- In Moncton, a popular hangout for drag queens and LGBTQ patrons is closing.
- She claimed that the Pink Flamingos’ owner made the establishment a safe environment by accepting people for who they are and protecting them from discrimination.
A popular hangout for drag queens and LGBTQ patrons in Moncton is closing its doors.
Pink Flamingos Cabaret/Lounge announced that constant pandemic uncertainty made it impossible to continue a few days after its third anniversary.
In a Facebook post, the bar said, “We were doing so well.” “We’re ecstatic that we were able to create a space where people felt free to be themselves while also having so much fun.”
The pandemic has taken a toll on the business and the staff at the bar, which provided the only space in the province for the francophone LGBTQ community.
The bar stated, “We are unable to keep up with all of the restrictions put in place for all of our client’s safety.”
“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on many small businesses, and we are extremely proud to have made it this far into the pandemic.”
According to Annabelle Babineau, who performs drag as Barb Wire, the closure is a huge loss for the community.
“You can dress up as queer as you want, and no one will look at you weird if you go to Pinks,” she said.
When people go to traditional bars, Babineau says they have to “tone down their gay” so they don’t get too many “side eyes” and comments.
She claimed that the owner of the Pink Flamingos made the bar a safe place by accepting people for who they are and protecting them from discrimination. When they waited for a cab in full drag, she said, cab drivers wouldn’t pick them up, so the owner would call the cab and wait outside for it.
“He’d wait outside for the taxi and kind of trick the taxi into taking us,” she laughed.
‘It’s a good place for French drag.’
According to Babineau, pink Flamingos held a special place for Acadian and francophone people, who is originally from Moncton but now live in Fredericton. She claims she can speak French and Chiac and get the best laughs when she performs there.
“I always prefer to perform in Moncton because there is more acceptance and understanding of that part of my culture,” she explained.
“It was an ideal location for French drag.”
Underserved on the East Coast
Because of the closure, there are no LGBTQ bars in the province’s southeastern region. Only one LGBTQ bar in the province, Monarch in Fredericton, remains open.
Kevin Lemieux, who played Brooke Rivers at Pink Flamingos, said that while he can perform in hotels and theatres, drag queens truly experience community in bars.
“It’s upsetting not to have that one dedicated queer space,” he said.
Lemieux, who now lives in Halifax, said that at the start of the pandemic, the city also lost its only LGBTQ Menz and Mollyz. In Atlantic Canada, only Fredericton and Newfoundland have gay bars.
He said, “There’s a big gap.” “On the east coast, we’re missing out on some safe spaces.”
Triangles, Moncton’s only gay bar, closed in 2018 after 23 years in business. The torch was passed to the Pink Flamingos.
“Hopefully, someone else will create another space like this for the community in the future, and we will assist in any way we can,” the bar said. “It’s just time to ‘pass the torch,'” says the narrator.
Babineau said it’s still unclear who will take up the torch.
The next bar, according to Babineau, should be on Main Street, loud and proud.
Source: CDC News
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