Gay Bar | Hurricanes | Natural Disasters | News | Texas

Galveston Gay Bar Becomes Place of Comfort After Hurricane Ike

Robert's Lafitte, a gay bar in Galveston, Texas, which was hit with a direct blow by Hurricane Ike, has adopted a caretaker role after the storm, according to Reuters:

Galveston"The first of two bars to reopen after Ike's onslaught on Saturday, Robert's Lafitte is a haven in the storm -- for gays, straights, anyone who needs a place to drink and find comfort. 'You can see there's not too much worry and stress on people's faces,' said Dixie Monroe, a transgender barmaid who wore a tiger-print cowboy hat and a low-cut top. Outside, Black Hawk helicopters clattered overhead and emergency teams searched for people stranded in the flooded city of 60,000 people. Up the street lay a huge field of splintered wood."

Additionally: "The bar is setting out food donated by locals for people in need. Some 20,000 people are thought to be still on the island and food and water are scarce. 'It's more than a life saver. This is like the Coast Guard,' said Brian DeLeon, a straight restaurant worker who had not visited the bar before. 'These are the people who take you up out of the water and make life livable. Once I get back to work, I'm coming back here.'"

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  1. God Bless the Gays!!

    My family has strong historical ties to Galveston, though I was born and raised in California. As soon as I can, and when Galveston is ready for visitors, I plan to take some vacation time and some cash and head down there to help the economy. Might even swing by NO while I'm on the gulf.

    Galveston was hit HARD and is gonna be hurting for a while. We still don't even know the full extent of the damage.

    The locals are gutsy, but they won't be able to do it all by themselves - and we know what a great job the federal government does with these disasters once the initial spotlight has faded...

    Posted by: MikeinSanJose | Sep 15, 2008 6:43:35 PM

  2. I love this story. But the best part is that they've been hosting Tina Turner drag and "sing-alongs" since the storm. That's brilliant!

    Posted by: crispy | Sep 15, 2008 6:43:57 PM

  3. God sent that Hurricane to rid Texas of straight people and show those who remain the strength and compassion of the homoseckshuls. Suddenly Ike seems like a good name for a gay couple's baby (boy or girl).

    Posted by: henry | Sep 15, 2008 6:58:46 PM

  4. yes, crispy, but were the drags singing "stormy weather?"

    Posted by: the queen | Sep 15, 2008 7:00:35 PM

  5. love this story

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Sep 15, 2008 7:25:23 PM

  6. ...and they serve, help and treat all people equally and with dignity and respect.

    Posted by: Chip Arndt | Sep 15, 2008 7:56:43 PM

  7. What a great story...and what a great picture, the only building left standing around a field of splintered wood. WE ARE SURVIVORS!!!

    Posted by: Timmy | Sep 15, 2008 8:19:43 PM

  8. I used to hang out there a bit when i used to live around the corner on 26th street. A REAL DIVE in the truest sense of the word. it is nice to see that "Lafitte's" is a hooker with a heart and helping those in need.

    Posted by: dolly | Sep 15, 2008 8:34:09 PM

  9. The amazing thing about Robert's Lafitte (besides their open hearts and hands in the midst of the Bible Belt that would rather they not exist - and the lack of assistance from the dozens of churches on the island) is that they are only 2 blocks up from Seawall Boulevard and still standing.

    That's not a picture of Robert's Lafitte above. Robert's is a two story with a greyish first floor and a brick second. You can see the pre-Ike building on Google maps Street View if you go to the corner of Q and 25th (towards the east end of the island) and look SW.

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Sep 15, 2008 10:30:01 PM

  10. No bigots in a foxhole?

    Posted by: anon | Sep 15, 2008 10:57:34 PM

  11. "Once I get back to work, I'm coming back here."

    Because the drinks are strong and the blowjobs are exceptional!

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 15, 2008 11:43:48 PM

  12. Lafitte's was the first gay bar I visited when I came out. It was also where I saw my first drag queen. And while it is true the bar is a dive, I always found the staff and most of the patrons friendly. (The campy drag shows were hysterical!)

    It is nice to see the bar survived and their generosity endures.

    Posted by: moby | Sep 16, 2008 12:36:46 AM

  13. As a Dallasite who visits Galveston 3-4 times a year, it's good to hear that good ole Lafitte's.. and it IS a dive in the classic sense of the word.. is open and helping out. My partner and I will be down there as soon as it's OK to do so, and we'll be pumping dollars into the local economy.

    Posted by: Paul | Sep 16, 2008 7:38:12 AM

  14. Am I reading this correctly? Lafitte's, a gay bar, is one of the few buildings still standing in Galveston? Where is the wrath of God in that? Should it not have been one of the first buildings wiped off the face of the map?

    Posted by: hot | Sep 16, 2008 8:08:27 AM

  15. This was the first gay bar I went into, as well, but at the old location. I went there and to Mary's Two, which no longer exists, when I lived on the island. During a Civil War reenactment, Robert dressed in drag and ran out of the bar screaming, "The Yankees are coming, the Yankees are coming!" Even parents with their kids in tow were laughing.

    Posted by: Richard | Sep 16, 2008 8:41:07 AM

  16. What a sweet story. That's good work they're doing. I wonder if they have a fund set up, so that people can donate money for supplies?

    "The Yankees are coming"... hehehehe

    Posted by: The Milkman | Sep 16, 2008 8:46:15 AM

  17. I love this story.

    Posted by: Dawnell_do | Sep 16, 2008 9:43:56 AM

  18. I stopped in there once and was treated to Gran Marnier for $5.00. For the life of me I can't imagine more than 100 people at once in there. Small bar, huge heart! When all this is over it's gouing to be the first stop I make on future visits to the island.

    Posted by: Robert | Sep 17, 2008 9:12:46 AM

  19. I wonder if the sanctimonious wing-nuts who were seen on TV praying to ward off Ike will see this as a true miracle that this gay bar was spared Ike's wrath and their dens of hypocrisy were destroyed. It is a beautiful thing because this is how we gay people should be getting our message out: by winning the hearts and minds of people.

    Posted by: mike | Sep 17, 2008 2:14:04 PM

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