Is Vermont LGBT bar’s name transphobic?

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Instead of uniting the LGBT community, the gay bar in Vermont divided it because of being named transphobicly – Mister Sister. And where non-trans people see a wordgame (whethr it is funny or not, it’s another story), transgender locals feel offended. According to the Burlington Free Press, several comments left on the Oak45 and Mister Sister Facebook pages slamming them for choosing such a name. The bar owner said that his intention while choosing the name was not to offend trans people. Oppositely, he wanted to promote inclusivity. It is a term that has been used among gays and Drag Queens for decades intended to be positively gender-bending,’ he said last week in a statement to Burlington Free Press. ‘Mister Sister is for the Misters and the Sisters, those that identify as both and everyone in between. The official description of Mister Sister is “a gay bar for him, her and them”. I have been very intentional in using a pronoun that isn’t specifically male or female as a way to include anyone that identifies as part of the LGBTQ community.’ Seven Days reports that around 80 people attended heated town hall meeting, and the overwhelming majority were critical of the name and Pride Center’s failure to unequivocally condemn it. It led to the board announcing its new position one hour into the meeting. Paul Sissons, co-chair of the Board said that a full and formal statement would be released the following day. but that after hearing feedback, he could confirm that, ‘We no longer support the name of that bar.’’ The bar owner did not attend last night’s meeting but sent a representative. He said in a press statement in advance that he felt his presence at the meeting might distract from the issues being discussed. The question rem,ains opened.

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