Lips NYC – Transgender Tourism and the Rise of the Bachelorette Party

Scarlett and I recently went to New York City and had the pleasure of attending some of the local Drag Bars. While we were there though, I made a rather disconcerting realization.

Drag Bars attract tourists.

Now I don’t mean your average run of the mill tourist, but people from mainstream American culture, out for the evening and a walk on the “Wild Side”.

More startling was the realization that this phenomena has been growing over the last few years. I noticed this at Jacques when I visited Jon and Vicky in Boston.

Lips was literally packed to the gills with wedding and birthday parties, almost all young women (genetic girls). In fact, Scarlett, Josie (our new web admin) and I had to hover near the bar until enough room became available to actually sit down.

We had expected a more “traditional” Drag Bar, a stage, a DJ, and a crowd of gay men, admirers and transvestites, but none of that was apparrent here. Just two floors of white middle class american women, hooting and hollering like they were at a Chippendales performance.

Now don’t get me wrong. The girls were all gracious, the performances (conducted among the crowded tables) were great, and the crowd was friendly, but it just seems wrong. It was like getting tickets for the phantom and ending up in dinner theatre.

Businesses move with the market demand, and the market has changed, but it still struck me as a little odd. Then again, they must be making money hand over fist so I can’t really deprecate them for running a thriving business but it leaves, well, not a bad taste, but a funny taste in my mouth.

Aside from this observation, we had a great time at Lips, and we wil definately go there again (this time, we will make reservations). I highly recommend this cozy bar in the West Village.

Check out their Website for more information about business hours and reservations.