Pop-Up Pride and Memories of 135 Pearl
Last week, when President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, Vermonters didn't flock to gay bars to celebrate — there aren't any here. The state's best-known LGBTQ bar, 135 Pearl, closed six years ago next month. So far, no one has been able, or willing, to replace it.
Not permanently, anyway — several temporary queer social spaces have popped up recently around the state. Seven Days food writer Corin Hirsch took a break from the farm and restaurant beat to check them out. Here's a link to her story, "Pop-Up Pride," which appears in this week's paper.
Coincidentally, a new audio documentary about 135 Pearl, "Pearl's", debuted online today. Sarah Ward, the 22-year-old Burlington College documentary studies student who produced the piece, never actually visited the bar; it closed a few months before she arrived from Massachusetts to start her studies.
Ward was looking for a local place to profile for an academic project and came across this Seven Days story I wrote about Pearl's closing. It intrigued her. "I really like stories about places," she says, "and how people interact, how people get tied to spaces."
She put out a call for stories about the bar through the RU12? Community Center. "I got 30 to 35 emails right away," she says. "That was the first indication that Pearl's was really important to a lot of people."