A few years ago, gay Americans began rallying around a Laguna Beach bar called The Boom Boom Room, which faced destruction in the name of gentrification.
Led by Republican presidential hopeful Fred Karger, countless LGBT people picketed and protested to stop developers from razing the famed tavern, and there were even rumors that Brad Pitt would front the cash to keep Boom's doors open.
As that fight continues to rage, another, far less famous gay bar also faces certain doom, yet no one seems to care. It's called Chi Chiz, and no one seems to care. Why? One word: race.
Located in New York City's tony West Village, on the historic Christopher Street, Chi Chiz has become an epicenter for gay people of color, and a thorn in the side of the neighborhood's wealthy denizens. After years of noise complaints, prostitution allegations and other charges against about the bar, it now seems that Chi Chiz will be closed for good because cops claim that it's a hot bed of illicit drug use and should therefore be shuttered.
Though the drug rumors may be true, show me a bar, straight or gay, that hasn't seen its share of drug deals. The fact of the matter is that West Village residents simply want to close down the "black bar," and Chi Chiz has found embarrassingly little support from gay people in New York City, or elsewhere.
LGBT activists are consistently calling for inclusion and community. Well, Chi Chiz is key for gay minorities in New York City, and if we truly care about inclusiveness, we'll spend as much time fighting for Chi Chiz as we have for other gay bars across the country.
Image via Victoria Peckham's Flickr.