social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Special Features Index
video review
Bookmark and Share
where to find this video      related encyclopedia entries
Small Town Gay Bar (2006)
Directed by:  Malcolm Ingram
Distributed by:  smalltowngaybar.com
Run time:  81 minutes
Country:  U. S. A.

Review by: Wik Wikholm
Reviewed on: September 01, 2010

Northeastern Mississippi, home of Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association and the birthplace of Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church fame, lacks the community centers, LGBT health clinics, Gay-Straight Alliances, open and accepting churches, and other institutions queer American urbanites take for granted. Instead, a few scruffy gay bars serve as social and community centers, drag show venues, hookup spots, and the only safe places for gay Mississippians to be open about their sexuality.

Small Town Gay Bar, a gritty documentary executive produced by Kevin Smith and directed by Malcolm Ingram, tells the recent history of several Mississippi gay bars and paints a vivid picture of queer life in a part of the country where homophobia is the norm and the closet is a prerequisite for survival for most glbtq people. The degree of homophobic hostility in the region is exposed at its most violent and tragic in the film’s interviews with the members of the family of Scotty Joe Weaver, an 18-year-old man tortured, decapitated, then burned in nearby Bay Minette, Alabama because of his homosexuality.

Mostly, though, the film features interviews with the denizens of bars like Rumors, whose owner has never come out to his family; Crossroads, a bar with a checkered and sometimes raunchy past; and the Tulip Creek Bar, which, on a good night, boasts a crowd of about 125. One interviewee declaims that "The weekend belongs to us"; another praises the bars for allowing him and his friends to "be whatever you want" despite the knowledge that the local sheriff could--and does--raid the bars at will.

The film gives a voice to the men and women of Northeastern Mississippi who describe how they make do and even thrive in one of the most homophobic regions of the United States. Small Town Gay Bar will be especially eye-opening for urban young people who may never have imagined what life is like for gay men, lesbians, and transgender people in places like Lee County, Mississippi.

Where to Find this Video

Small Town Gay Bar is available on Netflix on DVD or streaming and is available on DVD from DVD retailers including Amazon.com. For educational licensing, please contact the filmmakers at smalltowngaybar.com.
Related Encyclopedia Entries
Gay and Lesbian Bars
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Documentary Film
About Wik Wikholm
Wik Wikholm is the publisher of glbtq.com. He is always on the lookout for engaging, informative documentaries about all aspects of glbtq life and culture. You can reach him here.



browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.
Hot Topics in Special Features
Film Actors: Gay And Bisexual Male
Film Actors: Lesbian and Bisexual Female
Terrence McNally: Theater as Connection
Film Directors: Lesbian and Bisexual Female
Lesbian Paris (ca 1900-1940)
Eric Patterson on Brokeback Mountain
Women's Activism at the Turn of the 20th Century
Gay Male Art in America: 1900-1969
Imaging Derek Jarman
Romantic Friendship
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address: