[Partly in reference to “The Drag Show Must Go On: Celeste Starr Moves to O.Henry’s after More Than 20 Years Performing at Scandals,” March 7, Xpress]: Here it is — I was 18 when my sister … took me to my first drag show at a club called Club Hairspray, which has now since closed. She even sneaked me in underage to a place called Gypsy Moon, which was recently called Scully’s and now some other bar I can’t remember the name of.
I’m turning 34 … I’ve come out of the closet. I’ve embraced Asheville as my home and where I’ve found all of my three great loves of my life, all being women. Also at gay bars that just don’t exist anymore — where are they? Where is my safe space that was so easy to find when I didn’t even know I needed it? But now that I do, it’s gone? Except for Scandals or O.Henry’s? Which is predominantly just gay men? No offense to gay men — I just am speaking as a lesbian, and I kind of like a good mixture of both sexes, ha ha.
For being a town mostly known for being heavy on the gay more than straight ratio — where are our safe places? Why hasn’t someone with a large amount of money opened a place that I remember so vividly 18 years ago? Where are you? We miss you, we need you, we hope you’re coming back.
— Kelly McArdle