Wild West ejects gay couple for dancing
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
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
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.
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.
Operations Director, Wild West
Texas Alchoholic Beverage Code
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.