So, you don't know any other gay guys, but your straight girl friend has agreed to go with you to the gay bar. Is it okay to take her along?
I ventured our alone my first trip to a gay bar. I drove across national lines to a gay bar I knew in Windsor, Ontario. The Canadian border was just 30 miles from where I went to school. I was just coming out and terrified of either running into someone I knew or scared by the possibility of what I might find. I figured I would be safe at that distance.
I fibbed at the border. They asked where I was headed. To the casino, I said, obviously too young to gamble. They let me pass as if it were an everyday occurrence. Was I the next car in the underground homo railroad taking refuge in the bars of Canada? I found the bar and my memories are of being both overwhelmed and excited at the same time. I was young and fresh and they knew it.
Your first trip to the gay bar doesn't have to be the cross-national experience I had. After all, my urgent need to experience gay life gave me an extra dose of bravado. You, on the other hand, may just want to check out a night at a local gay bar. And although I am a fan of going out alone
to pick up a date, I'd suggest taking a friend with you the first few times to prevent both a complete freak out and the help you learn the ropes of the environment.
But, the question still remains: Can you walk into a gay bar for the first time with a straight girl in hand? The answer is yes. Many, if not majority, of gay men have straight female friends that frequent the gay bars with them. Walk into any lounge or club during any given open hour and you're bound to see at least one pair of gay/girl BFF's.
If you're most comfortable going out with your straight girlfriend, then go for it (as long as she's in agreement). Some guys in the venue may throw you glances since it is a venue for all dudes, but just them a glance back and relish in the support of your best Judy.
There is something I need to caution you about, however: When we are with our best Judys we tend to focus on them too much since talking to them is much more comfortable than gabbing with strangers. But, sometimes we can get so engrossed in our BFF's that we miss out on opportunities to meet other gay guys for dates or friendship. If you do go out with your best girl, keep your eyes open just in case. Also, put her to work to help you identify and build up courage to talk to other gay guys.
The benefit isn't all yours, either. I know many LGBT-friendly straight guys that have gay friends and frequent gay bars. If your BFF has her eyes open, there might be a treat for her there as well.