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North End Pub Serves Up Pints of Sexism

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors, and are not subject to Media Co-op journalistic standards.

Something pretty awful happened to me Sunday night and I would feel better about it if other people knew.

This past Sunday I went out with a group of friends to a popular North End pub to take in a show by a personal music icon of mine. I hope to catch her on her next tour because unfortunately, I had to miss this show. 

What was meant to be a highly anticipated night out quickly turned into a screaming match with the owner of the pub, which resulted in me leaving before the show ever began.

My friends and I were sitting in one of those awkward chair formations that occur in small but crowded rooms. We were enjoying our pints and having a gay old time. When the opening band started playing we continued sitting and talking for a while, waiting for the main act to come on. All of a sudden I felt someone touching my back and turned around to see a middle-aged man saying something to me. I withdrew my back from his hand for all of the obvious reasons (stranger, dude, don’t touch me) but he put it back and kept saying something.

It was loud, but eventually I realized that he was asking us to move our chairs out of the way. I nodded, and looked back at my friends to send the message that we needed to move out of the way for accessibility’s sake. The man was still standing over me though, and as I noticed his smirk he said, “you look so grumpy, sweetheart, try to relax”.

My heart skipped a beat the way that they do whenever someone has called you something that they wouldn’t call another man, based on what they perceive your gender to be and their attitudes about it. In essence, I felt that old familiar pang of sexism creeping into the interaction.

He was persistent, but not because we weren’t moving over -- because I hadn’t smiled at his joke.

“You look like you have a bad attitude, honey, and that’s not the kind of attitude I want in my pub.”

I asked, “why do I have a bad attitude? Because I’m not responding to your ‘sweetheart’ or ‘honey’ or patronizing back-patting with appreciative laughter? Those aren’t my names and it’s not okay to call me those things”.

Important side note: I’m trans. I’m a genderqueer person who doesn’t identify as a woman or a man, and my presentation is pretty gender fluid. He was not only being sexist, he was also misgendering me and erasing my identity in front of all my friends and other people in the bar.

I called him on it, and that’s when things really blew up. “Oh puh-leaze, I’ve taken two feminist studies classes and I have two degrees under my belt, so don’t you try to pull that sexist bullshit with me!”

I looked over at my friend, who was as stunned by the whole interaction as I was. Everyone went silent at the sheer defensive ludicrousness of his last statement. He was embarrassed that I had had the nerve to call him out and wanted a fight to redeem his wounded ego. He said that he owns the pub, and that if I didn’t like what he was saying and doing to me that I should leave. I stood up, looked him directly in the eyes, and said, “being the owner of this pub doesn’t entitle you to this sexism. There is no excuse for how you’re talking to me right now.”

We argued for about a minute and then I grabbed my coat, left my friends, went up to the door to ask for my cover fee back. The owner followed me all the way to the door and I when asked the door attendant if he could hear this and believe that it was happening. The last thing I heard the owner call me was a "cunt witch".

I may have missed the show, but I won’t be missing that pub.


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Comments

North End Pub Serves Up Pints of Sexism - rebuttal

I would like to respond to the article, "North End Pub Serves Up Pints of Sexism" that was published in "The Halifax Media Co-op". My name is Dimo Georgakakos and I am the owner/ manager of Gus' Pub & Grill. I am going to refer to the person who wrote the article as "Trans X". Trans X describes her/ himself as trans, genderqueer, and gender fluid. Fair enough. I will use the same terminology that the author of the polemic used to describe her/ him self. I wish the English language had a more accurate way of describe this individual, or better yet, I would have used the person's name if I knew it. I will use the term "her" only when I have to, for grammatical reasons, and mean no disrespect by it. My first impression of this person at the time was a well dresses young lady with an very short bob haircut.
I have a way of dealing with these types of people at Gus' Pub; I treat them like human beings. I approach the management of Gus' Pub in a very personal way and I feel it is an extension of me and my values. This is not a corporation. This is a privately run family business. I take personal responsibility for everything that happens there, good and bad.
What happened this past Sunday was unfortunate, but it is not how Trans X describes it. Here is my experience: I walked into my bar to find just over 100 people that had come out for a great set of bands. I immediately came to a roadblock of 6 chairs in a laneway halfway through the bar. We purposely take out 1 or 2 tables in that vary spot when it's busy so that customers can move around. I assumed these people had just picked up some chairs and put them in an 'empty spot'. It happens sometimes. I leaned down and tapped the 2 people closest to me on the back and asked if they could "please scootch in." Trans X turned around, looked at me up and down, scrunched up her face with a very sour look, and turned back around without a response. I bents down and asked again if they could please move their chairs in because people could not get by. Again, Trans X turned around, looked at me with an annoyed sour face and said "why are you bugging me" ( or us. I don't remember). I said I was the owner and people could not get by. Again Trans X looked at me like I had done something very wrong, turned away and ignored me. At this point, my years of experience told me that this would be a "tough customer". No worries I thought. I had been in this type of situation many times and accepted the challenge of disarming an unreasonable customer and making them a friend and ally. I bent down and said " I don't want to turn this into a hassle, sweetheart, why do you have to be so negative. We are all here to have a good time. I'm just asking you to move your seats." Well, wrong choose of words I guess. (For the record I call a lot of people "sweetheart". I use it because I don't know every customer's name. I also use it as a term of endearment and never in a condescending way. Sometimes I even call my male customers that. It makes us laugh. I also call my 6 year old son that for what it's worth.) Trans X went ballistic. "How dare you call me "sweetheart". Just because you own the bar doesn't mean you can call me sexist names. What makes you think you are entitled...etc etc" You get the picture. I said "it was not meant as a sexist comment and I am not a sexist. I'm married, I have a lot of strong women around me, I have even taken courses at Dal that had to do with feminist studies." I was basically throwing all my truths at Trans X to try and convince her that I was not the monster she thought I was for saying sweetheart. Trans X would have none of it. She started yelling and firing every chauvinistic bomb she could think of at me. She had become an angry hammer in search of nails. She acted as if I was the creepy, middle aged, handsy, man she described in her blog.
I am a person. And what's more I am a proud person. I am proud of my values, proud of myself, and proud of my thoughts. I had enough of Trans X. I told her she couldn't just go throwing those kind of accusations at me. She didn't know who I was. I said I wasn't some kid at Macdonalds she could berate with impunity. She said she would leave and wanted her money back. I said no problem. She then said she wanted to stay and watch the band. I said " too late, you've cast a negative cloud over the whole bar and used me as a punching bag. Now you have to leave. I walked with her to the cover charge table and asked the guy there to give Trans X her money back.
Trans X repeatedly threatened to go online and other media. I said "free country, do what ever you want." We both started yelling at each other and said our fair share of vitriol but I did not, at any time, use any sexist language or call her a "cunt witch" as she claims in her blog post. Honestly, I've never heard those two words together before and I have heard my fair share of curse words. Also, I've known since the 8th grade that it makes women unbelievable mad when you call them "cunt". I assume Trans X put that in there just because that word is a "tell" when it comes to exposing a true sexists.
I am not a sexist. Nor am I the middle aged, creepy, ignorant, handsy guy, that Trans X makes me out to be in her blog post. Rather, I had to deal with a condescending, arrogant, and mean customer, that took a simple, polite, request and turned into a misguided personal attack.
I have been managing Gus' Pub for most of my life. You'd think word would have gotten out by now if I was a sexist pig. Gus' Pub is successful and has existed for 53 years because we treat everybody with respect. Sometimes people come in with a bad attitude and I try to change them. We are not there to fill people full of beer and take their money. We are there to create memories of friends and good times that will last a lifetime. Once in a while someone comes along who decides to make me their personal punching bag. That's part of the job. In this case, my big mistake was calling someone "sweetheart." I understand that using the term "sweetheart" can, in some circumstances, be used in a demeaning way. This was not one of those cases. I would never, and have never, used it in this way and I did not deserve the the personal attack that resulted from using it.

This did not go well.

After reading the response by Dimohfx and the story by the poster it looks as though the 'rebuttle' did not fare so well.

In an attempt to sound reasonable and friendly the owner of Gus' pub just came off as calucating and mean. It seems twisted logic to feel it is ok to call everyone sweetheart cause you call your son that - I thought even when he was outlining what he first said to this person it sonded patronizing and rude.

Even if you feel like you're in the right the sort of actions here are not befitting of any local Halifax business.

Even the complete denial of what happened seems childish (and sexist), I doubt anyone would go so far out of their way to write and submit a story just to besmirch the lovable barman character that Dimohfx has created for themselves. If you were really that sweet and kind (and a learnid feminst) there wouldn't be this story? Would there? The original story must be closer to the truth than the response alleges.

And in that case - shame on Gus' pub. 

Sexist pint

I think you miss the point. Calling someone a sexist, like calling someone a racist, is a very heavy accusation. Neither one of us acted perfectly, but going from "sweetheart" to sexist was an unessassary conclusion. There was no denial on my part on how events transpired, just my point of view. And how is that sexist? Because I used the word sweetheart.
I don't know if you've been on the internet lately but people spend a lot of their time triing to besmirch other people. And just because someone takes the time to write a blog doesn't prove that they must be right.
So you say that even if I was right I shouldn't act like that in by business. What you mean is that business people should be insincer, put a smile on their face, take the cash, and take personal accusations with a gulp. Again, you missed my point. I'm trying to show you that I am sincer. In my business and in my life. I am a real person not your idea of a corporate retail robot. This is not about PR or damage control. You seem to be sceptical of everything I say. I also can't help it if you are cynical. We have all been taught to take shit from corporations while they flash us a friendly phoney smile. All I can say is that I go to work everyday and try to be a good host to my customers. Sometimes I come across an asshole like Trans X that goes too far and I don't act in the perfect way. That's no reason to call me a sexist. Most of my customers get it and I will go into work tomorrow and have to face a 99.99% success rate because I failed to be perfect. Oh well.

--

But there was denial, you flat out denied that you called this person a horrible name - suggesting they just made it up. I believe people when they say something horrible happened to them. I personally do not think someone would go this far without the push - in this case you being a jerk. I am not interested in debating via an online forum your perspective or the politics of your language. Going on and on about cold corporate culture is pettifogging the issue that someone simply thought you were being a jerk. You had your say. So go back to work and keep being the great guy you say you are.

He claims to take

He claims to take responsibility in his original post for the incident. Who are you to say he actually used that term?

He/She mentions it at the end of the original post as something he/she believes was heard as he/she left. Maybe it was something that was thought to have been heard?

I am sure there are Trans identified persons who are patrons at the pub whether regulars or one time visitors who have been in there with no trouble at all.

Just because one person says they had a bad experience doesn't mean its true. Its like looking at a review page for a 5 star restaurant and seeing one comment that rates 2 stars and making a decision to not only not go to that restaurant but back up the rating with absolutely no experience whatsoever.

Yeah, because no one has ever

Yeah, because no one has ever gone on the internet and lied about being persecuted before, and we all know that there's only one side to every story.  No one has ever made false or exaggerated accusations before, and of course defending yourself or claiming you never said something automatically means you are guilty and sexist.

I recently had a run in with HBE where I was called a coon and a porchmonkey.  Because I wrote it online it must be true, and if you deny you said it, it makes you a racist.  Wut? /s

Sorry, who has twisted logic here?

--

I cant believe people are actually going to argue that someone who claims they were spoken rudely to by someone else is just writing articles online because, you know, it didn't happen. Clearly someting wen't wrong here. I doubt they didn't like to cover charge so they made up a story of sexism.

doesnt matter whether people thing sweetheart is offensive, whatever dimo did offended this person. instead of defending their 'perspective', just apologize and move on. it is not ok to validate your behaviour if it offends someone just because it is ok in your world

I never said anyone was

I never said anyone was lying, I wasn't there, I don't know what happened other than what has been written here.  However I suspect it is somewhere between the two stories.

I doubt anyone would go so far out of their way to write and submit a story just to besmirch the lovable barman character that Dimohfx has created for themselves. If you were really that sweet and kind (and a learnid feminst) there wouldn't be this story? Would there? The original story must be closer to the truth than the response alleges.

So your saying that someone who claims to be offended is automatically right simply because of  the inherent properties of being offended?  This is ridiculous and incredibly naive... http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Gay-Server-Tip-Lifestyle-Receipt-Discrepancy-233040811.html

Even the complete denial of what happened seems childish (and sexist)

What post are you referring to here?  It seems to me that apart from certain adjectives and who the initial aggressor was both sides of the story mesh fairly well.  The only outright denial is about the term "cunt witch".  So what are you saying here, that it is sexist to deny having called someone a "cunt witch"? Again this is completely absurd, yet you are the one calling out someone else for twisted logic.

just apologize and move on. it is not ok to validate your behaviour if it offends someone just because it is ok in your world

This is not okay.  There is a limit to what is reasonable to be offended by.  Where the term sweetheart falls in that spectrum isn`t up to me to decide, but I don`t know where you or the OP get the undeniable authority to decide that either.  Many people are offended by women wearing halter tops or short skirts, abortions, marijuana use, bicyclers using streets, people wearing hats indoors, etc.  Is it up to people who do these things to apologise to anyone they might have offended?  Furthermore many people are not offended by terms of endearment and may prefer them to other more formal terms that they may find offensive.  That's not to say that it is unacceptable to be offended by such terms, however the way you deal with that offense says alot about a person, especially when the intention of whoever said it is completely disregarded. 

--

Well maybe you should talk to the people who were there. As I have. It was a Julie Doiran show. I know people who were there and the conversation was not nearly as civil as suggested. I have heard more than 2 seperate accounts (from people not involved) only after having brought it up in conversation at work. That is how noticed this altercation was. I commend someone stadning up to an owner who thnks they can touch, 'sweetheart' and call horrible (and yes, sexist, remember your opinion doesn't mater here) names. 

But yes, well done to you all for your speculation on what you belive to be true and your reductionist arguments citing stupid cases from months ago to back your points. This isn't a question of your perspectives - it is about talking to those who were there and getting facts. But hey, maybe all those people who saw it were lying too huh? Maybe they are all in on it? A conspiracy? Internet forum pseudo-essayists love this stuff. I am sure this Dimo guy has friends but that does not mean that he can't be a jerk.

But hey the outcry of support to disbelieve someone who claims wrongdoing because Dimo is a standup dude or some stupid waiter who doctored a bill is unnecessarily added to argue a point that ultimately doesn't have any relevance here is great. you are all standup folks.

Go on and write your essays they will fall on no eyes. 

 

 

--

It seems to me that certain members of society have taken it upon themselves to be immediatly and extremely offended at anything that they precieve to be even remotely a slight on their personal convictions. The reality of a bar is that it's going to be loud, people are going to be moving around, and when raising your voice doesn't get a response tapping someone on the shoulder (regardless of gender) is a completely acceptable way to get someone's attention. I've been to Gus' pub plenty, and on any busy night it's a crowded and loud place.

In addition to that from Jashburn's blog post, it sounds like they were jumping to conclusions pretty quickly about Dimo's behaviour. Unfortunately, not a everyone is aware of everyone else's gender identification. Especially when it's not obvious by the individuals appearance (If someone looks entirely female most people feel it's safe to assume they're comfortable about being identified as such). Because someone doesn't recognize another persons specific gender identity on first glance does not mean they are trying to oppress anyone. It just means they were unaware. 

While I'll agree that the use of "sweetheart"  sounds condescending, It doesn't sound like Dimo intended his comments to come off as sexist ( a word thrown around all too casually lately). From both sides it comes across that he used it as a casual term of endearment. In Jashburn's article, it sounds like instead of handling the situation (and percieved offense) as a judicial adult, they chose to use it as an opportunity to escalate a conflict.

While neither parties seem to have acted their best here, it would be great if people would take the time to evaluate situations before commiting to a battle over their personal beliefs. 

 

 Once again you’re putting

 

Once again you’re putting words in my mouth.  I never said anyone was lying, or tried to side with either party.  In fact I believe the closest I came to that was saying that the truth probably lies somewhere between the two stories.  I was merely trying to point out the absurdity of your reasoning behind wholly believing the offended parties story whilst completely disregarding the bar owner simply because people don't lie about being offended, not to mention calling the bar owner a sexist for denying he called someone a "cunt witch".  The "stupid case from months ago" was simply an attempt to quell your naivety and ignorance that is blaringly obvious in statements like "hurr durr, it's on the internet and someone is offended so it must be 100% true".  I suppose though that if Kings or whatever liberal arts school you went to couldn't get you to think about things more thoroughly than that then I don't stand much of a chance either.  However it is convenient that in the meantime you have spoken with throngs of reputable folk with first-hand accounts of the altercation so you can report back to us on how they all support your point view.  Of course who needs to address what I actually said when you can fall back on condescencion and straw men.  Class act really, another win for the team.

--

That is the point Jibraham, it is not for you to be the moral arbiter of this conversation. I, sadly, have knowledge of what happened and commneted based on Dimon's reaction. You do not have any infomraton of value to bring to the discussion. You seemingly just chime in because you have some moral obligation? I suppose your two cents are necessary when it comes to someone who claims they had something terrible said to them to validate whether that is necessary. I know people involved, so again, I remind you of this so you understand I have an insight that ou do not. Come on. The sexism in this story runs deep - and that is not as massive an allegation as you seem to expect. The fact that he was patronizing and is now discrediting what happened and casting the liar label onto someone he perceived as a 'woman' in and of itself is sexist. The posturing, the claim to knowledge (aka I have feminism classes blah blah) and then the defensivness when someone simply asks not to be touched and gets the condescending 'listen sweetheart, don't be so negative' bullshit that only a bro would give an alleged woman - is totally sexist. It is called microaggressions (look in up) and they add up to a terrible experience of sexisms that women and other identities suffer little by little everyday. It is writter about extensively. By your account and all others here, apparently even those concerns should be taken 'somewere in the middle' because believe me there are plenty of men who discredit this idea. Talk to a person who deals with this everyday. Maybe you will learn something.

 

I will believe someone who has experienced sexism first hand and having the accounts of it before I decide to brush off my superhero cloak and hit the internet forums as a means to cast my moralistic reasoning onto the ones who have been hurt. Whether or not the situation is as severe as you think it was - that doesn't matter - especially from you. My response on this article is simply to hold the owners feet to the fire and try to get him to understand, an not just pointlessly defend his wounded ego. As a means of a power grab this guy even finds it necessary to state that he owns the place. Wha a good way to establish your power. This is all so unnecessary. Clearly Dimo will not admit to his fault in this while the party in question was hurt tremendouly and humiliated in front of a number of strangers.

 

Thats good business. I am done with this back and forth Jib, we have nothing to learn from eachother.

OW!

AH! AN ESSAY HAS JUST FALLEN INTO MY EYES! I AM BLINDED!

Okay, okay but seriously. I

Okay, okay but seriously. I wouldn't want any of this to fall on deaf eyes.

Gus Pub is a great spot, and

Gus Pub is a great spot, and Dimo is a great dude. 

My two cents

After seeing the arguments here I must say I have heard nothing but good things about Gus' pub and the service there. Although this may seem like a generalization, I personally believe that anyone identifying themselves as transgender should be desensitized to certain non-derogatory terms as it is confusing and they need to learn what is sexist and what is not. You can't go around claiming that anyone who mistakes your gender identification is sexist.

I have been a bartender and waitress in the past, I have also been a loyal customer to many bars and pubs I hear the term "sweetheart" or "sweetie" thrown around a ridiculous amount. I have called patrons that, both male and female; I have heard other bartenders say it to customers; I have even been called so myself.

As a female I have no problem being called sweetheart, I would rather something like that rather than "hey you". It adds charm and character and makes me feel welcome. I would feel much less welcome and less inclined to be in establishment that generalizes me and just a paying character rather than welcoming me as a patron and a friend.

Personally, I believe that anyone who is convinced by the original article and believes that Dimo is "sexist" or some kind of chauvanistic monster, does not belong there anyway, and they are more than welcome to take their extremely pretentious opinions somewhere else.

Mind you, I have friends in the LGBT community who I love very much, and courtesy is a two way street, but some people need to understand that our minds are geared to biological gender, so if you look female, you will be more than likely referred to as a female, and if you look male, you will more than likely be referred to as a male. The best way to fix this could be politely correcting whoever mistook your gender identity, instead of trying to slander a long-time run family business such as Gus'.

 

 

As for you Dimo,

 

My boyfriend and I will be seeing you for a drink very soon.

Best of luck.

My two cents

After seeing the arguments here I must say I have heard nothing but good things about Gus' pub and the service there. Although this may seem like a generalization, I personally believe that anyone identifying themselves as transgender should be desensitized to certain non-derogatory terms as it is confusing and they need to learn what is sexist and what is not. You can't go around claiming that anyone who mistakes your gender identification is sexist.

I have been a bartender and waitress in the past, I have also been a loyal customer to many bars and pubs I hear the term "sweetheart" or "sweetie" thrown around a ridiculous amount. I have called patrons that, both male and female; I have heard other bartenders say it to customers; I have even been called so myself.

As a female I have no problem being called sweetheart, I would rather something like that rather than "hey you". It adds charm and character and makes me feel welcome. I would feel much less welcome and less inclined to be in establishment that generalizes me and just a paying character rather than welcoming me as a patron and a friend.

Personally, I believe that anyone who is convinced by the original article and believes that Dimo is "sexist" or some kind of chauvanistic monster, does not belong there anyway, and they are more than welcome to take their extremely pretentious opinions somewhere else.

Mind you, I have friends in the LGBT community who I love very much, and courtesy is a two way street, but some people need to understand that our minds are geared to biological gender, so if you look female, you will be more than likely referred to as a female, and if you look male, you will more than likely be referred to as a male. The best way to fix this could be politely correcting whoever mistook your gender identity, instead of trying to slander a long-time run family business such as Gus'.

 

 

As for you Dimo,

 

My boyfriend and I will be seeing you for a drink very soon.

Best of luck.

Don't call me late for supper.

Wow, could anybody stoop lower than this, calling someone sweetheart, has got to be the lowest of the low.

Facepalm needed now.

What ever happened to 'sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

As far as I'm concerned you can call me anything you like but please don't call me late for supper!

Talk about an overreaction

As someone with no vested interest in this story and who knows no-one involved...

And ignoring the final epithet for now... (if it was indeed said)...

What a collosal overreaction by the punter in the pub. "Sweatheart" is a common term used in pubs in a lot of places. It causes offence to very few people as far as I know. "Sexist"? Oh puh-lease.

Dear writer of the original article, please get a grip. Find something worth getting annoyed about and get annoyed about it. You come across here as someone with a huge chip on their shoulder who is looking to get offended at every turn. I feel sorry for the bar owner.

To be clear, language *can* be hurtful and damaging. "Sweetheart" though? Pull the other one.

Good luck spending your life feeling offended.

 

Oh, like you would know. You

Oh, like you would know. You have to be in the two feminist studies classes and two degree club in order to realize what's really going on.

Oh, cis-sexism . . .

OK, I hope this isn't entirely disjointed, because I feel like there's a whole lot to respond to here.

1. The hell is y'alls problem? When someone is clearly hurt in an incident that has nothing to do with you, do you always jump in to defend the person who hurt them? When you see someone crying on the street do you walk up and say, "The fuck is your problem, buddy? Tough up!" One would hope not, but I guess that's the magic of the internet, right?

2. There is an english pronoun which one can use in place of he or she: they. The argument that it doesn't "work" in singular contexts is utter bullshit, e.g., "Someone broke into my house. They stole my toaster oven." If you don't know somebody's gender (and, unless you've asked, there's a decent chance you don't), using "they" is generally good practice.

3. Trans* people are subject to constant "microagressions" - people not using correct pronouns, challenging the validity of their identity ("Well, you look like a [gender]"), being told they're thin-skinned, etc. Many of these are "invisible" or "common sense" in the context of our cis-sexist world, as indicated by the hella insensitive posts on this thread. The fact is, y'all need to educate yourselves. Probably there are resources at South House (http://southhousehalifax.ca/) if you actually want learn about how to be a decent human to Trans* people in your life.

4. Dimo's initial post includes a whole bunch of the aforementioned transphobic microagressions, mentions feeling entitled to physically touch people, and generally describes being a creepy middle-aged handsy man from the perspective of a creepy middle-aged handsy man. But, really, we're talking about Dimo, whose disrespectful (put mildly) behaviour has been a constant for so many years that it's a running joke in some circles.

Hey Brad, thank you for a

Hey Brad, thank you for a glimmer of sensitive sense in this comments thread.

"He was also misgendering me

"He was also misgendering me and erasing my identity in front of all my friends and other people in the bar" - eh? When it was so loud they were struggling to hear the person speaking directly to them, everyone heard this misgendering, did they? I suppose it was loud when it suited them, and quiet when it didn't. 

 

 

Brad, When I walk up to a

Brad,
When I walk up to a person I start speaking English. If it turns out they are Spanish is it my fault? I then start speaking to them in Spanish. I don't know how many times or how many ways I can say this: I have no problem with people with different sexual constructs than mine, in fact I celebrate it. I really like it when people are different. I have been different all my life. It makes me feel I am living in a real world.
Why is so difficult for you to realize this has nothing to do with their sexual orientation.
As for touching people, yes I do it all the time. I have a greek background and that is part of my background. I don't feel "entitled" to it. Do you think I go around touching people's vaginas or something? Keep things in prospective, Brad. Taking sides in this debate is not nessasary. This is not a football game. This is real life, it is nuanced and complicated. You are not helping matters much, you are just piling on.

Caught with your fly down

Dimohfx, I think you may find a metaphor illuminating.

If you say that you don't have a problem with "people with different sexual constructs" (despite the several microaggressions in that clause), you might consider yourself an ally. You basically believe that people should be equal and you don't want to offend anyone. Good. OK. The thing is, you did offend someone -- clearly, or the original post would not have been written.

Andrew David Thaler has a great blog post where he compares being an ally and being called out on your privilege -- or not wanting to offend someone but unintentionally offending them (if you are particularly averse to the term "privilege" then just replace it with "offense" in your mind) -- to being caught with your fly down. He says it much better than I could:

"Allow me to explain. Leaving your fly down is embarrassing for you, but, more importantly, it makes those around you uncomfortable... The longer you leave you fly open, the more upset people will be. And, most importantly, unless you actively check your fly, the only way you know it’s down is if somebody tells you.

Nobody wants to wander around with their fly open and you shouldn’t want to blunder through life with your privilege unchecked. But people aren’t perfect, and you will make mistakes. So how do you respond to being caught with you fly down or called out on your privilege?

Fix the problem. Your fly is down. Zip it up. Don’t make excuses. Don’t go on a long tangent about how you just came out of the restroom and it must have slipped your mind and the zipper on these pants is just not very good. Don’t defensively demand to know why they were looking at your fly to begin with. Don’t ignore this step and move on to the next. Zip up your fly.

Thank them. When someone tells you that your fly is down; when someone calls you out on your privilege, they are doing you a kindness. No one wants the embarrassment of walking around all day with their fly open. No one should want the embarrassment of wandering through life alienating their friends and colleagues through unexamined privilege. Calling this stuff out is hard. It is emotionally draining and it is a constant uphill battle for those of less privilege. A simple thank you is the very least you can do.

Move forward. Now that the immediate offense has been addressed, you need to step back and examine why you left your fly down and what you need to do to repair any relationships that you’ve damaged. Maybe it was fairly minor and all that’s needed is a simple apology. Maybe it was a horrific error and you’ve exposed yourself to a large group, who are now mortified and uncomfortable around you. Maybe there are people who now want nothing to do with you. You need to put the effort into understanding why your actions were so hurtful and what you can do to, if nothing else, avoid repeating the same problematic behavior."

 

Now, please zip up your Goddamn fly.

Laura (and Brad)....

I lost my head yesterday with this. You've illuminated a lot for the people here to learn. I especially love the way you've really, um, simplified matters but I fear it will be for naught. It does not look like an education will be had here by the Gus' Pub brigade. The rest of the commnets will flow couched in indifference because Dimo serves a good pint or is a good 'dude.'

It is not our job to give these people (oddly including the one who apparently have the degrees under their belt) an education. So considering that, I commend you for your efforts.

Some dogs will not learn new tricks, and these ones were so quick to bite (and continue to fight) I fear a muzzle is the only solution...of course this is not me being literal.

Thank you for the fly story though. That is great. I am sure it will be refuted, so I just wanted to say - thank you. 

Let's take this analogy one step further, shall we?

If we can liken Mr. Bartender's behaviour in the matter to "leaving his fly down", then let's talk about the original poster's behaviour.

It's as if she has taken this innocuous event of being caught with a zipper open, and turned around and publically accused him of sexual harassment.  She has sullied the name of his establishment as a result of her feelings being hurt from a case of mistaken gender on his part.

Microaggressions?  Really?  is that what you call an innocent mistake?  If we've come this far in acceptance and tolerance that you get this upset over something completely trivial like this, then why don't you focus your efforts on the poor souls in Russia who are being killed?

Far be it from me to tell this to a transgender person, and someone defending their immature actions, but both of you need to grow a pair.  This is the real world, not your cliquish Women's Studies class at University.  Not everyone is going to know what pronouns to use when addressing you, and next to no one is going to ask you what they are.

So before going outside into the real world, make sure you have your big girl pants on.  Oh, and when you get them on...  remember to zip up your fly.

Far be it indeed!

That you continue to intentionally misgender the original poster speaks volumes as to your sincerety in addressing this. I would go so far as to say that it crosses the line from microaggression (which tends to be a product of ignorance) to outright bigotry.

Further, while it's nice to point out how bad things are in Russia, especially in light of the international community's de facto endorsement of institutional homophobia with regards to the Sochi Olympics, let's talk about the lives of trans* people right here. According to statistics for Ontario, 1 in 5 trans* people has experienced an assault or sexual assault because of their percieved gender nonconformity. More than half have an income of less than $15,000, and 45% report having to present as their gender assigned at birth in order to remain employed. 77% have considered suicide, and 45% have made an attempt.

So, you know what? This isn't just "an innocent mistake" - it's part and parcel of an overall social climate that discriminates against trans* people, with very real and devestating consequences.

Please, educate yourself before spouting off.

Misgendering the genderfluid?

I think I did pretty well at speaking to this individual given how their gender is fluid...  Perhaps if they are offended that I misgendered them as a she, then they can come back later when they are a she and read it again?

I don't have the patience to ask people what pronouns I'm supposed to use.  If they are offended that I make a wrong assumption so be it.  I have people calling me on the phone who think I'm the opposite gender, and I don't throw a hissy fit.

BTW, glad you mentioned the problems that trans people have in our own country.  I'm also glad that you're ranking someone using the wrong pronouns to their physical assaults.  I'm sure they're really appreciative of you making that connection and trivializing their assaults.

You should really think before speaking.  

Rational arguments for an irrational person...

Brad, do not waste your time. This is precisely the sort of mindset that will bang its head up against this forum and vomit their ignorant beliefs all over the thread.

No one sullied the name of the establishment msPrissyPants (a further misogynist and obviously thrown together account strictly to comment on this) Dimo outed himself as the person involved and named his own pub. Catch up, OK?

Also, yes, microaggressions, the adding up of little shit people have to deal with on a daily basis from small-minded folks like yourself who speak well before thinking or sadly, think, and this is the garbage that comes out. It isn't trivial when it destroys somesons sense of self - it has a culminating effect. Leave it to people who seem as (again) small-minded as you to critisze how some folks have learned about this and applied the knowledge to the real world because real people are getting really hurt.

Must be those stupid book-learnin' school folk huh! Geez, wake up, luddite.

While you are on your tantrum, storm about Halifax telling all the people living below the poverty line to stop complaining and asking for handouts because it is worse in Ethiopia.

My goodness. Some people are just, well, stupid as hell. 

And as far as this 'patience is a two way street' liberal nonsense goes. Clearly this is the perfect example of how you can't calmly and rationally talk to some people because they simply do not and will not ever understand.

To all the people like this, please stop trying to pull us all back into the cave with you. Drag your knuckles the hell away.

Calmly and rationally?

Calmly and rationally, eh?  Just like the author of the original post?  Hilarious.

And I will be critical of small-minded people who have been doctrinized by this nonsense, and regurgitating it unironically.  Want to know why "some people will never understand"?  Because it doesn't check out, logically.  

Everyone is so quick to be oppressed, play the victim, and get their 15 minutes of fame and attention because they know they ain't gonna get it with that social science degree they spent their parents' hard earned money on.

So go ahead, keep trying to spread your new religion of oppressor/victim.  You'll soon find it doesn't sit well in the real world where not everyone is in on your brainwashed circlejerk.  Reality is a harsh mistress, and you'll be wise to wake up sooner rather than later.

Kinda make you wonder when you bash us liberals.  If you're not a liberal yourself, what does that make you?

--

No, only a few people do not understand. Idiots. That is what I said. 

No one plays the victim/oppressor card for fun, you're one sick person if you actually believe that. Take that idea to its logical conclusion and see if it makes sense. Do it , really, think for a minute or two.

I am sure the anonymous poster is enjoying their 15 minutes of fame, AKA being further harassed by morons, like yourself. What a wonderful motivation to call someone out huh? It is stunning how obvlivious you are. Doctrinized? Ha. Hahahaha.

Anyway, go on with whatever you're going to say. We obviously have nothing to learn from each other so let us not waste our time huh?

I know how vindicated you will feel with the last word - so go on - have at it.

The last word?

Well, if I'm allowed the last word, I think it's only fitting that it be the word that started this whole thing off, don't you, sweetheart?

Patience is a two way street

I am a young person who identifies as queer and have had my share of misunderstandings with people being disrespectful, but something that I think is important is the need for people to recognize that sensitivity is a two way street.

I'm not saying that the owner should have touched the author, or that he should have used those belittling titles either, but I think if we want to move forward with these kinds of issues, we need to deal with these scenarios with patience and integrity. This current generation is much more sensitive than any of those that have come before us--and I think that is for the better of everyone. I believe that there are a lot of issues surrounding gender identity and perceived stereotypes that still need to change, but I find that my age group is much more open to learning about lifestyles that are outside the heteronorm that many people have grown up with. 

Maybe I am missing pieces from the story because I wasn’t there, but it doesn’t seem like the situation was dealt with in a calm and informative way that it could have been. I know that bars are noisy, sweaty venues that aren’t the easiest places for lectures, but aggression is only going to be met with more aggression. I respect that this must be a frustrating experience to have to endure day after day, but if everyone continues to act as if we are all being attacked by unintentional terms, then we are getting nowhere.

If you expect people to be sensitive to you, you should be sensitive to them as well. I have met the owner of this establishment before, and I don’t think he was trying to offend anyone, just make space in a noisy, crowded bar that had lost any semblance of a fire-code acceptable exit. The reply given to the owner was loaded and accusatory, when it seems like the original comments made were not trying to offend.

I know that not everyone will agree with me, and I accept that. I don’t think the way that the situation unfolded was necessarily appropriate, but turning genuinely unknowing words (I'm referring to 'sweetheat' here) into a reason for aggression is certainly not going to change anyone’s perception either. 

Dimo, don't let the always-offended get you down

Keep fighting the good fight.  A friendly suggestion: don't apologize to the offendees in this post/thread.  This is a great read about why:

http://alfredmacdonald.com/2012/07/18/pr-disaster/

"An apology does the following things:

  • It cedes authority to the person asking for the apology.
  • It admits you were wrong.

Here is something it does not do:

  • It does not make you look better, even if you already look bad to begin with."

Original poster is absolutely ridiculous

This is the stupidest post I have ever read on Facebook, and the original poster is one of the reasons I'm beginning to hate Halifax more and more.

I'm completely on the side of the Gus' Pub manager. The "He/She' and a bunch of her probably "hipster" friends, took up a walking lane with their chairs because "they do what they want" and when the manager nicely asked them to move, you first act like a rude bitch, then you pick out that he used the word "Sweetheart" and caused a huge ridiculous scene for absolutely no reason.

 

I hate you, you friends, and everything you stand for. If I was at the pub that night and saw this, I probably would have spit in your "He/She" face. 

 

Way to try and slander a bar for "sexism" because you were in the wrong, and when he tried to fix a problem you jump to this whole sexist role, like fuck you you dumb "He/She", whatever the hell you are. Fuck I hate people like you. Feel free to leave Halifax anytime you wish and never come back.

Even if the original account

Even if the original account is out of proportion, does that really give you the right to be such a hateful bigot? Like....you HATE them? For real? I bristle at radical politics too, but it doesn't give me clearance to wish harm to another person. You're some kind of scary, dude. Maybe all this hostility is why the OP has their back up, because there are some scary, hateful people in this city (hint: it's you). 

Wow - this is abusive and

Wow - this is abusive and threatening. Totally uncalled for, no matter how strongly you feel about this. OP, I'm so sorry you are being targeted like this.

OP is pretty fucking dumb

So I can understand that some people have a right to stand up for what they believe in but If you look like a woman, and talk like a woman then you're a woman. That's all there is to it.

Furries for example consider themselves to be Humans but they are also considered, among their colleagues, to be a sub section of human and that although they are human they are also their "Fursona." Furries are the most ridiculed fetishists around even though they see themselves as being part animal. You think that's ridiculous but it's the same with OPs situation.

Most Furries could give a shit about what anyone thinks of them and they love themselves and others for who they are and don't feel entitled when someone doesn't call them the name of their fursona or that they don't have a Human, Fox, Horse etc option on work application forms because the vast majority of them aren't entitled cock suckers.

Now take note because I'm only going to say this once: OP is an entitled little CUNT. You make the bar owner sound like hitler and you're fuckin Anne Frank. I'm sure not all gender fluid people are like this and now that I think about it I probably should be a bit more sensitive because you have to be a special kind of asshole to fabricate a story and then put it into publication.

Feel free to quit your job

~oni

Are you also of the opinion

Are you also of the opinion gay marriage makes people wed their pets? What on earth do furries and transgender people have to do with each other? It doesn't even make sense, it's not the same issue. You realize calling the poster a cunt is pretty much proving their point more than you're refuting it. Maybe this fight didn't go down in exactly the way it's outlined above, maybe it did. The bar owner's response was poor and disrespectful, to be sure. But where do you get off treating a person, any person, like that? Stop being a dick. 

How dare you? Disagreeing

How dare you? Disagreeing with someone's perspective does NOT give you the right to use slurs and verbally abuse them. Also, one would hope this would be obvious (apparently not) but furries are not the same as trans people. Fetishes and gender identity are not the same thing? Is this not common sense?

Surprised to learn happened at Gus'es pub.

Hello,

 

I had been reading this article and all the comments fallowing the article. I just want to say that I had been costurmer at gus'es pub a few time. I had found I was treated with respect at this pub. For that reason I was surprised to learn that this has actually happened.  It is unfair that this has happeend. I just hope Gus'es pub does not loose business over this article. Gus'es is a great Neighbourhood meeting spot, as well as a bar. I personially have alot of respect for this place.

 

kendall Worth

I have read this story and

I have read this story and the subsequent comments and watched as my disappointment for both sides has gradually grown.

I don't know either of the parties involved so I have no personal investment in this situation but I still feel the need to offer my input for what little it may be worth.

 

While I am part of the LGBQT community, I have witnessed some unfair assumptions over the years both from friends and from other people I know about what we expect from people who aren't as familiar with different things we deal with. Now, I'm not trans and while I do have some friends who are, there was still a point of learning and familiarization I had to have when they first came out to me.

I don't think it's fair for us, no matter what portion of the community we consider ourselves a part of, to expect people to automatically know or be aware of certain qualities we feel they should know. We speak ill of ignorance but we're all guilty of it in one way or another depending on our perspective.

Every group, minority or otherwise, experiences their own troubles that we expect the overall population to be aware of, but for those groups who are less represented, that awareness is harder to come by. Unfortunately for people who are trans, we're still in the early stages of educating and because things like gender-neutral pronouns are difficult concepts for people to understand, I think it's important to withhold any sort of anger toward them if there is a willingness for these people to rise above their own ignorance.

Ignorance is only a bad thing is people aren't willing to learn from it.

Is it reasonable for us to expect everyone to use "they" when we meet a person for the first time who we aren't sure identifies as male or female? Some people don't like "they" and would prefer "zee", for example. Some people view gender as more fluid and their own gender identity changes from day to day. Some people are just really strict with grammar and use "they" only as a plural pronoun, making them feel stuck and confused.

My point is is that everyone is different and everyone has different preferences and even if we were to adopt one way, there is always the chance that someone is going to be offended. Unless we know the person is purposely being ignorant, wouldn't it be better to take this feeling of offensiveness, with the understanding it was given with well-meaning intentions, and turn it into a point of educating?

My biggest issue with the case specifically above is just how quickly it went from being an opportunity of education and instead became a case of "us vs. them". That mindset will never end because no side will admit defeat - and defeat is the right word here because it has already become a battle in which both sides want to win.

I'm not picking sides in this particular instance. I believe there are three sides to this story and unfortunately the third side is the one we will probably never get so rather than pointing the two sides we do have against each other, someone could try to reason to both. Stop being defensive and stop trying to be right while proving the other wrong. There has to be some common ground and understanding to be had.

Good luck!

Hello Meggy21,   I was

Hello Meggy21,

 

I was reading your comment. I really like what you said in your comment.

 

Good Job!

 

Kendall

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