San Francisco-based writer Armistead Maupin, creator of the iconic Tales of the City series, was in Australia last week for a book tour when he visited Alice Springs with his husband Chris Turner. (They were there to promote Mary Ann In Autumn, by the way.) When he and his spouse decided to take a break and hit Bojangles, billed as an "'80s saloon and dining room," things took a turn for the horrifying.
ABC Alice Springs reports:
According to Mr. Maupin, they were told to take a seat, after which Mr Maupin's husband Chris asked if he could use a rest room.
"The guy said, sorry, we don't have one in here but you can go across the street to the public facility."
Mr Maupin, who had used the toilet in Bojangles the day before, said he pointed in the direction of the toilet and said 'what's that over there?'
"[The barman] gave me a very pointed look and said that's reserved for 'real men'," said Mr Maupin.
"Neither one of us could quite believe he'd said it, and he actually repeated it, [he said] 'see the sign on the door, it says gents, it's for real men.'"
In brilliant fashion via his Facebook page, Maupin described what went down accordingly:
When Chris asked where the toilet was, the bartender told us to go across the street because their toilet was reserved for "real men." So we did what real men do and crossed the street to the visitor's center where we filed a complaint. Impressively we received an email apology from the bartender that afternoon. Fair dinkum, mate. Next time don't fuck with the poofters.
Maupin harbors no ill will (at least not publicly) for the town of Alice Springs. "That town has responded like a champ to the homophobia Chris and I encountered in the local saloon," he went on to say.
San Francisco and Australia have close ties with one another, LGBT- and tourism-wise. If you recall, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and Heklina took a trip to Sydney, Australia in 2009 to boost tourism dollars for San Francisco.