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A Gay Scene Is Slowly Forming In North Dakota's Oil Patch

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The above image is an actual Craigslist ad for "Men Seeking Men" in Williston, North Dakota. 

As one might expect, Craigslist and Grindr are among the few ways for gay men to meet in the state's booming oil patch — the Bakken shale formation.

Vice.com drills down into the region's gay scene, beginning with the author's first-person account of a rendezvous with a roughneck: 

My one and only liaison in the oil fields of western North Dakota was with a 23-year-old truck driver. Like most such encounters in the oil patch, ours originated on Grindr, the mobile hookup app for gay, bisexual, and curious men. He sent me a photo, and we traded some biographical details. A few hours later, he was in my room at the Williston Super 8.

After our rendezvous, as the November night air dipped below ten degrees, we took shelter in his car to smoke cigarettes. I was only going to be in the state for 48 more hours, but we made tentative plans to go shooting the next day. I was less interested in exercising my Second Amendment rights for the first time than in extending our easy fling. He just needed to see whether he could get off work that day—no small task for someone accustomed to 16-hour shifts, six days a week.

Because they work such long hours, most gays in the oil patch have little time for romance, the story explains. The closest gay bar is in Winnipeg, Canada, a seven-hour drive, and workers risk harassment or losing their jobs if they come out — since few of the companies doing business there have LGBT protections: 

At Outlaws' Bar & Grill, a steakhouse in Williston, I met Jim, a 52-year-old twice-divorced Wisconsin native with two sons. Jim used to run his own advertising business, but it fell apart in the 2008 recession. After struggling to pay off his debt, he decided to move to North Dakota to take a job in what's euphemistically called saltwater disposal, the process of pumping water-like fracking waste deep underground.

"I'm pretty much in the closet," Jim told me. "I just don't want to have to deal with all that comes with it—you know, with all the questions. I think, for me, it's all about meeting Mr. Right. If I met Mr. Right, then I'd be more open." ...

During the day, Jim often cruises Grindr, looking for other "masculine" types. There's no shortage of them: the guys who sport beards and tattoos—some heavy-set, some more fit—and self-identify with the app's "rugged" tribe or insist on "masc only." Other than scouring social apps—and if you can't bear the small talk, there's always Craigslist—there aren't a whole lot of ways for Jim to meet Mr. Right.

But even in the oil patch, which may be among the last professional frontiers of gay acceptance, things are slowly changing, Vice reports. Minot, on the eastern edge of the patch, has a Pride group as well as bars with large gay clienteles, and signs of queer life are even starting to bubble up in the heart of the shale:  

There is something of a growing community in Williston at the center of the oil industry as well. Jon Kelly throws occasional house parties for his queer friends. The gatherings are small, but Kelly sees them as evidence of broader progress.

"There are the beginnings of a scene here," Kelly said. "Over the last few years, more and more people are willing to be open about it."

Read Vice's full piece here


Fire Completely Destroys Lincoln, Nebraska's Largest Gay Nightclub: VIDEO

Karma

Lincoln, Nebraska's largest gay nightclub Karma has been destroyed after a large fire erupted inside the building Saturday night. 

The Lincoln Journal Star reports:

The fire started at the club at 226 S. Ninth St. around 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

Club occupants were being evacuated from the building by 7:30 p.m., when flames were seen coming from the building.

Around 8:15 p.m., firefighters began to take defensive positions around the perimeter of the club and at 8:25 they began to form a collapse zone around the structure.

Within minutes, the roof collapsed and heavy smoke came pouring out.

10/11 News adds:

Karma1Lincoln Fire Battalion Chief Leo Benes said the business is at a total loss. Fire crews were on the scene throughout the night to control any hot spots that might appear.

Benes said fire investigators will come Sunday morning. Benes also mentioned that crews have not battled a fire this large in quite some time. 

Performers and patrons reportedly gathered across the street as the fire blazed Saturday night, with many hugging and wiping away tears. 

No word yet on how the fire began and no injuries have been reported.

Watch a news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t Aksarbent]

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Employees At San Antonio Gay Bar Brutally Attacked In Apparent Hate Crime: VIDEO

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Two employees at a popular San Antonio gay bar were brutally attacked in an apparent hate crime as they left work early Wednesday. 

SaintDaniel Ramos, an employee at the Saint Nightclub, said two men pulled up in a black Silverado and asked for jumper cables. When Ramos' co-worker turned his back to look for the jumper cables, the men attacked him. From Fox 29

"Random guys asking for our help, we were willing to help them, but then all of a sudden, it was an attack,” Ramos said.

He said the guys started punching his friend.

"I heard the commotion and went around to try to help, got hit in the face by the second guy,” Ramos explained. “Fortunately, I only got hit once. Nothing as extreme as my friend."

The friend did not want to be identified, but he told us the attackers yelled gay slurs while they pounded on them. Ramos believes his sexual orientation is the reason behind the beating.

Ramos suffered a gash below his left eye, and his co-worker reportedly was admitted to a trauma unit. 

The attack was caught on surveillance video, but the suspects are still at large and San Antonio police haven't indicated whether they're treating the incident as an anti-gay hate crime: 

"I come to work thinking that it's a gay establishment, I'm a gay individual, my boss is gay, I'm supposed to feel safe,” Ramos said. ... 

"I've never, never been assaulted this way,” he said. “Stuff like this really needs to stop. It really does."

Watch Fox 29's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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From Stonewall Inn to Stonewall Warehouse: Nation's Fastest-Growing City Gets A Gay Bar

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The nation's fastest-growing city now has a gay bar. 

San Marcos, Texas, nestled between Austin and San Antonio on Interstate 35, has been named the fastest-growing city in the US for each of the last two years by the U.S. Census Bureau — growing at a rate of 8 percent from its official 2012 population of 50,001 people. 

Back in September, San Marcos hosted its first LGBT Pride celebration. And on Wednesday night, the Stonewall Warehouse opened its doors, becoming the city's only gay bar. 

Forty-five years after the unofficial start of the gay-rights movement outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City, perhaps the opening of the Stonewall Warehouse deep in the heart of Texas is a sign of just how far we've come. Or maybe it's just a bar. 

General Manager Chris Rue discussed plans for the Stonewall Warehouse with with The University Star in August: 

When Rue attended Texas State from 2003-2007, he knew only of LAMBDA as an on-campus resource for members of the LGBTQIA community. Rue said he was not out in college for fear of being judged.

“Managing Stonewall is my way of giving back to the San Marcos community,” he said, adding that he wants to become something of a “beacon of hope” for everyone regardless of orientation. ...

As far as obstacles go, Rue said they exist but he tries to not let them get in his way. He said he isn’t worried about people who may not necessarily want a gay bar in town, and most people with that mentality haven’t even been to one before.

“There’s a certain mentality whenever you step into a bar in a big city, but this is still San Marcos,” Rue said. “We’re going to do things in a classy way that could only benefit and improve upon the town.”

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Louisiana Business Faces Backlash After Announcing It's Not A Gay Bar On Facebook

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Bar Code, a new bar and grill in Lafayette, Louisiana, bears the same name as a popular gay establishment in Richmond, Virginia — Barcode

BarcodelogoLafayette's Bar Code, which has yet to open, is also using a similar logo (above) to the Richmond Bar Code's (right). 

So, it's easy to see why some may have suspected that Lafayette's Bar Code is going to be a gay establishment.

Which apparently prompted the owners to make the following announcement on Facebook this weekend, according to Lafayette's The IND Monthly: 

BarCode

The post was later removed, but not before IND Monthly took a screengrab and also captured a bunch of the comments, most of which are along these lines:  

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Bar Code is also getting some hilarious reviews:

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And even Richmond's Barcode is getting in on the action: 

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Nick Jonas And His Abs Make Appearance At NYC Gay Club: VIDEO

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Nick Jonas, who's been serving up the beefcake as of late ahead of his new show Kingdom being released, made a stop at New York City gay night club BPM last night. According to The Daily Mail, he played his solo track "Jealous" for the crowd and then performed a mini-strip tease atop a podium, revealing the abs that have gained quite a following:

Sandwiched between nearly-naked men with dollar bills wedged in their Y-fronts, Nick ripped open his white shirt, after shedding his suit jacket.

And, while he danced provocatively for the crowd and treated them to the 'Gun Show', he left his trousers on and his shirt around his shoulders encouraging the crowd to use their imaginations for the rest.

Watch videos of Jonas dancing, meeting fans, and baring his abs, AFTER THE JUMP...

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