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Gay Bars Are Already Mourning Drag Race Mondays

Gay Bars Are Already Mourning Drag Race Mondays

RuPaul's Drag Race

Members of the gay community -- and the bars that cater to it -- worry about the social and economic impact of the drag show's time change.

Mondays are a drag at many gay bars -- now that RuPaul's Drag Race airs on Fridays.

In past seasons, the popular reality competition of drag performers provided a weekday bump for queer establishments when it aired Monday nights on Logo TV.

But tonight, Drag Race begins airing on VH1 in its new time slow: 8 p.m. Eastern on Fridays. The move is "unfortunate" for gay bars planning viewing parties, say John Bellemore, an owner of Midnight Sun and Q Bar in San Francisco.

"In the current day and age, there's not much that brought us out as a community like RuPaul did on Mondays," Bellemore told Hoodline. "That clearly won't happen much beyond the premiere episode. People have plans on Fridays, and bars have existing clientele to cater to."

"It's bad news," George Maestre, owner of Boxers NYC, told Mic. "Monday is ordinarily a dead night, but during the time of RPDR it became a gay Super Bowl every week. It's an amazing revenue that we've come to count on every year."

This sentiment is echoed by gay bar owners nationwide in the Mic piece, which outlines several reasons why Drag Race Fridays are bad for business and the community. Queer members of the service and nightlife industries, of which there are many, are no longer free to attend because they often work on Friday nights. There are fewer employment opportunities for bartenders, servers, bouncers, and Drag Race alumni, who often host viewing parties.

Moreover, the change also burdens an already busy night in the nightlife calendar, forcing bars to choose between hosting events like mixers and dance parties and accomodating the show's many fans.

And then there's the social experience.

"[Mondays] felt like a community experience with everybody watching this show and having a really good time," Steve McEnrue, the general manager of Metropolitan Bar, told The Huffington Post.

"I think it's a little early to tell but I do think a bit of the magic of coming together on a Monday night might be lost. It's definitely going to be a completely different dynamic this year in terms of the crowd and how the show is."

How do you feel about the time change? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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