WOMEN BOYCOTT 'CUDDLES'
On Friday, February 10th, twelve women from the Houston Lesberadas, Pointblank Times,
and Gemini Productions organizations walked out of Cuddles bar at 4714 Main St. in protest of that bar's racist admittance policy.
Five Chicana women were denied admittance to Cuddles by a white male employee because
each of them could not show two picture ID's. A black woman was denied entrance because
her ID was "too torn up," even though the ID of the Anglo woman who she was with was even
more "torn up" and that woman was allowed to enter the bar. Three Chicano men were denied
entrance for lack of proper identification, and later one woman of Japanese ancestry was
denied entrance because she could not show two ID's. This woman's Anglo friend was
allowed to enter the bar even though she showed only one ID. Three hours earlier, several
women, all Anglo, had walked into the bar without showing any ID at all.
When the twelve women discovered that at least nine persons of racial minorities had
been excluded from the bar, four of them asked to speak with the manager. They were directed to Assistant Manager Donna Elliot. Elliot told the women that Cuddles wanted no
trouble and that she had to uphold whatever policy the man at the door enforced, even
though she, as Assistant Manager, was his "superior." When asked what the bar's policy
was, Elliot stated that "we just want to have a good mix here. We don't want any minority
taking over." The women pointed out that there were absolutely no members of racial minorities in Cuddles at that time. When they asked if Cuddles always kept racial minority
members out, Elliot replied "We're not like the Old Plantation. You have to admit that
we're much better than they are."
Racism is racism. For several years, local gay bars have used ID harassment and
sexist dress codes to exclude blacks, Chicanos, and women. Houston lesbian feminists
have protested these policies on several occasions, with no support and no results.
While some gays are willing to righteously proclaim that they boycott Coors beer, it
would appear that they take political action only when they, as white gays, are effected.
As long as the gay community's Anglo majority who go to bars support these racist policies, the policies will continue. In the early 70's, the Gay Liberation Front of Houston
used a picket line successfully to break the racist policy of a local men's bar. But
that was back in the good old days, when the community still showed some sort of a
The exclusion from a public place of any person on the basis of race is a direct
violation of the public accommodations clause of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Anglo
members of a gay community who demand their own civil rights but who wholeheartedly
support, through their patronage, the bars which deny the civil rights of others, do not
deserve any support whatsoever.
As lesbian feminists, the memberships of Lesberadas, Pointblank Times, Off the Wall
Productions, and Gemini Productions are calling for an immediate boycott of Cuddles bar.
They demand that the bar immediately open its doors to all gay men and lesbians, regardless of race, and that the owners eliminate any existing sex role oriented dress codes.
They invite the newly formed Coordinating Council of Gay Organizations to join with them
in speaking out for the civil rights of all gays. If the community is not for all gays,
then there is no community, and the concept of a "Houston gay community" is nothing more
than a hypocritical farce.
Linda J. Lovell