HomeFocusCommunityBusinessesEventsLinksContact Us

 


San Antonio
Texas
National
World
Features
Entertainment
Movie Reviews
Editorials
Focus

Business Directory
Bars & Saunas
Social Organizations
Community Organizations
Health Services
Religious Organizations
Events

Wild West ejects gay couple for dancing together
QSanAntonio.com, November 17, 2012

QSanAntonio received an email from a reader who says that on November 4, she witnessed a gay couple being asked to leave the country western bar Wild West, located at 21025 Encino Commons. It seems like the club's management has an aversion to gay men dancing together at their establishment.

This is the second time in as many years that someone has complained about Wild West. In 2011, QSanAntonio reported on a gay couple being told they would have to leave the club if they continued dancing together.

Hello,

My name is Catherine Escalante and I am writing to you in response to a post in 2011 about a gay couple threatened to be kicked out of Wild West on Evans for dancing together.

This type of situation makes my skin crawl as it is both offensive and downright unlawful to allow workers at the country club to kick out gay couples for dancing.

I was also writing because my fiance and I were attending Wild West when a similar incident like the one in 2011 occurred. This incident occurred on November 4th 2012.

A gay couple was dancing together and having a blast just like everyone else. About 5 minutes later I go to say goodbye to my brother who is there as well and I pass by the gay couple who is being talked to by a manager. I overhear that he is asking them to leave.

When we were leaving the facility the gay couple did as well and by the look of it they were extremely upset. To see something like this happen makes my heart ache. I can't imagine someone telling me and my fiance that we could not be together just like everyone else and enjoy our time.

I am writing as a concerned citizen and inquiring if there are any actions that can be taken against the bar because this seems to be a reoccurring situation.

One more comment. None of the girls that were dancing together quite vulgarly were asked to leave so in turn the discrimination against gay male couples seems to be the issue.

Thank you for your time. I truly hope that incidents like these will become a thing of the past. However, I know there is ignorance to be fought against.

Catherine Escalante


Country western bar threatens to eject gay men who danced together
QSanAntonio.com, June 16, 2011

Two gay men say they are angry and upset at the treatment they received when they tried to dance together at Wild West, a country western bar on San Antonio's far North side.

On its web site Wild West describes itself as a "high class country bar." According to the web site, "It is the first all new country nightclub to grace the San Antonio landscape this century."

On Thursday, June 9, Kevin Abrams and Calvin Smith were out having a drink at Silver Screen, a bar next door to Wild West which is at 21025 Encino Commons. A friend of Abrams texted him that he was at Wild West so Abrams and Smith headed over there.

Smith says that all was going well until Abrams suggested they dance. "At first I was very reluctant, because I don't like dancing, but he ended up dragging me onto the dance floor," he says. "As we were dancing one of the staff came up to us and told us that we needed to stop. I simply looked at him and said 'Nope, we are having fun.'"

The two men continued dancing when the staff member returned and once again asked the couple to stop dancing. Smith says, "The staff member came back around and pointed to someone off the dance floor and told me that if we didn't stop dancing he, the guy he was pointing to, the manager, was going to kick us out. I told him, 'I don't fucking care. Let him try to kick us out.'"

Abrams, who is hearing-impaired, says he had taken off his hearing aids because of the loud volume of the music in the club. He recalls that he was having trouble understanding what the staff member was saying to Smith.

The two men left the dance floor to talk with the manager. "He told me that he can't have us dancing together because it has started fights in the past and if we continued he was going to kick us out," says Smith. "I told him that was not my problem that if we wanted to dance he couldn't stop us. He said 'We have the right to refuse service to anyone.' I told him that was bullshit and that we have a right to dance and he couldn't stop us."

"The manager got in my face trying to intimidate me and yelled at me that I needed to calm down. Yes I was visibly upset but I wasn't yelling or making a scene. He was," says Smith.

"The manager was being extremely rude to Calvin by practically shouting in his ear and his body language was very aggressive," says Abrams. "I tried to get the man's attention by lightly tapping his shoulder to let him know to look at me when he's talking to me so I can read his lips, but he shouted 'Don't fucking touch me!'"

Smith said the manager told them that some of the people in the bar were "backwoods cowboys" and they would "kick his ass." "I told him that I wasn't the only gay person in town and that these cowboys didn't scare me. If they wanted to fight then so be it."

According to Smith, the manager said he was trying to avoid having the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission close the bar down because of fights. The manager went on to tell the men that if they continued dancing, they would be asked to leave the bar.

"We finally agreed to just get off the dance floor and go sit in our little corner and just stick to ourselves. Just so we wouldn't cause anymore problems," says Smith. He adds that several gay couples who were in the bar came up to the two men and spoke words of support. "I was surprised by how many lesbians and gays were in the place."

"As you can imagine, I was highly pissed off," says Abrams. "Both Calvin and I were calm but upset. We returned to the bar to have a drink and cool down. I noticed that there were two other guys who were dancing together (I don't know if they were gay or not) in a drunken manner. It is ironic that all the women who were dancing together didn't get singled out."

"I happen to be black, gay and deaf," adds Abrams who says he noticed he was the only black person in the club. "I can't help but wonder if race was a factor. You would think that in 2011, public places would be more open-minded. Sadly, homophobia seems to be alive and well in Texas. I have never felt so insulted that something so trivial as a dance between two people would be something I would have to fight for."

Wild West responds to complaint
QSanAntonio.com, June 16, 2011

On June 16, QSanAntonio received the following email from the operations director at Wild West. The email came with an attachment outlining the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code - Section 22.12 titled "Breach of Peace."

This particular incident is a historical first for us and we certainly have no policy regarding same sex couples in any regard. We do however follow to the letter, the code of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and as a Mixed Beverage licensee are obligated to maintain the peace and specifically, take necessary measures to prevent a breach of the peace at all times.

Ours, being a Country and Western entertainment venue, cater (most prominently by way of music and decor) to the “Cowboy” crowd. On this particular evening we had an inordinate amount of complaints resulting from the same sex couple dancing with each other in a manner that was interpreted by the complainants as offensively inappropriate. At that point we identified a potential disruption of the harmony in the club and asked the two men to stop.

If our manager appeared to be insensitive it was unintentional and we extend our apologies to Mr. Abrams & Mr. Smith for that miscommunication.

Cordially,
Wayne Morris
Operations Director, Wild Wes
t

Texas Alchoholic Beverage Code (excerpt)
Sec. 22.12. BREACH OF PEACE. The commission or administrator may suspend or cancel a package store permit after giving the permittee notice and the opportunity to show compliance with all requirements of law for the retention of the permit if it finds that a breach of the peace has occurred on the licensed premises or on premises under the control of the permittee and that the breach of the peace was not beyond the control of the permittee and resulted from his improper supervision of persons permitted to be on the licensed premises or on premises under his control.