Rules From A 1950s Gay Bar

An un-named Miami-area bar tried to make light of the hostile anti-gay atmosphere in the 1950s by posting the following set of sarcastic rules for its patrons to follow. They were published in One Magazine in 1955. posted on

Rules and Regulations Covering The Behavior Of Our Customers:

1. First of all-remember that the customer is never right.

2. Before drinking, each customer is to repeat six times “The customer is never right.”

3. When a customer wishes to go to the restroom–please raise hand and barmaid will direct you to proper door.

4. Mother and daughter customers are not allowed to hold hands, kiss or pat each other on back. On week-ends they are not allowed to even talk to each other.

5. No after-shave lotion or talcum powder allowed on male customers.

6. Lady customers may smoke only if male customer lights cigarette for them.

7. Lady customers may smoke only cigarettes with ivory tips, jewelled pipes or “Between the Acts” cigars.

8. Male customers may NOT wave at friends or relatives passing by in the street because we’ll have none of those gestures in this place, my dear.

9. Female customers may not talk at all–they are required to walk around the bar at least once every five minutes, dropping handkerchiefs and swooning at the far turn.

10. Male customers must have hair on the chest–if you have none–please bring along another chest with the required hair on it. (We will gladly refrigerate it for you while you’re here).

11. Men may wear only stiff shirts and tails.

12. Women must wear make-up-false eyelashes and beauty marks will be provided at the bar for those women customers who have just come from the beach and don’t have their make-up kits with them.

13. Male customers are required to spit periodically. Since we have no spittoons please use the guy next to you.

14. Any male customer caught buying a beer for another male customer will have to buy a beer for the barmaid too so that the management will know that the man customer is of high moral character and not one of those characters.

15. Please do not be offended if we do not serve you. Here are but a few of the people we could not serve if they were able to patronize us : Socrates, Wilde, Proust, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Queen Christina, Lord Tennyson etc. and far on into the night.

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