About 35 people picketed the Flame bar, on Washington St., last Saturday night, September 16, to protest Flame owner Harvey Blanchard's refusal to serve drag queens. The people picketed, many of them carrying signs, for more than two hours. Also, a leaflet explaining the reasons for the demonstration was distributed.
The leaflet read: "This bar would not be here if it were not for you and me. Harvey, the owner of he Flame, has made a great deal of money which came directly out of the pockets of the sisters and brothers who make up the gay community. We Feel that Harvey therefore has a great responsibility to that community. This responsibility includes not only maintaining a pleasant environment with in the Flame, but also an active commitment to total freedom for all gay people. In our opinion, Harvey is not meeting that responsibility. His recent edict banning drag queens from the Flame indicates that he is more interested in maintaining a closet-type establishment that makes a lot of money for him than he is in freedom for gay people.
The leaflet further urged gay people to come together in boycotting the Flame to "give Harvey a vivid reminder of how totally dependent he is on our community." In addition to the demand for an end to all dress restrictions, demands were made to improve the physical environment of the Flame by getting a dance license and providing room to dance and better music, and an end to all selective harassment of or discrimination against people by Harvey or other employees.
The leaflet concluded by saying, "Drag queens are among the more progressive elements in the gay community and cannot be treated as second-class members of that community. The other demands are self explanatory to anyone who has spent any time in the Flame. We don't need the Flame; the Flame needs us. Let's have our party out in the streets tonight, sisters and brothers!"
In an effort to better serve the gay community, The Gay Liberation Front has started a 24-hour Gay Hotline: 761-2044. Now, anytime day or night, both men and women are available for information, counseling, referral, or if you just want to talk to someone. In addition the GLF will answer calls from 9-5 weekdays at 763-4186. GLF meetings are every Tuesday night, at 8 pm in the 3rd floor Conference Room of the Michigan Union. Gay Awareness Women's Collective meetings are every Wednesday at 8:30 pm at Feminist House 225 E. Liberty.
The SUN supports the efforts of members of the gay community to organize to end their oppression and struggle for self-determination.
NO ONE IS FREE UNTIL ALL OF
US ARE FREE:
POWER TO GAY PEOPLE
POWER TO ALL PEOPLE.