Gay Bar Gets New Windows—28 Years After Vandals Smashed Them

Portland, Maine, has become more welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

A treasured Maine gay bar just got a long overdue facelift.

Blackstones, Portland’s oldest and last remaining bar catering to the LGBTQ community, recently installed new full-length front windows, Bangor Daily News reports. The windows had been broken for 28 years.

After first opening in 1987, the neighborhood watering hole had its windows repeatedly smashed by homophobic vandals using rocks and bricks. Finally, instead of being bullied out of business, management simply boarded up the busted windows in 1991 with plywood and plexiglass.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” says Blackstones manager Carl Currie of the new facade. “We put the glass in because we’re at a point now where the bar is safe. It’s time to open it up and acknowledge that.”

“When you look at [the picture of the] broken glass,” Currie continues, “it’s important to recognize that those things happened—there was a huge issue of bigotry in this city—but it also reflects on how Portland [has now] accepted the LGBTQ community completely—or nearly completely.”

While Currie adds that most of his patrons are not seeking anonymity, “the scariest part of the window is that—for the next two weeks, before we get a little tinting—we have created a fishbowl. It’s exciting, because we’ve demystified [the bar] but also a little alienating because people are stopping to look in.”

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