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The Gay Tag And Release Program – Don’t Get Me Started!

Updated on May 11, 2008

So there I was sitting by the manmade beach at Mandalay Bay here in Las Vegas this past weekend with one of my best pals and a pal of his that had come over for the weekend. They're all what I call, "The LA Gays." So there we were, me sipping a Mojito (I know, so last season, right?) whilst they were sipping their sugar-free Red Bulls and Vodkas (apparently this season's sip) when my pal remarked to me that there was yet another term I needed to know, "Jack Bro" which is apparently a term for a regular guy who you would never know from his outward appearance that he is gay. This would explain the lack of Speedos at the pool/beach and the enormous amount of board shorts we saw on all the fit and not so fit boys there. Now I'm not one of those people who laugh at my own jokes by any means nor do I find myself the wittiest gay on the block but sometimes, just sometimes, something comes out of my mouth seemingly all on its own and I do make myself chuckle. As the boys went on and on about how difficult it has become to tell the gays from the not gays I said, "That's why we need the gay tag and release program." Don't Get Me Started!

I know, it could never really happen, right? And let's face it, nor should it. It's too, well shall we say, Nazi Germany? It's a silly idea but it made us laugh all the same. But what I came to discover over my day and night hanging with the Gays from LA was that it truly is getting harder and harder to "tell" as we used to say in my day. I remember my grandmother used to watch The Mike Douglas show and Dinah Shore show religiously every afternoon. Any time there was a single male star of a certain age that hadn't been married, my grandmother would say the same thing, "He's in his thirties, he's never been married, do you think???" She never finished the sentence but we always knew what she meant. Sometimes she was right and sometimes she was wrong but she'd always follow it up with the same comment, "The homosexuals, they're everywhere." "Yeah" I thought to myself, "even in this house."

So isn't this what we've fought for all these years and for those of us who grew up with the Marlo Thomas classic, Free To Be You And Me, the fact that you don't have to be a limp wristed, swishy gay to be a gay? It sounds great but to be honest it's a bit off putting for a lot of us old fashioned gays. I mean, what good is a gay without gaydar, right? It's a little embarrassing not to know who is a member and who isn't and as if it wasn't hard enough at the pool, a visit to the Strip's only gay club that night had me reeling. It's been years and years since I've been to a gay bar so I was not all that comfortable to start out with but as we maneuvered our way through the boys and men it suddenly occurred to me that among the typical over tweezed eye brow "twinks" and "daddies" there stood these young men who looked like everyone who ever beat up a gay from my childhood. That's right, they were muscled out and I don't know how else to say it but they looked like thugs. You know the type, the type you imagine putting graffiti on park walls and smoking on a corner. They were there with their shirts off, tattoos showing yet instead of "clutching their pearls" as we gays have done for generations when someone said something funny, instead they would put their fellow gay thug in a choke hold. And as if to make the whole picture complete, these thug gays don't know how to dance. They dance like the "trade" on boxes at clubs for generations. And as they took us over to the VIP area and put our wristbands on so that we could freely enter and exit the more exclusive table area, I started to revisit the whole idea from the afternoon. After all, hadn't I just been tagged as a VIP gay? And it didn't hurt a bit. So ladies and gentlemen, I give you the gay tag and release program. Don't Get Me Started!

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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for reading and thanks for the insight...I can use any I can get. At some point when I'm not so intimidated by Home Depot maybe I'll go over and test my skills. Those stores are just too big for me and have too many things that are completely unrecognizable to me. But God love the Home Depot goers...and the workers who have to wear those vests...yikes!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I have no gaydar. I've often wondered what I lack to have this lack. It's not that I don't know gay, but hey, girls are a similar story to yours about boys. There are the dykes (dare I say that?), there are the butches and the femmes. But then, there are more gay women who have no label.

      I had a great experience a few weeks ago when a friend of mine visited with me. We went to Home Depot to get some vacuum cleaner bags. My friend saw the lady at the customer service desk and said to me, let me ask the question about where the bags are. I said, sure. So she did. What an engagement between the two of them! My friend has effective gaydar. I asked her later, how did you know? (This lady looked like the cookie mom on my block.) My friend said, well, some of us just know.

      Oh well. "...a regular guy who you would never know from his outward appearance that he is gay..." So too, with women.

      Your grandmother knew what she was talking about. Gays are everywhere. Always have been. Although, the stereotypes we think of when we think "gay" don't always help us to know if someone is gay or not. That's life. And more, does it really matter? People are just people.

      I really enjoy your hubs.

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

      LOL. Fun read. I'll be in Las Vegas soon. I wonder if my gaydar will be effective there? It sure doesn't sound like it.