Tampa’s gay bathhouses, bars and male strip clubs are rolling out the red carpet for the Republican National Convention.
Known as the “lap dance capital of the world,” the Gulf Coast city is offering all sorts of special programs and discounts expressly targeting the GOP’s closeted gay and repressed “family values” delegates. The convention is scheduled to open on Aug. 27, although an approaching potential hurricane could delay the proceedings.
Ybor Resort and Spa, a gay bathhouse in the city’s party district, is offering a promotion that lets “all RNC delegates get in free.” In an advertisement, the bathhouse touts: “Male Revue Upstairs in the VIP Room Featuring Paul Ryan Look-alike!”
Dwight’s Erotique Cabaret’s “welcomes the RNC to Tampa with a heartfelt tribute to America’s military muscle.” The ad bearing containing this announcement features a hunk wearing skimpy camouflage underwear.
The cabaret is also offering “champagne salute to Colonel Senator Lindsay Olin Graham,” an effeminate, never-married Republican senator from South Carolina who’s long been rumored to be gay. Another club offers Sarah Palin female impersonators.
Joe Redner, the entrepreneur and activist credited with making Tampa’s adult entertainment world famous, said in a Washington Post profile that he didn’t expect the convention to be as profitable for the city’s thriving sex clubs as the Super Bowl.
Nevertheless, the city’s notorious straight strip clubs are also ramping up for the 50,000 visitors expected to descend on the Tampa Bay area.
Clubs throughout the city have taken out ads inviting GOP delegates “to party like a liberal” in a city where the Ppoles are open all night,” reports CNN.
When the Christian group Promise Keepers held a convention in Tampa a couple of years ago, attendees flooded a strip club called 2001 Odyssey, co-owner Jim Kleinhans told CNN. They had such a good time that “they kept their promise to come back the next night,” he said.
And for the official entertainment lineup at the convention: