I had to say goodbye to one of the most intrinsic parts of my life this last year. It was something that was there on my darkest days, my most celebrated moments and during nearly every major life event. It was there when I took repeated shots of courage and came out to my dad, the first, second and 10th time I got my heart broken, and when I met what’s-her-name, my first one-night stand. When all else felt bleak, and I wanted to feel surrounded by friends, I would head to my local lesbian bar, T’s in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, and patronize a place that had become like my second home.
Most recently it served as the place where I held my 30th birthday party, where we closed it down only to discover that it would not be reopening again the next day. Imagine it as Cheers: less a few gentlemen with more armband tattoos and a constant loop of “The Real L Word” reruns playing on huge flat screens and there you have it, the local lesbian bar that can be found in cities across the country. Now, still thinking of a place where everybody knows your name, take away the physical bar and there goes the sense of community, the place to socialize, the place to make mistakes, the place you felt most comfortable being yourself. Keep reading »