go for one of them.”

24. “You preach equality, yet if you are a newcomer (and straight, accompanied by your boyfriend) to [bar], you will not even be served a drink within 30 minutes (at least). I was excited to be in an establishment that would respect the fact that everyone lives differently, and these differences should be embraced. Unfortunately, because I am heterosexual, I’m not to be treated equally… Needless to say, we left after we were not treated EQUALLY!”

25. “Guys definitely beware, they have absolutely no interest in having you there and definitely will make you feel unwelcome at any and every point.  On the other hand, If you’re a man hating lesbian that doesn’t mind overpriced drinks, this is the place for you.”

26. “Seriously, I can’t help it if I was born straight. Hater.”

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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      • Equality means that the same rules should apply to everyone regardless of circumstance while equity means that if a certain group has additional obstacles not faced by another group, extra measures can be made to help them overcome those obstacles. Equity acknowledges that not everyone is on the same playing field. For example, a wealthy student who was able to attend multiple SAT prep programs would likely get a higher SAT school than a student who was not able to enroll in such programs even if they are equally smart. Equal treatment would mean always preferring the student with the higher SAT scores, equitable treatment would take the difference in resources into account. In this case, queers are a minority everywhere. If there were no bars that encouraged a gay community, queer people would be in the minority at basically every bar. Its thus fair that there be bars that actively encourage a queer community by creating a mostly queer environment.

  1. What is a “fake purse?” Is it just a piece of fabric in the shape of a purse that doesn’t actually hold anything? Is this one of those femme secrets I’m not privy to?!

    • Yeah! Fake purses! They’re just decorative, if you’ve ever seen a barbie purse it’s the same. The zipper is decorative, not functionnal, and the pockets are just glued on pieces of fabric.

      Oh and do you know about the fake bras? They’re just sticky stickers you stick on your tatas to hide the nipples, in case of wardrobe malfunction. Janet Jackson made them popular in 2004. All the confort of braless-ness, plus the minimum legal coverage that makes boobs acceptable to show on TV or magasine covers!

    • While it’s a petty comment, I’m pretty sure she means knock off designer bag, not “fake”. She obvs doesn’t know much about fashion either to be talking so much shit.. Lol

    • Fake purses are knock-offs (read: reasonably priced) and only elitest lolitas and trust fund babies care about that shit.

    • I assume the commenter meant it was a knock off of a designer purse. I can’t think of what else it could mean.

      • Aaaaand I still have not learned to refresh the page before commenting and answering a question that’s already been answered.

  2. Ahhh mullet or layered fringe. Oh, the perils of the fashion forward straight girl. Love the detail of the ‘fake purse’ to go with it.

    16 has to be the worst – regardless of being in a lesbian bar, people who think they are owed other peoples’ time and conversation infuriate me.

  3. Hey sometimes you get so used to the onion smell, that you don’t even notice the onion. Thanks, person!

  4. I set high expectations for my first trip to the aquarium. I was ready to see sharks tearing apart schools of fish, sharks fighting man-o-wars, sharks fighting sharks, an employee in a scuba suit narrowly escaping death, etc. But when I got there it was just sharks gliding around like goldfish in a bowl. Long story short, I feel you #7

  5. #10

    god bless the door dykes

    guarding onion-scented strongholds

    “rude” AND “sour”

    scowl on, scowl on

  6. This may be too obvious but my definite favorite was “Guys definitely beware, they have absolutely no interest in having you there and definitely will make you feel unwelcome at any and every point. ” WHAT? Lesbians aren’t interested in having sex with men? This is totally inconsistent with what I learned from porn.
    However, i do prefer this reaction to the one I’ve heard at the cubby hole: “Those girls are making out. Is this a gay bar?”

  7. “male-o-phobic”

    “male-o’s” sounds like the a shittiest cereal this cide of a dry bowl of grape nuts

    • whaddya say we all get together and open a kickass lesbian bar in LA… with gorgeous bartenders and free pizza? oh, and big beautiful bouncers…

  8. Hilarious! I went to my first ever lesbian bar last week – the Wildrose in Seattle. There were several men there which I really didn’t get — my girlfriend and I were speculating that maybe they were there because the night’s special was cheap fireball shots. Although later, I thought about the fact that I’ve been to gay bars with gay male friends many times, so I am probably being unfair. At least the guys at the Wildrose seemed to be having fun rather than writing misogynistic 1-star reviews!

    • I used to go to the Wildrose a lot when I first moved to Seattle and think of it fondly (though it’s truly lackluster in every way), and recently went in with my now-ex after years away. We noticed that every guy walking by was trying to peer inside—with lots of elbowing each other and neck craning—and a LOT of straight guys came in and the atmosphere seemed so weird and volatile, in such a small space that’s usually pretty empty except during Pride.

      I don’t know if I’m just extra sensitive these days but it really got my hackles up. Standing with legs spread, looking every girl up and down, like they were seconds from pissing on the floor to claim it. Anyway, I’m glad the men there weren’t like that during your visit…maybe the cold weather has thinned the herd of douchebags!

  9. #13 needs to refer to #1 – it’s not your head that the swooping monsters want to cut off, IT’S YOUR PENIS

  10. Really not into this. It seems funny until you realize we’re egging on the culture that’s the reason so many non-cis-lesbian queer women I know don’t consider themselves welcome at lesbian bars.

    • Gosh, I hope not! I think most of us appreciate the distinction between a cis man and a trans woman/trans feminine person. Or at least I hope so!

    • Dina, I’ve never been to a lesbian bar where anyone wanted to talk to me. It’s a very real feeling of unwelcomeness. :(

      • I’ve never been to a lesbian bar where anyone wanted to talk to me. I’ve been to lesbian bars where no one would talk to me but the bartender and only when I placed my orders (hi Lexington!)

        • This! Wtf, this is my gf’s favorite dress, do I look straight or ugly or what? I was so uncomfortable there I finally pulled out a book about cod. We had a good time at the Lex, that book and I. Next time I’ll bring my “gay” gf.

      • That is so shitty. :( By “most of us” I meant here at Autostraddle. I’m sad but not surprised to hear the rest of the world is terrible.

    • I think the only applicable concern here is the fact that trans women feel unwelcome in these spaces. That is a HUGE issue and I absolutely agree that it needs to be addressed. As far as my fellow non-lesbians are concerned, however, I have zero sympathy. I’m pretty sexually fluid, but if I go to a lesbian bar it’s because I want to meet or spend time specifically with queer women. Expecting otherwise strikes me as a really weird kind of entitlement.

      • (But when I say “queer women” in my above comment I am DEFINITELY INCLUDING TRANS WOMEN/TRANSFEMININE PEOPLE WHO WISH TO OCCUPY SPACE IN THIS COMMUNITY! I want to be SUPER CLEAR about that!)

      • Not all queer women are lesbians, and I’m really sick of being lumped in with “entitled straight people” when I complain about not being included in a space for queer women. If you mean lesbian, say lesbian. Plus, femme lesbians are collateral damage when you police who appears to be “queer enough” to be in a space. Men and straight people shouldn’t assume they’ll be welcomed in a queer women’s space, but queer women shouldn’t have to get a regulation mullet to be treated as if they belong there, either.

        • 1. I’m not a lesbian, either, to which I’ve already alluded.
          2. “Queer-enough” policing in queer spaces is indeed a huge problem, but
          3. the only comments I see in this list that could be clearly and definitively attributed to straight women (rather than to men) have to do with feeling unwelcome entering the space with a male partner/companion, and I continue not to see why that is an problem.

      • I posted this in response to the person above, as well, but–

        “Queer-enough” policing in queer spaces is indeed a huge problem, but the only comments I see in this list that can be clearly and definitively attributed to straight women (rather than to men) have to do with feeling unwelcome entering the space with a male partner/companion, and I continue not to see why that is an problem. It is my unequivocal conviction that queer spaces should be welcoming to anyone in the community who seeks an environment of their peers. I do not, however, think there is any obligation for queer spaces to extend to any heteronormative partners those people might have.

        • I am not sure I understand why you get to decide who is queer enough.

          Why am I questioning your ability to speak for all queer folk? Well…lets look at #4.

          How is defending the hateful writing in the men’s room ok? Whether it is a young trans girl who feels scared of using the girl’s room or a trans masculine person who feels they are part of the bar’s community, either way it is awful.

          Perhaps instead of protesting that all is fine and dandy, maybe take a moment and think about how bi, trans, intersex or other marginalized people might feel reading this article.

    • The only lesbian bar I ever spent a lot of time at was the old Meow Mix in downtown Manhattan. People were always friendly — even though I didn’t “pass” so well back then — but on the other hand I was always there with my then-partner, so nobody had to worry that icky trans woman might actually be interested in any of them, eww!

    • I have to agree with you Ten. This post and the majority of the responses are why I have never walked into a lesbian bar.

      Yes, a lot of the yelp comments are horrendous examples of straight and/or male privilege…but the article and the comments here on autostraddle are hurtful towards bi girls, trans girls and trans masculine folks.

    • ^same, Ten. The “ok, but [bi/pan/demi/femme…] means you’re not *that* gay” comments are getting really old. I’m not straight enough for my relatives, and not gay enough for the LGBTQIAA community. I’m lucky that the hostility hasn’t escalated to physical violence (yet), but it’s definitely there, and it’s definitely real.

  11. That’s what the monsters in the bathroom are paid to do.

    Then again, if you still believe that monsters inhabit bathrooms, closets, etc., perhaps there is a deeper issue?

  12. “Well, after building this place up in my mind for years and begging countless females to let me tag along, last Friday I finally got to experience [bar]. It was so anti-climatic to realize it is just a neighborhood bar that happens to be very woman-identified.”

    This person literally thought he was going to be walking into a lesbian orgy, didn’t he?

    That being said, as a queer non-passing trans woman, I’d probably have mixed to negative feelings about a lot of these lesbian bars, too.

  13. Obviously the lesbian bars aren’t paying yelp to remove their bad reviews. But alas, if they had the money to do that, they’d probably still be open.

    If I’d read this earlier in my procrastination tonight, I would create a listing for THE PLANET and write reviews from all of the characters.

    It’s odd that none of these reviewers are bothered by lesbian power dyke couples who are only nice to you until they find out you won’t part with your sperm. It’s also suspicious that they don’t complain about how all lesbians wear winter hats in the summer and just want to use your peen as a mold to build sexy insemination devices. But what concerns me most is that none of these dudes sing the praises of lesbian bars as dumping grounds for horrible girlfriends who later end up dead in swimming pools. Specifically, swimming pools that were never actually used for swimming. These pools are just for Shane sex and horrible human drownings.

    Also, I really wish “the internet killed the lesbian bar” weren’t stuck on a loop in my head to the tune of “Video Killed the Radio Star.” God I hate that song. The only way it could be worse is if it had lines like “girls in tight dresses who drag with mustaches.”

    • not that i want to support your procrastination or anything, but i’d really, REALLY, like to see the planet reviews happen. best idea ever.

      also, i’m slightly disappointed about the fact that other peoples procrastination results in amazing ideas while i’m currently just eating cookies and re-watching old episodes of the gilmore girls. but hey, at least i have cookies.

  14. Ah yes, Lesbian Facial Hair Envy. Almost as widespread in our community as Fell in Love with Straight BFF syndrome. In fact, I hear they are going to address this issue on the next episode of Faking It. SPOILER ALERT: Amy tries to grow a goatee.

    I want to go to 18 and 19 please.

  15. RE: #13, was anyone else picturing the Transfer in SF? Easily a contender for Filthiest Bar Ever. (Though when I went there, the population skewed gay dudes/neighborhood welcome).

  16. Is it bad that I laughed really hard at 24? You’re in a lesbian bar for crying out loud. One of those situations where I would’ve leaned over to the person next to me and said, “Ugh, straight people.”

  17. I’ve read this list like 6 times and I just read it again and I’m crying because I was laughing so hard?
    A+ 10/10 will definitely read again

    • There’s a note about #23. I think notes about other reviews could be included without being out of place.

  18. I personally don’t feel bad when I make straight people uncomfortable or treat treat them like crap when they’re at lesbian/queer bars. They could go to so many other bars than mine

    • I generally feel bad when I treat people like crap, you have no idea why those people are there. They could be trying to support a friend, they could still be closeted and tentatively trying to figure the culture out, they could have just seen it was a bar and wandered in. There are tons of reasons a straight person could end up in a lesbian bar that aren’t malicious or deserving of bad treatment.

  19. I’m not feeling the humour here. While I’m definetly all for queer safe space, I’m getting really sick of cis-sexist queers.

    • Thank you for speaking up. I probably would have wandered away from autostraddle for good if I didn’t see that other people also found this humor hurtful.

  20. Hi I just wanted to re-emphasize that every review excerpted on this list was written by a straight woman or a man. The list of excerpts from 1-star Yelp reviews of lesbian bars by actual queer women is here.

  21. Number 18 reminds me of the controversy around a local queer/hipster bar and the surrounding neighborhood. It brought up a lot of issues about gentrification and classism/racism. tl;dr, I was against the bar, and i was happy when it was forced to change locations.

    I mean, it’s one thing to make fun of boys/straights for entering a space that’s not for them. But, it’s also good to be mindful of the way we might be invading other people’s spaces. Queer/hipster/artistic spaces have often been used as spearheads for gentrifying neighborhoods, and dispersing the poorer, often non-white residents. So, when I read a review about residences having eggs thrown at them for complaining about noise at 2 am, I’m skeptical.

  22. “When it was clearly a layered fringe.” Coffee just came out of my nose. Not because that’s ridiculous, but because who even wears a layered fringe anymore? What is this the early thousands?

  23. Really uncomfortable with people assuming someone with short hair and stubble is a guy (as in the instagram pic), as someone part of a queer couple that some cis lesbians might mistake for a straight couple. That person could be my girlfriend a year ago.

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