A school principal is stirring the pot in Hell’s Kitchen, writing a chain email to parents and neighbors to stop a gay bar from opening near PS 111. The bar in question is an offshoot of Boxers HK, a Chelsea bar that at one time used the promotion of check-your-pants get-two-for-one-drinks. Principal Irma Medina passionately writes, “This is inappropriate for school age children to be exposed to during the day while they are in a learning environment.”
Principal Medina seems to have forgotten that school hours are not exactly peak hours for a boxer-bar crowd, let alone that the scandalous promotion she cites as incendiary and downright destructive to innocent children actually ended months ago in Chelsea and is not coming back. “It didn’t work,” says Rob Hynds, co-owner of the bar. “We had probably two people a night who would do it. They’d wear no pants and novelty boxers or something like that.”
Sounds like an old myth of gays polluting children by proxy is rearing its ugly head. The bar plans on opening near Sacred Heart of Jesus School, but representatives of that school have yet to even take a stand.
The real scandal all this hoopla obstructs is how bars get around of State Liquor Authority statutes: it’s illegal to serve liquor within 200 feet of a school or place of worship, so Boxers HK is just putting a taco shop nearer to the school and church and the entrance to the bar over 200 feet away. If there’s something to be upset about—and who would really get upset about this but bluenose busy bodies or permit committees—wouldn’t that be it?
But maybe Principal Medina’s right in her ethical outrage: the sight of a homosexual in boxer shorts can be quite traumatizing. Let’s not go believing the positive stereotypes that all gay man are good-looking with great style. But letting our children find out that sad but true fact may indeed be something worth protecting them from.