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It Can’t Be Me, It Must Be You!

Updated on August 7, 2009


This week I had the opportunity to go to a gay soirée of sorts. One of the established clubs in town has decided to do a “gay night” every Tuesday and this was the launch for it. As someone who is not on the party or club circuit at all, going out on a Tuesday at 11pm was feat enough but as I watched the crowd and mingled amongst them I realized that I no longer had the apprehensions I had as a young gay man when I went to a club of this sort, instead I decided it can’t be me, it must be you! – Don’t Get Me Started!

Funny how your perspective changes as you grow older (and supposedly wiser) isn’t it? Before I even took the elevator up I had that old feeling in the pit of my stomach that I haven’t had in years. You know the whole, did I have the right shirt on, would it be dark enough inside to make me look thin? All the baggage that I used to lug around with me to every event I went to as a young gay man. As I approached the entry there was a group of six women who were pleading with the man behind the velvet rope to let them in. I instantly realized that the women in front of me were from out of town and had no idea about the launch of “gay night” and as they flirted to get the bouncer to let them in (even though they were letting anyone in with the $5 cover charge) I thought these girls from Idaho have no idea what’s waiting for them upstairs. They got in. As we gave our name to the Tuesday night bouncer (more like a bouncer in training as he wasn’t there on one of the good nights I can only imagine that he was like a bar back who was in training to be a bartender) he found us on the list and the velvet rope was un-tethered to allow us to get to the elevator that would take us upstairs to the club. Before the elevator doors could close a boy who looked about fifteen entered the elevator with us. As the doors closed I realized this club had one thing going for it, the back of the elevator doors were mirrored so that you could do a last minute vanity check as you zoomed to the highest floor in the hotel with your ears popping to enter the place where the supposed elite (and now gay) meet.

As the doors opened there were two men who seemed to be waiting to greet people and the boy who had been busy checking himself out in the mirror of the elevator doors and talked nervously about the fact that he didn’t think he’d get in because he was wearing a baseball cap (leather)as we ascended suddenly became the swishiest queen in the land, “Hey Girl” he exclaimed with one arm up like he was either saluting Hitler or waving to fans from his convertible in a parade. We skated past the boy/boy welcome embrace and entered.

After my eyes adjusted I could see that I don’t think the gay night launch was as successful as they had wanted it to be. I think there were about forty to fifty people and as we went to the bar and got our drinks I would have to say that the surroundings were beautiful but who could look at that with all the people scenery about? I have always enjoyed watching people. I love to see who hangs out with whom and I find it interesting that there are certain groupings that appear to be the same people over and over again with the exception of a few of their facial features. You know what I’m talking about, there were the two really tall boys with their chubby girl friend tagging along behind. This is a group you see everywhere, the two boys and the girl who was in love with one of them in high school and they’ve remained best friends. She has no idea why she hasn’t found a man at thirty but if she had any sense (or real friends) they’d tell her that devoting her life to her homosexual friend has made her fit for no one other than a cat. There was the older gay couple who seemed as though every boy who passed might be the thing that put some spark back into their relationship if they could get him drunk enough to get him to go home with them tonight. There was the guy in the kilt. There were the two lesbians on one of the couches in the corner, wondering where all the other lesbians were but being good sports about being the only lesbians at this shindig. There was the gaggle of gays, that group of about five or six boys who walk around together in a pack hoping there’s safety in numbers and each one hoping that they might be able to sneak away from the pack at some point and find someone who spends more than ten minutes with them in a stall in the men’s room. There was the “couple” this is the gay couple that is either making out or walking about the place hand in hand (usually with one seemingly leading the other one about, holding his hand, looking as though he’s dragging him back to his cave or something) that possessive public display of affection type that will cause the relationship to always end in tragedy. (Gay or straight, these relationships always end ugly.) There’s the no eye contact guy. He is by himself with his Justin Timberlake from three years ago porkpie hat on, walking around not making eye contact with anyone and convinced everyone’s looking at him and wanting him. There’s the eye contact guy who is alone and trying to make eye contact with everyone passing by in hopes of either making a love connection or just finding someone to talk to so no one will know he’s alone. There are the four transitioning to fully developed transgender folk who look like one of those evolution posters showing man starting out as an ape and ending looking like a well developed cave man. And of course there are the loud queens who preen and float about being a little too loud to cover up how alone they feel.

As I looked at this parade that went by me, I didn’t judge it, I didn’t feel superior, I just felt that they were all part of the mixture that creates the GLBT community and I wondered if I ever fit into it or did today. I no longer was jealous of the fabulously muscled boys and the attention that they seemed to receive from everyone nor did I wish that I had been born with more chiseled features. I was able to just look at this display knowing I was going home in an hour or so to the man I’ve shared my life with for the last twenty or so years and my cats. Safe in the realization that if someone did notice me in the crowd and had any disparaging remarks to make about me that it can’t be me, it must be you! – Don’t Get Me Started!

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