Actor John Cameron Mitchell to Appear at Save Julius' Bar Online Fundraiser

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday July 23, 2020

John Cameron Mitchell, writer and star of iconic LGBTQ+ films such as "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and "Shortbus" (among others), will appear at the Save Julius' Bar fundraiser. The online event takes place Thursday July 30, from 6-8pm. To RSVP and make a pay-what-you-wish donation, visit the fundraiser's Eventbrite page.

A New York City standard, the history of Julius' Bar goes back to the late 1800s, and was a popular speakeasy in Greenwich Village during the Prohibition era. Though it attracted influential figures in jazz and literature, its gay patronage began to take hold in the 1950s. However, there was a regular practice of bars denying service to homosexuals, due to a regulation of the New York State Liquor Authority. That is, until April 21, 1966, when four gay men, members of the Mattachine Society, staged a "sip in," demanding to be served. When the men told the bartender they were gay and just wanted to be served, the bartender refused. Their point was "to clarify laws and rules that inhibited the running of gay bars as legitimate, non-mob establishments and to stop the harassment of gay bar patrons." One of the first pre-Stonewall protests, the "sip in" was a success, as an investigation of the NYSLA's discriminatory regulation ensued.

As a consequence of the pandemic, and due to shutdowns and mounting bills, Julius' Bar is at risk of permanently closing its doors. The pandemic has adversely impacted LGBTQ nightlife in New York City overall, as well as other major cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Palm Springs, and more.

In addition to the July 30 fundraiser, Julius' Bar has also set up a GoFundMe page here.

RSVP for the Julius' Bar fundraiser here.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.