Reaction wasn't exactly complimentary when we reported the operators of a new organized bar crawl of gay London pubs and clubs had a policy, listed on their website, that bans women from participating in the festivities (which includes cover, a free drink, and an end-of-evening gift). The idea behind Gay Brawl Crawls, which hopes to expand to other cities, is to introduce visitors and newcomers to not only gay nightlife, but to other friendly people who find themselves in a strange city. While it sounds like a great idea, many people feel uncomfortable knowing they couldn't bring a female friend or relative if they wanted. Here's what Matthew and Chris, the Brit and American, respectively, behind GBC, said about their policy:
"We would like to respond to the points made in the article on OutTraveler.com, regarding our decision to make Gay Bar Crawls exclusively available for men.
The founders of Gay Bar Crawls have visited the gay scene in more than 15 different countries, including America where one of the owners is from. It took a long time to reach the decision to market our crawls exclusively for men, as we knew this would make a lot of tourists unhappy, as well as have a significant impact on our business, but we still feel it’s the correct decision based on our experience.
London’s gay scene is amazing, unique and constantly changing. The founders of Gay Bar Crawls have been to at least 36 different gay bars and clubs while they've lived here. With such a wide variety of places to go, it can be difficult to find the perfect place for a great night out. What’s more, depending on the dynamics of the group, it could be that a men-only club like XXL, which on a typical Saturday night is enjoyed by hundreds of men, is the most popular choice.
With this in mind, we felt uneasy with the idea of women on our crawls potentially feeling left out or uncomfortable should the group, or for unforeseen circumstances on the night, lead the party to a men-only bar or club. It is important that we are prepared to change the stops on our crawls in order to appeal to the interests of the group and to keep the excitement going, especially when they’re visiting one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Lastly, as mentioned in the article, we are more than happy to provide free advice to women visiting London who want to know what the city's gay scene has to offer them."