The alleged gay bashing of 28-year-old Jeffery Lafayette outside of the Marina's Hi Fi Lounge last weekend is a painful reminder that, even in San Francisco, violence is still perpetrated against people because of their perceived sexual orientation. And so, in an act of defiance and solidarity, a group calling themselves the Gay Mafia plans to take over the Hi Fi Lounge a week from today on February 19.
First picked up by San Francisco Magazine, the event is billed as less of a protest and more of a party.
"Join us for a festive gay takeover of a straight bar in Marina," reads a Facebook post from the group. "Repeat! A *festive* and *fun* takeover of a straight bar (or maybe just one that's not typically gay?), where we show up as a big gaggle of glittery nonsense and feel comfortable to be silly and loud because there are so many of us."
The bar, for its part, is welcoming the group with open arms.
"We at the HiFi Lounge want to be very clear that our doors are ALWAYS open to EVERYONE," reads a HiFi Lounge Facebook post. "Over the last 16 years at HiFi we have opened our doors and hosted and thrown events that are inclusive of all San Franciscans and their friends, no matter what race, gender or sexual orientation. While we are not sure what led to the events of last Saturday outside of our business we want to be very clear that we hold no bias in our place of business. And most importantly, we NEVER want to see any type of hate."
The Gay Mafia, notes SF Mag, follows in the footsteps of Guerrilla Queer Bar — which in the 90's and early 2000's would organize groups of LGBTQ people to descend en masse on traditionally straight bars.
No one has been arrested in the assault on Lafayette, and although he initially declined to file a police report, in a comment on SFist earlier today he noted his intention to do so.
"I am working with the SFPD already," he writes, "and the report will be filed on Tuesday!"