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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Glen Rowan's openly gay bar

Hull uncovers the covert nature of gay bars, which often needed a business front. Local owner Glen Rowan, however, opened a publicly gay bar.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Well, why don't you describe the Pegasus and tell me about Glen Rowan.
BILL HULL:
Glen Rowan was one of the most gentle people that I have ever known in my whole life. Life is—the world is diminished (cliché) by his not being with us anymore. But, he really came into Chapel Hill and decided that he was going to be an openly gay man in an openly gay bar that didn't try to hide itself in trying to be a Galifinakis front for money. He really strived hard to make it friendly to anyone who wanted to be in there. It was basically gay people. He never questioned anybody as to why they were there, as the Electric Company, did. You almost had to prove to be gay to get in there.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Really? How interesting, but that wasn't even owned by a gay person.
BILL HULL:
But they wanted to make certain that gay people felt safe, because people came from all over the Southeast to go to the Electric Company and in order to protect people, I guess, their motivation, I guess they were good people, was that they did not want outsiders, straight people, trouble makers in. I mean, they would ask you if you were gay. What am I supposed to do, suck a dick in the lobby or something?
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Were there many lesbians who came in?
BILL HULL:
Well, Glen was very open, very friendly; I worked there for I don't know how long. It was just because I could go behind the bar and not have all of the crowds. I could see everybody behind the bar and not be pushed and pulled around. It was a very tight, very close, very hot place.