Scottsdale Hub

Change of Heart Bears Fruit for Once-Biased Scottsdale Bar Owners


Last December I posted about Scottsdale bar owner Tom Anderson's decision to convert his bar Anderson's Fifth Estate to a bar that serves the gay community after making headlines in 2006 when he banned a transgender woman following complaints she was using the women's bathroom.

ScottsdaleIn December, Anderson said he had decided he wanted to "change Scottsdale" after a number of high-profile anti-gay hate incidents there. He also saw a need in the nightlife community for a new gay venue.

Anderson's decision seems to have paid off. The club, which now has lines it never saw before, was lauded in the Arizona Republic over the weekend, and tells the story of Anderson's transformation after the unfortunate 2006 incident:

"For more than a year afterward, Anderson was the subject of dozens of newspaper and television stories pitting him against the GLBT community and its allies. He became known as the club owner who kicked out a transgendered woman. This happened as people were questioning whether Scottsdale was becoming hostile toward the GLBT community, after a gay couple was assaulted outside a restaurant and after Mayor Mary Manross refused to observe GLBT month in June, instead, proclaiming it to be Human Relations Diversity Observance month. Anderson, who owns the club with his wife, Roberta, resolved the dispute in November 2007 by building a gender-neutral restroom. Anderson said that during the controversy over the discrimination complaint he met with members of the GLBT community. One of the things he learned was how underserved the community was in Scottsdale, with only one bar, BS West, in the area. Anderson said he saw both a business opportunity and a chance to be part of a community he'd come to know and enjoy. The Andersons reopened the club as Forbidden in December, a month after the resolution. The 5,500-square foot club can hold 325 people and is open five days a week, up from three when it was Anderson's Fifth Estate. Now, more than 700 people come through on Fridays and Saturdays each, more than double what Fridays used to draw."

Uproar turns straight bar into gay hot spot [arizona republic]

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road.jpg Sean Penn: The future Harvey Milk ends his 11 year marriage.

Pennbadgleyhot02road.jpg Penn Badgley: hot and bothered.

road.jpg Censorship debate continues surrounding the BBC's dubbing, and then undubbing of the word "faggot" from The Pogues' Christmas tune "Fairytale of New York". Times Online: "The present consensus is with MacGowan – that there is nothing wrong with using the word 'faggot' in this context. Lighten up, you Milly Tants. My unfashionable counterview is that there is something very wrong in using it, that Radio 1 was right in its original decision and should have shown more balls and stuck by it. 'Faggot' is a term of anti-gay abuse; in this song it is most definitely an insult...To say that you’re offended these days is to risk being accused of being humourless; of not getting the joke. It’s the same risk you run as a woman who is offended by the endless parade of breasts in magazines such as Nuts. The new casual homophobia is couched as a perfectly acceptable, knowing joke, and coincides with a general feeling that gays have had quite enough equality: equal age of consent; civil partnership ceremonies (but not marriage). That we are getting a little too big for our boots."

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Hxroad.jpg Fashion designer and Project Runway contestant Jack Mackenroth talks to NYC's HX magazine about his reaction to Sarah Jessica Parker on the show and his cameo in the upcoming Sex and the City movie, among other things: "When I watched [the reaction] back I was like, 'I am so gay.' Which is fine. I embrace the gayness. I’m super-gay. I’m a big ol’ queen...[The Sex and the City cameo] was completely unrelated. A friend of mine knew the person that was casting the extras, so he called me up and said they needed a gay guy with a good body, and I was like, 'Alright!' But she’s super-nice and totally genuine. It was very painful for her to do the critiques because she doesn’t like being mean."

road.jpg Fans swarm Giorgio Armani as he visits his NYC Soho Armani Exchange store: "Everyone rushed him and started asking for autographs. It was mayhem."

road.jpg Hello Kitty for Men, coming soon.

Scottsdaleroad.jpg Scottsdale, Arizona bar owner converts to a gay nightclub after year-long dispute over the banning of a transgender patron: "Owner Tom Anderson (pictured on right, with co-owner brother Ted) said he made the transition in an effort to 'change Scottsdale.' The city saw a number of high-profile anti-gay and hate crimes this year, said Sam Holdren of Equality Arizona. Anderson made headlines last year when he banned a transgender woman from Anderson's Fifth Estate after female customers complained about transgender patrons using the women's restroom. The woman, Michele DeLaFreniere, filed a discrimination complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's Office."

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road.jpg British city of Brighton first to ban racist, anti-gay "murder music".

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road.jpg Gerard Butler shows off some muscle.

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Scottsdale, Arizona Sees Second Anti-Gay Attack in Eight Months

Police in Scottsdale, Arizona are looking into a homophobic assault on a 27-year-old Phoenix man. The Arizona Republic reports on the attack, which took place in the early hours of the morning on July 16th:

Bswest"After leaving BS West, a downtown Scottsdale bar, Gearing and a friend stopped in a parking garage to hug goodbye. Two men came running toward them, screaming sexual slurs at them, as Gearing jumped into his car. When Gearing drove toward the men, one of them kicked in the passenger side of his car. The other slammed his fist through the back windshield of his Ford Focus. That same man raced around the car and, with his bloody fist, punched him in the jaw through the open driver's side window. 'I thought this guy must be hurt and wouldn't keep coming after me,' Gearing said. Injured, Gearing ran after the men, still talking to the 9-1-1 dispatcher on his cell phone. As he ran, he said he told the men he had a gun 'so they wouldn't attack me again.' On the tape he says, 'I'm going to shoot him,' but insists he was talking to his assailants, and not the dispatcher. When the dispatcher questioned him about the gun, he told her he had lied. Gearing said at first he did not want to tell his story, but said he was 'more mad than sad,' and hoped his ordeal 'would get others to speak out.'"

Gearing reportedly had a distressed, curse-filled altercation with the dispatcher, for which he has since apologized, according to the East Valley Tribune. Said Gearing: “She went above and beyond to stay calm and do her job right."

Gearing has met with representatives from the Scottsdale Human Rights Commission and gay-rights group Equity Arizona.

RollandThis is Scottsdale's second anti-gay attack in recent months. In December, I posted about a violent assault on Jean Rolland, 28, and Andrew Frost, 19, outside Frasher's Steakhouse. Seven man ambushed the couple as they held hands, exiting the restaurant. Restaurant employees did not report seeing anything go on outside the restaurant, though Frost sustained head injuries and blacked out during the attack.

Said Frost at the time: "It was creepy to me. I could see the bone in my jaw through one gash. I had blood pouring out of me and I actually blacked out at one point."

Rolland added, "My only hope is that they're going to brag about it and tell their friends how tough they were. How tough is it to use seven guys to take on two guys, including one 19-year-old who weighs 120 pounds?"

The December attack, unfortunately, remains unsolved.

Scottsdale police probe new hate crime [east valley tribune]
Anti-gay bias in Scottsdale? Beating revives debate [arizona republic]

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