LOUISVILLE — To celebrate the last weekend before closing their doors, The Barracks hosted one last event for the community, as well as for the newly appointed Mr. Kentucky Leather, Jody Corbett.
No one likes seeing a well-loved place of community, camaraderie, and safety close. As with many other gay bars around the country it seems, The Barracks shut their doors at 4am Sunday morning, Aug. 7. To show thanks towards the community as a whole, and to throw a little spotlight onto the new Mr. Kentucky Leather, they had one last event to bring their local leather community together.
While nothing was officially scheduled, there were plenty of things going on to keep one’s attention. There was a bootblack, Gabriel Majors, who was kept busy most of the night making sure the leather was looking on point. Some would stand and watch him work, asking him questions that Gabriel was more than happy to answer while he kept his hands busy.
There were also some rope demonstrations done by Jeff Henken, showing a few of the first timers to the bar, and to bondage, a bit of what being tied up can be like. The last couple of people he tied up, he used what he called the Hog Tie to keep them somewhat immobile. He said that “the Hog Tie is good for people who’ve never been tied up”.
There were shirts and jocks being sold on the pool table, showcasing craftsmanship from some of our local crafters. With a rainbow waistband, a colored hankie pouch, and a removable middle strap in case you wanted to be street legal, you could flag in style.
Even though it was the last night the bar would be open, the air was rife with pleasantries, laughs, and talking. Outside on the smoker’s deck, people were taking advantage of the low lighting and getting close, helping each other have one last, good night at the bar. Sharing cigars, stories, and space, there were a good few people who strayed outside for a breather and to feel the closeness in the darker room.
A good number of people agreed that, while it was sad that The Barracks is closing, there will most certainly be another incarnation at some point. We need a safe space to gather and be ourselves, away from the general public who don’t always understand why we do what we do. So, as the need for a safe space rises, so too will another bar open up that will welcome us with open arms.