Thursday, March 7, 2013

You Got It

El Paso lesbians
You Got It

Location: El Paso, Texas, USA

Opened: ?

Closed: 1996

You Got It is a lesbian bar mentioned in a book of essays called Performing the US Latina and Latino Borderlands, specifically in an piece called "Decolonial Border Queers" by Emma Perez. In a discussion on machismo, Myrna Avalos, a Chicana lesbian, contributes the following: 

She believes that the border city breeds machista attitudes toward women, which take the form of drunkenness, womanizing, and battering. She was exceedingly critical of this "cultural thing." Myrna observed that butch women in lesbian bars exhibit territorial behavior that she does not like. She said she used to go to You Got It, a lesbian bar that closed down around 1996 because the police had to break up fights between lesbians too often. "I mean these women would literally fight. Throw bottles at each other. I mean, territorial. . . .with their women. 'This is my woman, you leave her alone, Bop!'" She named their territorial behavior a "butch pussy-stance" and refused to engage in the type of restrictive role-playing that was anti-feminist. Identifying as a butch lesbian for Myrna meant negotiating role-playing within a patriarchal structure that already condemned women. She adamantly reclaimed her butch identity as a role beyond "machista" behavior that was confining to women, particularly lesbians.

Myrna came out in El Paso at the age of seventeen. Before then, she endured six brothers and their homophobic remarks as well as an extended family who persistently asked her when she planned to marry.  

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