Canadian Woman Settles Complaint with Montreal Gay Bar

You may remember in May of last year I posted about Audrey Vachon, a Canadian woman who filed a complaint after being thrown out of Montreal’s Le Stud bar because it has a “men only” policy.

StudThe Canadian Press reports that the bar and Vachon have settled the discrimination complaint: “Bar Le Stud and Audrey Vachon, the 21-year-old woman who launched the complaint, agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential. Quebec’s human rights commission says businesses have the right to attract a particular clientele but not to discriminate by excluding other customers. Vachon sat down at the bar with her father for an afternoon beer a year ago when staff told them women were not allowed. Le Stud owner Michel Gadoury said at the time women had been banned most nights since the bar opened 11 years ago.”


  1. Strepsi says

    I live here and I wonder how the shoe fits on the other foot. I am going down tonight to demand to be let into my local women’s shelter!

  2. brett says

    Yeah, banning women, not so cool. Makes us look bad.

    There’s a bar in chicago called charlies that charges $5 cover for men, $20 for women. I wonder if they could be sued.

  3. Wes says

    “There’s a bar in chicago called charlies that charges $5 cover for men, $20 for women. I wonder if they could be sued.”

    Actually, isn’t it usually the opposite in most cases? In my experience, most places (that aren’t gay oriented) charge men significantly more.

  4. Andy says

    Sign, can’t we have a few spaces that are men-only? The Dutch and the French don’t seem to have a problem with it. Next the women will want to hang around the bathhouse.

  5. SPOT says

    Well, looks like some people are ok with discrimination as long as it’s against someone else.

    We’re talking about a BAR here, not some gender specific emergency service.

    Women don’t barge into fatherhood support groups.

    Businesses SHOULD NOT discriminate. You can’t have it both ways you idiots.

  6. Kesey says

    Really? I’m disappointed in the response here. I’m one of the very few (I would imagine) women who read Towleroad. I think Andy finds truly interesting content and the discussions are usually enlightening & entertaining. Anyhow. I’m gay, I live in LA and I appreciate diversity in the crowds around me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love being surrounded by women but my night would certainly never be ruined by the presence of a guy in our midst – and I think it’s pretty closed-minded to be exclusionary. Aren’t we fighting for acceptance and openness? The ability, in a sense, to not have to be hidden in “safe” spaces? If you want to have a guys-only space, have a party. Don’t invite any women. Bars are public places and shouldn’t have “no ‘insert minority’ allowed” signs.

  7. DirtyFaggot says

    yeah, that’s pretty lame. And what is it with Charlie’s?? The one in Phoenix wouldn’t let my sister get down to her unmentionables on Monday Undie’s night because apparently only men can take advantage of the 1/2 price special. She specifically wore a cute matching set for the occasion. You other fags who can’t handle being around women when you’re cruising each other should get over it. If there’s a woman in the bar and you feel weird giving head in front of her, do the decent thing and just go out to your car and blow him.

  8. says

    I agree that she shouldn’t have been kicked out. But, as a part-time Montreal resident, I know Le Stud very well, and it’s a very odd place for a woman to have a beer with Dad, trust me. It’s a bear/leather bar, and it looks like a bear/leather bar. The Dads there don’t come with daughters. There are many other bars within Le Village (Montreal’s compact gay strip) with a mixed clientele that would surely have been more comfortable for them, so their choice seems fishy. But, hey, if she preferred Le Stud, drink up.

    On a side note, there was a ruckus over admitting women to L’Aigle Noir, another more leather bar on the same strip. The women who went there tended to be leather dykes, so it wasn’t uncommon to find them whipping the guys. I personally liked the dynamic and liked having them there, but some men begged to differ.

    It’s a fine line between protecting a space for loyal patrons and being exclusionary. There are plenty of clubs in Montreal where I would feel out of place because I’m gay and over 30. Should they kick me out? No. (Tho they might.) But why would I want to be there? A little common sense . . .

  9. kesey says

    Are bathhouses open to the public? (I don’t know. I’ve never chosen to go to one…) If they are then, yes, women can go. Would they? I hope not. The point is choice and, as Ernie says, a little common sense.

  10. Strepsi says

    Comparing a gay bar to a women’s shelter is NOT offensive, sorry. They are safe places to be who you are without fear of mockery or violence. Where can 2 men talk intimately? In a park apparently people call 9-1-1. In a mixed bar in Montreal, myself talking to another gay man (NOT making out, just talking) got his cheek slashed with a broken beer bottle for being a faggot. Gay men need safe places to hang out, so do women. Sorry it has to be places of business like bars, but there you go. Apples and apples. The women here should be more understanding that sometimes straight woman trumps gay man. We need safety too.

  11. matt says

    “Comparing a gay bar to a women’s shelter is NOT offensive, sorry.”

    Wrong again, bucko. Women in shelters are there because of repeated systematic abuse by heterosexual men. They are not there because someone in a bar didn’t like them being female so irrationally slashed them in a one-time fit of anger with a broken beer bottle.

    Our fellow gay men do not need to go to bars to hang out. Some of us form non-alcoholic social clubs, softball & bowling teams, etc

    As to the chick in the news story, unless she was out to deliberately stir the shit, I think it’s kind of sweet that her apparently gay dad wanted her to come have a beer with him in his fav hangout. That she accepted shows guts on her part.

  12. Jackie says

    As a woman who reads this board daily, I had to read a few of these comments twice. It’s not like she was assing her way in between two guys dancing, she was having a lunchtime beer with her dad.

    On that note, ::shocker:: some women do not like to go to bars where they’ll be felt up by skeezy guys, and prefer to hang out (dance, drink, whatever) with their gay friends. As long as I’m not hurting anyone, I don’t see the problem. I hadn’t thought that my presence at the gay bars was a huge issue, but now I’ll think twice before I go.

  13. Dakota says

    she was having beer with her dad! i would have sued myself…for fucks sake give her a break…

  14. UnionStayshyn says

    Sorry but did someone just compare a gay bar to a woman’s shelter? Really?
    Stepsi (and I honestly feel foolish even addressing you), for your analogy to work the bar would have to ban heterosexuals (read: 2+2=4, logic, reason, etc.).
    That said, why does reading the Towleroad (love the blog!) comments often have me wondering if the greatest threat to the gay male community is an epidemic of insanity?

    (And what’s with the one dude that comments on it, Matt, referring to the woman as a ‘chick’?)

    Jebus, I don’t need you to save me from being gay, but don’t let me catch the CRAZY!

  15. Querelle says

    WTF? I took a female friend to Le Stud a couple of years ago during Divers Cite (Montreal Pride) and she got served! She was even amazed at how friendly and welcoming the boys were. She hadn’t expected that in a leather bar. Too bad my friend wasn’t asked to leave……..she could have gotten a nice cash settlement!

  16. sid says

    I hadn’t thought that my presence at the gay bars was a huge issue, but now I’ll think twice before I go.

    Posted by: Jackie

    Well now you know. Can you as a woman accept that some gay men (not all!!!) enjoy an all male space and feel safe there — just like you feel safe in a gay bar as a straight woman — your selfish motives for coming into gay space seem to be OK but gay men who seek out all male safe space are not — so half or more of the men in a gay bar have their evening ruined by a the selfishness of a few women! Why not post women-friendly on gay bars that are — and women go there and be welcomed! Bars that are more old fashioned or sex oriented or leather can be non-women. Why do I know that most women would not accept this. By the way, boylike lesbians are sneaking into gay men’s bathhouses to blow gay men and then laugh about it later with their friends about how they tricked gay men. Real mature.

  17. says

    Jackie, you can come have a drink with me and my friends. We are not afraid of women, like Strepsi and Sid seem to be.

    Aside: Most. Bizarre. Comments. Ever. Guys, the vagina dentata thing is a myth!

  18. SPOT says

    All you men who are complaining about women in “men’s” spaces:

    If it weren’t for the fact that you are gay, you would be conservative christians.

    Proof? You’re using the same arguments that the right uses to fight against anti-discrimination laws.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves, but no one who makes such stupid comments, such as comparing a gay bar to a women’s shelter, has that level of self awareness to be ashamed.

  19. Jackie says


    I’m not trying to cockblock, if that’s what you’re worried about. I promise ūüėČ

    I go to gay bars because I happen to be friends with a lot of gay men. It’s not like me and my girl friends are hitting up all of the gay bars in the city for fun.

    I don’t even know why I’m still on this. I’ve never had a problem, and I don’t expect to.

  20. says

    Well I’ve been to LE STUD and they’ve got the best house music in the gay village so I understand why the young lady wanted to troll behind her father. Granted, the clientele is older leatherheads and therefore they cater to men mostly but they shouldn’t be that exclusive, IMHO. She should keep suing their leather caps off!!

    Gay bar,bathouse and…women SHELTER?? You have got to be kidding!!

  21. AaronJ says

    Hmmm. Interesting discussions. I do think that ANYONE who excludes ANYONE ELSE from a business, specific clientele or not, is not very open-minded. Some gay bars in some of the bigger US cities are now opening their businesses to ‘outsiders’ once a week. Lets them see how the other half lives.

    It’s NOT “Us vs. Them”. It’s US Together. Good to be non-exclusionary. Good to foster good business. If someone is disrespective to someone else, show ’em the door. Otherwise, co-habitate peacefully, eh?

  22. SID says

    So we should all be mixed up together sort of like forced equity socializing. I think then a bunch of straight men should be allowed to attend the Michigan Women’s Music Festival as well as all the lesbian bars in any town plus the lesbian bathhouses put on a few times a year in bigger cities — let’s see — how about women’s groups of any kind that segregate against men — get the straight men in there — discrimination works both ways. Why do women love wrecking gay men’s fun!

  23. SID says

    ps Jackie — I have never heard the term “cockblock” — I presume it is some heteronormative term used by straight women?

  24. Shane says

    Matt – so you are saying women can’t be abused by their same-sex partners? Or are you saying that if they are they don’t go to shelters?

    What’s good for the gander is good for the goose – you have women-only establishments, why not men-only?

    She was just after money.

  25. Jackie says

    Sid, I completely agree with that statement. I believe that allies- no matter what gender, sexual orientation, race, whatever- consider themselves as such because they wish to align themselves with any number of communities. So, if progressive-minded men want to join these women’s festivals and groups and whatever, I say why not. We should learn from people who are different than ourselves. Discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated, which I hope we can agree on.

    Oh, and by the way, I don’t enjoy wrecking the fun of gay men. I enjoy being a part of it.

  26. Duane says

    I completely disagree that everyone should be allowed to participate in everything. First of all, its a CLUB. Throughout history clubs have always been able to set its own standards for members who want to participate. This same form of “acceptable sexual discrimination” seems to be allowed around us without being scrutinized in the form of fraternities, sororities, counrtyclubs, spa and fitness clubs, and sports; Why should things be any different when a bar owner decides that they want their bar to be a men’s or women’s only club? Justice always seems to point in a women’s direction when it comes to sexual discrimination. Being a man, I if I was to complain that a lesbian club is not allowing me to participate, could I too get PAID? I need to renew my Curves membership today while a rest my case.