BERKELEY, CA – Patrons of the iconic local gay bar, The Manhole, were surprised to discover that its name has been changed to Maintenance Hole after a ruling by the Berkeley City Council.
“I usually head down to The Manhole on Friday nights to unwind after a long work week, have a couple cocktails, and score some weekend ass,” said longtime patron Dave Elders, adding “but I show up tonight and find that it’s now the Maintenance Hole. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.”
According to bar owner Robert Davies, the name change came about after being pressured by City Council. “We received a letter last week from the city that says due to gender nonspecific inclusion policies, we have to change our name to Maintenance Hole. Come on, we’re a fucking gay bar. It cost me over $5000 to have a new sign made.”
District 3 Councillor Ben Bartlett explained to BeetPress “Here in Berkeley, we have a culture of inclusion, and words like Manhole, Manpower, Policemen, Firemen and so forth, alienate our non-cisgendered brothers and, I mean, fellow Berkeleytonians. We want tourists to our city to feel comfortable visiting many of our fine establishments including The Cockpit, The Maintenance Hole, The Fudge Factory, and the Lawrence Hall of Science.”
Although most have praised the change, a few residents have expressed disappointment with the push towards political correctness, including lesbian poet and performance artist Connie Beauchamp. “The girls and I used to get quite a laugh whenever we’d walk past The Manhole on our way to The Clamdigger, but I guess those days are over now. Whatever,” stated Beauchamp.
According to the Berkeley City website, residents found using the words man, woman, he, she, sir, ma’am, boy, or girl in public will be subject to a $250 fine or imprisonment of up to six months.