Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Pexels (posed by model)
Should straight people frequent LGBTQ bars? Should they review LGBTQ bars? (If the individual in question is hateful and prejudiced, or making punters feel uncomfortable, the answer to both is no, of course).
In the case of allies, however, such questions are surely more complex. They're addressed head-on, at least, by self-described heterosexual "stray" John James, in his account of London's beloved Admiral Duncan, published on MyLondon today.
For our money, the journalist's story of his wild night out at "London oldest gay bar" - although making for bizarre, surprising reading, and disappointingly failing to reference the bar's tragic history (it was the site of a 1999 nail bombing which killed three) - makes a compelling case for why straights should be allowed into the fray.
Read on and decide for yourself...
"I'm aware the idea of straight people frequenting LGBT spaces is frowned upon by some"
"I was struck by how warm and safe the atmosphere was," writes James, who identifies as straight, in his utterly glowing review.
"Everyone in the pub [was] packed tightly together and expressing themselves freely as if they were old friends," he continues, in positive exposure that will surely please the establishment.
Ordering a drink, James says he "fully [expected] to be fleeced out of the standard £6.20 and your kidney pint charge that most London pubs adopt. As you can imagine, I was quite shocked when I found that the cost of my pint was below £5."
(On reflection, we completely understand why he finds this so impressive).
Revealing he sang karaoke, was insulted by a drag queen, and "staggered out of the pub at 2am" (we've all been there, no?) he signs off by saying: "I'm aware that the idea of straight people frequenting LGBT spaces is frowned upon by some who prefer to keep the spaces safe for the community - and I completely understand their points.
"But for a night as good as that, it seems better to share the fun?"
The jury's out on that one. But one thing's for sure: we wouldn't mind a weekend partying with this guy!
The Attitude September Style Issue, is out now.