Beware Our Boycott Power

From a wall in Gemmayze
There is an email circulating around about one of Gemmayze’s favorite spots, Kayan, refusing to serve drinks to a group of gay guys, and throwing them out of the place with no clear reason why. The note tells the story in detail and calls on a boycott of this place.

Personally, I would tone down the reaction a notch, as I heard that the folks showed up in a large group, loud and without a reservation. Leaves room for a misunderstanding. But still, it’s quite disappointing coming from Kayan who’s always been among the more gay-friendly bars out there…

Kayan, GiB’ll give you another chance, but watch your ass from now on!

Dogs not allowed. Gays not allowed – Rue du Liban – Feb. 1st, 2011

This is not Nazi Germany. This is Beirut’s proud nightlife.

Karim comes in, joins his friends, tries to get the waitress attention to finally ask for an Almaza mexican beer. The night is quiet on rue du liban, in gemmayzeh, on a Tuesday night around 10.30 pm. There are some tables waiting to receive more customers in Kayan, one of gemmayzeh’s supposedly most relaxed bars. Kayan’s crowd is normally diverse, different nationalities, different ages, etc.

This is a story Kayan’s diverse crowd will not appreciate.

Beirut, liberal capital of the middle-east. Gemmayzeh, liberal nightlife quarter of Beirut. Whether this is true or not, one thing is for sure, Kayan still has a long way to go. Or better if it doesn’t get the chance to prove itself. Boycott Kayan.

Around this table of 8 guys in their late 20’s or 30’s calm and cheerful laughter can be heard, stories are shared -a typical night out between friends catching up. Except Karim has been waiting for his beer for about 15 minutes. The waitress comes back empty handed and announces to the guys that it’s the ‘last call’ for alcohol. Anyone would find that strange at 10.30 pm in Gemmayzeh. Karim asks nicely if he could still get his drink since he ordered it 15 min ago and Gilbert asks for a last Vodka. The barman is busy mixing more drinks, people are still coming in, the request for a drink didn’t seem out of place. The waitress comes back, stressed, nervous and having difficulty making a sentence “I’m sorry but there’s no more last call, we are closing down early tonight.” The poor waitress lookshopeless, turns around and walks away before any questions are asked. Three minutes later, another waiter drops the bill on the table and says “We are closing down. Can you please pay and leave.” The two barman are still making drinks. The place is packed, as usual, people are still coming in. Something’s strange. Alessandro leans towards a regular of the bar to tell him what’s going on. He confirms what any sensible person refuses to believe “I’m sorry to say this guys but it’s their diplomatic way of being homophobes”.

In shock, humiliated and embarrassed, 8 men find themselves at the door of Kayan in total disbelief of what just happened.

The clerk from Somalia is sent out to bugger off the fairies. In vain of the clerk's effort to shut the fairies up, the big bold headed manager finally shows up, in his white barmen outfit, asks them to leave and keep quiet not to bother the neighbors. When confronted about kicking out gays, the big bold headed straight man goes back into his cave behind his bar.

What’s next? A “Gays not allowed” sign on half of Gemmayzeh’s bars?
-- by GiB#2.


  1. The problem I'm having with the story is that the email says "Whether this is true or not, one thing is for sure, Kayan still has a long way to go." So,the author is not so sure, because the story is second, or third hand?

    I think you are right to give Kayan another chance, given your own first-hand experience with the place.

    Can someone who was with that group give more details?

  2. The problem with giving Kayan another chance is that they are denying that anything happened. If they had apologized or done something to change the situation, I would be with you but they are denying it, meanwhile they have clear policies for which they train their employees: to inform the manager if a 'gay-looking' person walks in.

    Unacceptable, especially when happening in a bar we love -used to love that is.

  3. Strange indeed. But you did well to doubt it, as such a chain letter has not much credibility per se... It could even be a fabrication from someone who has a personal problem with Kayan (which is in Gemmayze, not Monot as you said). I went there a couple of times, and although I cannot spot a gay person easily, it did not seem like a bar that would attract lots of gays, as opposed to a couple of other bars further up the street ( ;-D ). So who knows it might be true after all... or not... All we can do I think is... nothing... wait for further confirmation or proof, and if it never comes then Kayan will have the benefit of doubt, I guess. In any case thanks for the nice report....
    How about someone dresses up gay-ish on purpose (without being flamboyant) and walks in there? If anything happens, it can hopefully be captured on camera or by witnesses.

  4. First off, 'bold' and 'bald' are two different words and have different meanings - bold means someone who is brave and daring, bald means a lack of hair.
    Second, you cannot say that someone was sent to 'bugger off' the fairies. You can say that someone was sent to tell the fairies to bugger off, you can even say the fairies decided to bugger off of their own will, but you cannot 'send' someone 'to bugger off' anyone else. You are using the incorrect the active verb here.
    Sorry for being pedantic. I honestly do appreciate you writing in English, which I understand is not your first language, but do at least try to do so correctly.

  5. We seem to be in agreement here.. that boycott might be an overreaction at this point. Except for Mazen - but it's exxaggerated to think they have someone watching for gay guys, the place is quite small AND the guy behind the bar is no one else but the owner! so he's probably the boss around there.
    As for Anon., thanks for the English corrections, I wish I could pass them on to the writer of the email I published, if only I knew who they were!


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