During a trip to Australia, well-known San Francisco author Armistead Maupin said he and his husband were denied use of a restroom because they are gay.
Maupin, best known for his Tales of the City novel series, said the homophobic snub occurred at the Bojangles Saloon & Dining Room in Alice Springs, a town of about 27,000 residents in the Northern Territory of Australia.
“When Chris [Maupin’s husband Chris Turner] asked where the toilet was, the bartender told us to go across the street because their toilet was reserved for ‘real men,’” Maupin wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.
The couple went to the saloon for lunch, and Turner asked to use the restroom after they were seated, according to an ABC Alice Springs news report.
According to the report, the bartender twice repeated that the saloon’s restroom was for “real men,” and that the couple should use a public facility across the street.
“Neither one of us could quite believe he’d said it, and he actually repeated it, [he said] ‘see the sign on the door, it says gents, it’s for real men,’” Maupin told the news station.
The author did more than denounce the anti-gay act on Facebook.
“So we did what real men do and crossed the street to the visitor’s center where we filed a complaint,” Maupin wrote. “Impressively we received an e-mail apology from the bartender that afternoon. Fair dinkum, mate. Next time don’t [expletive] with the poofters.”
But Maupin said he has no ill feelings about Australia or the town of Alice Springs.
“Just to be clear: There are no apologies necessary from either Alice Springs or Australia,” he said. “I’ve never felt more welcomed by a country. This was a lone gunman, and we just handed him his balls on a platter. It’s over.”
Maupin is known for his “Tales of the City” novel series, which are based in San Francisco.