Bryan D. Leys

Red Spot Rebellion


Once upon a time, in the 1970’s, there was a bar in South Buffalo NY, (Lackawanna) called the Red Spot. It was something of an oddity. It was a bar for steel mill workers during the day and a gay bar at night. You would hardly know this because the décor never changed, only the patrons. On one particular night, two day workers came in and started a fight. An hour later, ten steelworkers were parked outside and attacking anyone who came in or out and the police were planning a raid. The Red Spot Rebellion is the story of the people inside the bar that night.

The inhabitants include Pat, a lesbian bartender who was once a college professor, Craig, a gay black computer programmer on an extended assignment in Buffalo. Also present are Alvin, a local hairdresser and supposedly reformed drag queen, Gene, a would-be actor with a give-a-damn attitude, and Don, a local sports promoter, married, who still finds time for Gene on the side. Finally, there is Mark, a young man who has recently come out and blames the person who “made him gay."

The Red Spot Rebellion is set in 1975 when many gays felt totally liberated. People were coming out of the closet with flower child enthusiasm and an appetite for sex in line with the love generation. Some thought it was a brand new day. Some were in for a rude awakening. Outside of the gay community, raids on bars were still being planned and gays were being beaten up in the streets. And this was still years before the advent of AIDS.

The Red Spot Rebellion is a look back at that golden age of sexual liberation, the choices gays were forced to make, and the birth of a sense of purpose and identity that was still taking its baby steps. It’s in small bar, in one blue collar town, where the gays were finally forced to make a stand.

Cast of Characters

Pat The bartender; a generally good-natured, middle-aged lesbian.
Alvin 45, a somewhat effeminate gay barber.
Craig Afro-American, late 30's, computer programmer from New York.
Don Early 30's, sports executive, married with two teenage daughters.
Gene Mid 20's, dancer, part-time hustler, Don's sometime lover.
Mark A teenager who's just come out.
Stach (Stachu) A straight plant worker, early 30's.
Ziggy (Sigmund)
also Narrator
Another straight plant worker, late 20's.

Music Excerpts

Music by Steve Leibman