Jon: Dick hates gays……


…join the queer boycott of sub-par tourist restaurant “Dick’s Last Resort”!!!

Dear Gaycondo readers:

As many of you know, Paul and I recently went on a Las Vegas family vacation with my parents, my brother, sister-in-law, aunt and uncle. We had a really great time and luckily were smart enough to set a gambling budget (all of which we lost) that wasn’t too high. It was great seeing my family, all of whom live 3000 miles away. Yes, everything was just fantastic….

…..until we experienced Dick.

For those lucky enough to have never been to a Dick’s location, here is the basic premise. Dick’s is a resaurant with about seven location in major cities throughout the U.S that caters largely to tourists. They serve pretty unremarkable fried bar food and hang dumb stuff on their walls (a la T.G.I.Friday’s). What seperates them from the million other chain eateries with the same formula is that they have this whole schtick where the servers make fun of you. They call you names and pretend to get pissed off when you ask for a glass of water…. *yawn* Essentially, this is light S&M for middle class tourists who don’t ever experience real life verbal conflict. I suppose they percieve it as a shot of drama into what is maybe a fairly undramatic daily life…. whatever.

But don’t get me wrong! I am not too cool for school! I love cheesy stuff like this. In fact, I have a tradition of eating at Friday’s every Christmas Eve. I don’t think I am too classy for chicken finger’s! However, this style of food is not really my number one choice when I am on vacation. I eat bar grub enough at home as it is.

For whatever reason, my family really seemd to want to eat there. On the way to the resaurant, I turned to Paul and said, “Get ready for some heterosexist bullshit”.  I couldn’t have been more right in my assumption.

The reason I implore you to join me in a boycott of Dick’s, wonderful Gaycondo readers, is for their offensive gender and sexuality based insults. They have this whole “game” they play there where they place paper hats on people’s heads that have insults written on them. They do this without first letting people see what the hats says. Many of the insults are harmless, benign, and unoriginal pokes at people’s age or taste in clothes, but several cross the line.

I witnessed numerous younger women who were put in hats that basically declared them to be alcoholic whores. Though I didn’t see anyone outright complain about this, I couldn’t help but notice how many of them were quickly removing the hats and placing them under their tables where no one could see.  Shaming women for being sexual is some seriously fucked up shit that propagates years of social degredation that all women in American experience and are dealing with or have dealt with. Watching these women silently protest this degredation totally bummed me out. I really wanted to see one of them fucking explode and start screaming….. but they didn’t.

When my turn came to be insulted, a similiar gender/sexuality based insult was used. Without my first seeing it, I was put in a hat (that my entire family saw) which read, “I think Richard Simmons is sexy!”

This insult is reliant on the belief that there is something inherently unsexy about Simmons’ media persona. Which is to say, that there is something unnatractive about effeminate, loud, and brassy gay men. The whole punchline of the joke for them is that the insultee is embarrassed about being seen as someone who would experience queer based desire. Dick’s derives humor from the idea that we as a community should be ashamed if we are not hetero-normative in our personalities. A type of shame, which sadly, a lot of people have internalized.

The fact that this occurred when I was with my family made me feel so mad, embarassed, and ashamed. I felt incapable of doing anything but duplicating the women around me by silently removing my hat and placing it under the table. Under normal circumstances, I would have raised a shit storm, but I didn’t want to ruin my families time there (they seemed to be really into the whole concept restaurant thing) by making a scene.


After we were done eating and had left, I excused myself to my family and told them I had to get something from my hotel room. Secretly, I walked back to Dick’s and approached the host. I told him, “I think it is really douchey to use gender and sexual orientation as a tool to insult people. It is totally disgusting!” He then got very serious and told me that using that brand of insult is specifically prohibited by Dick’s. This fact is of course completely irrelevent. If wait staff have been using these hats for a period of time (which they obviously were since so many people were wearing duplicate insults), then these particular messages must have been seen and therefore approved my higher ups in the company. They must simply think that unless the hat specifically uses the word “faggot” , then it is not homophobic and heterosexist.

If you are reading this and have a blog of your own, please pass the message on to your readers. If we all do this together, then I’m sure the message will be heard. Let’s teach them to stop using this type of hate language towards their queer and female patrons!









1 Response to “Jon: Dick hates gays……”

  1. 1 The Bearded Traveler
    May 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    *sigh* “Concept” restaurant.
    “Concept” being that the waiter will insult me.
    I must be nuts to NOT want to participate in that at all.
    My concept when I pay more to eat than I would normally
    (i.e. a restaurant)
    is I want some damned good food.
    Not a concept of any type.

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