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Gay-friendly bars celebrate Valentine’s Day

Gay-friendly+bars+celebrate+Valentines+Day
Special to The Prospector Daily

Whether you believe that Valentine’s is a religious holiday or a ploy by the greeting card companies, in  El Paso “V-day” is a celebration of the entire spectrum of love. If you’re a boy, girl or you’ve yet to decide, the row of clubs on Stanton offer a plethora of programming for LGBTQIA enjoyment.

This year, it seems like the gayborhood has scaled-back its more romantic offerings in lieu of a loud celebration.

“We’ll be giving out candies and decorating the bar,” said Dante Phillips, manager of The Toolbox. “We always have a drag show.  They’ll be performing love songs.”

And perhaps this type of celebration is warranted.

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, a Texas Federal District Court will hold a hearing regarding Attorney General Eric Holder’s support of federal benefits for same-sex couples.

Holder, in accordance with a 2013 Supreme Court decision, has issued the directive that gives same-sex couples equal recognition on the federal level. While this would not reverse the Texas constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, it would push the state to recognize marriages from other states.

Regardless, celebrating or lamenting the decision is a viable option at any of the 5 main bars on the strip.

The 8 ½ was busy putting up crepe paper hearts.  This, along with some other decorative accoutrements, will hopefully help make the mood on the year’s most romantic night.  The bar itself seems a bit worn with time though the staff is helpful and often an eye-catching distraction.

The Toolbox, as mentioned previously, will be hosting a drag show.  The bar is a very mixed scene, bringing together younger and older members of the queer community –depending on the time of day-.  Go early if the elderly are your preference and the crowd seems to grow younger as the evening progresses.

The Briar Patch is more focused on the Oscars rather than the heart.  Some drink specials will be available though they’ll likely be close –if not identical- to the usual specials on Friday nights.  The Briar has the décor the other bars on the strip lack, but unless you’re willing to mosh through hordes of people, this may not be the most intimate place to take a date.

Club Epic is bringing local and national drag celebrities to their “Valentine’s Day Affair.”  Morgan McMichaels, of Ru Paul’s Drag Race fame, will be headlining the evening.  The show begins with local talent at 11 pm.   Tickets are $10 for guests 21 years or older while 18 to 20-year-olds will have to pay a $15 cover.  A meet and greet is available with Ms. McMichaels for $5 and includes an autographed photo.

Chiquita’s Bar is around the corner from Club Epic.  It is known as one of the diviest bars on the strip but perhaps this Valentine’s Day, you’ll be caught off balance at the dim little bar – though it could be because of the unleveled floors-.  Chiquita’s staff said they’ll be decorating a bit and should have some drink specials that encourage romance.

Management from Club Alive was unavailable for comment.

The gayborhood is located in downtown El Paso on the 500 block of Stanton street.

S. David Ramirez may be reached at [email protected].

 

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About the Contributor
S. David Ramirez, Staff Reporter
S. David Ramirez is currently an English and American Literature major wrapping up his final year at UTEP. He has written for the Lakefront, the Thing Itself literary magazine, the Tejano Tribune and The Prospector. When not striving for journalistic excellence, he helps organize fandom conventions around the Lone Star State, including El Paso Wintercon and San Japan, San Antonio’s largest Japanese culture and anime convention. He hopes to spend his academic career educating the public about the dangers of Jane Austen and the medicinal benefits of reading the Brontë sisters. His research in popular culture studies has taken him across the nation and he hopes to continue presenting findings on music, media and literature at future conferences. David says his success is due to a pact with the dread Lord Cthlulhu of R’ley fame, but he may just be reading too much H. P. Lovecraft in his off time. He is currently applying to graduate schools for communication rhetoric or writing and rhetoric. If you, or someone you know, is on these admissions boards, please contact him directly.
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Gay-friendly bars celebrate Valentine’s Day