There are dancers and prancers, bartenders and vixens . . . sparkles and Santa and men with captivating nether regions.
That’s right. It’s Christmas time at the Copa, a popular bar and dance club frequented by gay individuals in the city that is rocking in Christmas stockings.
And the gay bar is not just for gays anymore. Copa has become a popular Oklahoma City destination for OU students of all flavors.
“I like the atmosphere a lot more than I like most bars’ atmospheres,” says Armella Gottschalk, a sociology senior and frequent Copa patron. “I’ve seen all types of people there. I see gay people there, I see straight people there, all races and ages, and there aren’t many bars that you’re going to find that at.”
Diversity is something Copa has in spades, including young men dancing with older men and women and every other possible combination. Copa contains what may be a shocking idea for most college students — mingling with others.
“The bars in Norman, you can tell that people are concerned about looking a certain way or acting a certain way and presenting themselves a certain way, but [not] at the Copa,” Gottschalk says.
At Copa, cowboys, hipsters and gangsters with stocking caps and baggy jeans mix harmoniously with the dance music and twinkling icicle lights. The atmosphere lets people of all types hang out and be themselves without the fear of judgement.
“It’s more comfortable for LGBTQ people because they don’t have to worry about their image,” says Greg Emde, microbiology senior.
In fact that seems to be the recipe that makes Copa great. Add alcohol to taste, blend and have a wonderful and unique Friday night.
It’s the atmosphere that’s luring students off of Campus Corner and into their cars for the thirty minute drive to the city.
“Lesbians? There. Drag queens? There,” says Trenton Haltom, sociology senior. “So many varying groups come together in the gay-bar environment that it almost becomes a learning experience as well.”
But exploring the gay sub-culture of the city is not the only reason students are flocking to the metro “gayborhood.”
“The reason we really love to go to the Copa is because it’s the only place you can actually dance,” Gottschalk says. “You can dance at Logan’s or Brother’s, but it’s a really structured playlist, really badly structured with bad songs.”
And there is definitely dancing. The club sports a lowered dance floor, a stage set with Christmas decorations and two raised platforms complete with underwear-clad go-go dancers. For underwear: red spandex — a spandex wrestling unitard to be precise.
While probably not for the faint-of-heart heterosexual, Copa is filled with people who like to dance, mingle and, for the holiday season at least, jingle.