Current Affairs

Gay bar opened its doors to help community after Hurricane Irma

Nick Duffy September 15, 2017
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A gay bar in Key West, Florida, opened its doors to help hundreds of people forced out of their homes by Hurricane Irma.

Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in Florida earlier this month as the state was hit by powerful Hurricane Irma, bringing powerful winds and flooding that tore through the southern state.

Many in the state were left without power or running water.

In Key West, Florida, a local gay bar stepped up in the wake of the hurricane to help the community.

Jim Gilleran, the owner of the 801 Bourbon Bar in the city, opened the venue as a hub to distribute donated food items.

The bar owner told the Palm Beach Post: “My father taught me to take care of myself and my family so I can take care of my community.”

It has since reopened.

Gay bar opened its doors to help community after Hurricane Irma

Mr Gilleran said on Facebook: “Hurricane Irma was quite a blow to Key West and it will take the island and the 801 [time] to get back to our ‘abnormal’.

“Rest assured we will and have been rolling our sleeves and getting back to 100% as soon as we can.

“I am proud of everyone who has kept a level head through this historic event.

“Keep in mind that the bar is open (barley) and as such there is limited operating hours and shifts.”

801 Bar’s website says it holds “Nightly Drag shows, Karaoke 3 nights a week and live music on Saturday afternoons”.


TV hosts The Benham Brothers recently claimed that Hurricane Irma is God’s way of punishing the LGBT community for “breaching the boundaries of God”.

The religious twins, who have more than 120,000 fans on Facebook, claimed the disaster was caused by “redefining marriage”

In the video on Facebook, the Benhams referred to 9/11, saying: “One of the things that we heard a lot sixteen years ago was ‘rebuild, rebuild, rebuild.’

“But the word we didn’t hear was ‘repent.’

“If you would’ve told us back then, in 2001, that in 2017 we would be completely redefining what gender means, what marriage means, what sexuality means […] I would’ve said, there’s no way that could happen in this country.”

The brothers continued by stating that the deadly hurricane could be equated to a “storm surge of moral corruption” that mirrors God’s anger towards the LGBT+ community.

According to the Benhams, “the boundaries that God has put out for us morally are for us flourishing.”

Related topics: bar, drag, Florida, Gay, gay bar, hurricane, hurricane irma, Key West, LGBT, US

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