On Election Night at Boxer’s, a Manhattan venue that calls itself “New York’s Gay Sports Bar,” loud cheers erupted as CNN called the Massachusetts Senate race for Democrat Elizabeth Warren. “This is pretty rowdy for this place,” said Keith, 35, a Boxer’s regular who had been at the bar the night before for a RuPaul’s Drag Race watching party. “But this is more rewarding,” he said, even though the only thing louder than the crowd was the deafening volume of the pundits on TV.
Matt, 31, was watching the many TVs — one turned to Fox News — with a close eye toward the Presidential election and ballot measures in his home state of Arkansas. Though he voted for Obama, he hails from a family of Republicans.
“I sent my Mom a text saying, ‘your son’s gay and your daughter’s had a few abortions,’” he said. “‘Think about it.’”
Overwhelmingly, the crowd was hoping for an Obama win. “I woke up at 5:30 really excited about Obama,” said Aidan, 27. He cited the bank bailout and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. “It’s my duty for Obama to win,” he said, leaning against a pool table surrounded by a group of friends. He’d come to Boxer’s to be around like-minded people: “When you’re around the gay community, most are for Democrats, most are for equal rights, most are for women’s rights.”
He did expect a few Republicans around, though he didn’t have such kind words for them. “There’s always a few ignorants in the crowd,” he said.
Others resented the notion that a gay bar constituted a solid Democratic voting bloc. Overhearing talk about whether there were Republicans in attendance, another patron shouted, “Why wouldn’t there be?”
Yet when the TVs showed early Ohio polls leaning blue, the crowd went wild again. If any Republicans were lingering, they were keeping quiet.