Barbarella manager refutes bar’s homophobia accusations

Kayla Jonsson

Claims of homophobic bouncers at the downtown Austin bar Barbarella appear to be only a personal vendetta, Barbarella General Manager Harvey Graham said.

The claim stems from an incident in the early morning of Dec. 30 during Barbarella’s weekly “TuezGayz” night when Michael Grammar, a gay man, was asked to leave for violently and drunkenly kicking cups towards customers, Barbarella bouncer Ian Archer said.

“Michael and his friends were being unruly, rude and drunken idiots,” Archer said. “When you’re kicking over drinks and then causing an unnecessary scene as a result, you’re going to at least be talked to by bar staff at any bar, period.”

Graham contacted Grammar the next morning to apologize for any misunderstanding and offered a $100 donation in Grammar’s name to a charity of his choice, Graham said.

“[Grammar] had the audacity to say that my offer was disingenuous and despite the fact I told him an investigation would occur and proper action be taken, he continued to slander us without any sense of appreciation,” Graham said.

Grammar started a Facebook group called “Homophobic and Sexist Behavior at Barbarella Austin,” which has since been removed by him because of “haters,” according to Grammar’s final post on the page.

The group had close to 750 members before being taken down, and Grammar repeatedly posted on the page about his mistreatment and encouraged a boycott. Grammar did not return The Daily Texan’s request for comment.

The Facebook group included a detailed account in which Grammar said he was grabbed by the neck by a bouncer and dragged out of the bar after playfully kicking one cup.

Barbarella patron Pamela Ostrum said she did not see Grammar grabbed by the neck and she is happy with the way the bouncers handled the situation because Grammar was bothering customers.

“I was there when this happened and [Grammar] was not innocently kicking a cup over,” Ostrum said. “He was dramatically high-kicking a pile of cups down the ramp into a group of people, me being one of them, and splashing gross water everywhere.”

Ostrum said if Barbarella were homophobic it would not offer a gay-friendly night.

“The thing that really makes me sick about this whole situation is [Grammar] tried to turn it into a gay bashing to gain support for [his] trumped up story because he doesn’t like the fact that he got thrown out of a bar,” she said.