The Zebra Lounge is one of 800+ locations connected to LGBTQ history that are documented online in Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis. In the 1980s the popular gay men’s bar advertised with a motto “a beautiful blend of Black and White.” This was more than a clever advertising play on the striped logo. This was a direct message that both African American and white customers were welcome and encouraged — something not overly common among bars in St. Louis.
In this video, Erise Williams, Jr. offers a look back at what the Zebra Lounge meant to him, and at how this directly connects to the impact of HIV/AIDS for the African American LGBTQ community:
To learn more about the Zebra Lounge, and the complex history of gender, sexuality, race, and class in the metropolitan area of St. Louis, Missouri, explore the tab The Impact of Segregation: Race in LGBTQ St. Louis, 1945 -1992.
Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis is an interdisciplinary humanities project examining the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class & society in St. Louis, Missouri (USA). Further details regarding methods and sources are available on the About tab.
We welcome questions, comments, and feedback. Please contact the project team using this online form.