As Galveston told its remaining residents on Monday to leave the Texas island devastated by Hurricane Ike, Robert’s Lafitte, a gay bar, was planning a pre-curfew drag show and Tina Turner sing-along.
The first of two bars to reopen after Ike’s onslaught on Saturday, Robert’s Lafitte is a haven in the storm — for gays, straights, anyone who needs a place to drink and find comfort.
“You can see there’s not too much worry and stress on people’s faces,” said Dixie Monroe, a transgender barmaid who wore a tiger-print cowboy hat and a low-cut top.
Outside, Black Hawk helicopters clattered overhead and emergency teams searched for people stranded in the flooded city of 60,000 people. Up the street lay a huge field of splintered wood.
Big Mouth Robert, the establishment’s owner and a former female impersonator, said the bar took 3 feet (1 metre) of water and closed when Ike’s fury blew out the windows. But after a mop-up the next morning, Robert’s Lafitte was back in business.
Read the full story from Reuters.