Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Off the Boat

This past weekend was Pride here in Orlando. Pride in October? Yes, that is what many in the southern part of the United States do to avoid the heat of Pride Month, which is June. Did it work? This year no. Central Florida is having record breaking heat so far this month. It has been well into the 90s and this weekend was no exception. It was very hot, but we gays carry on. 

Dustin and I made the most of our weekend. We spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the always amazing gay landmark: Parliament House. We also attended the Pride Festival and parade on Sunday at Lake Eola. All in all it was an amazing weekend filled with heat (both outside and on the dance floor), amazing drag shows, and cute boys. On Sunday I sweat so much from dancing that my new jeans literally bled blue all over my legs, but it was well worth it. 

But in the middle of my Pride Weekend I had my first almost bar brawl. I have to say in general gay clubs are fairly non-violent (unless they are being raided). I can't think of a time that I've seen anyone looking to cause a fight. We are too focus on sex (or maybe that's just me), but Saturday night was different. 

After the midnight drag show many people were filing in from the pool area, where the show had taken place. We were all heading back into the club to get a drink, dance, pee, whatever. The door Dustin and I were going into was rather narrow, which required the rather large crowd to thin down and file in respectfully. This is normally no problem at all. But as we were making our way in a large group of straight girls decide they should shove through and get ahead of everyone else. Two or three pass by me before I completely realize that this entire herd of girls is planning to just plow in front of everyone. What do I do? I stick my arm out and push the next girl back. I was drunk, so I'm sure the push was more forceful than it should have been, but the girl never lost her balance, never stumbled, and never dropped a drink (which is vital in bar etiquette). 

Of course, she wasn't pleased and seemed to look at me for some explanation, which I happily gave her. I announced in her face that this was a gay bar, which meant all the men weren't just going to get out of her way because she was a girl. This is where the true trouble began, because her friend (a pushy blonde girl, who had already shoved by me) decided to get involved. She began shouting in my face various obscenities and then proceeded to literally attack my head. No punching, just slapping the top of my head, which actually sort of hurt. I probably hit her back at least once before Dustin jumped in and shoved me against the bar and away from the crazed straight girl. It was one of Dustin's proudest moments: other men can make out with his boyfriend, but nobody is going to hit him (he felt very butch and protective, which is why I love him). I'm thankful for Dustin's move as I didn't want it to escalate and did not want security involved. Oh and to top it off some twink in a vest threw in that I shouldn't hit girls (oh those good old southern gay boys). The girls gave up on beating me and left the area rather quickly and I never saw them again. Dustin says he hopes it ruined their night, because we recovered in about five minutes and danced the night away. As gays you learn to carry on. 

What is the point of sharing this story? It actually ties back to an old post I made about Camp Drag and straight people attending gay clubs. Let me begin this discussion by saying I have nothing against straight people. In fact, until this past year almost the entirety of my friends for my whole life have been straight. But I have to say in the last year of going out to gay clubs on a very regular basis, I have come to despise a particular kind of straight girl that attends gay clubs (notice I said a particular kind). There are many that attend that I have no problem with, because they come with an understanding of the environment and a respect for others. These are often straight women that come with gay men. The kind I have trouble with are those that are clearly there with an entire group of straight girls, most of which have never been in a gay club in their lives and probably won't return. This often happens as part of a bachelorette party (yes the girl that attacked me was there for a bachelorette party, if she was the bride, God help her groom). 

These girls come for the spectacle. They come to stare at the freaks. To watch drag shows and be confused and laugh, but not always in the right way. They come with little to no understanding or respect for the gay community or the fact that the gay club is our turf in a world that doesn't really allow us much space. They come expecting the same treatment they get in straight clubs. They often seem shocked that no one pays much attention to them. They find it hard to understand that we aren't all fascinated by their hair or boobs. We didn't all just walk off the set of a Bravo TV show. I'm there because it's my weekend and I'm looking at all the boys. They don't understand that the gay community is built differently. Being a girl doesn't get you ahead (just ask a lesbian), which reminds me of a great lesbian comedian that was on the Atlantis Cruise Dustin and I took about a year and a half ago. She said her mom was worried about her performing on a boat, but then said, "Well I guess if it goes down it is always women and children first." The comedian then told her mother, "This is a gay cruise mom. It is twinks and queens first, lesbians last, they have the best chance of fixing the boat." Yes, you can argue this joke plays on stereotypes, but it is funny and hits on my topic pretty well.  

This almost brawl with this girl showcased my own frustration at the issue. Do I want an us and them situation? A separation? Maybe I do just a little. Is it wrong to ask that large groups of straight girls who are just there to wear penis crowns and gawk at the gays stay home? Maybe I'm really just asking for respect of the space you are entering. I'm not anti-straight people, but when I go out to a very gay club, like Parliament House, I don't expect to be attacked by blonde straight girls who expect to get whatever they want. I'm a young, twinky gay guy with red hair (a fetish for many), if anyone is getting special treatment in a gay club it better be me. 

4 comments:

  1. Amen.

    Glad you took a stand, however drunkenly it may have occurred. I'm sick of gay men bending over backwards for these interlopers. Surely, there are allies amongst the straight female population, and even many who I would welcome into my bars. They know how things work, however, and don't attempt to run the place with their tits. These faux-fabulous wanna-be-princesses, however, need to get a clue.

    Btw, I blame the media, but that's a whole rant in itself.

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  2. Another shitty part of this involves the fact that women who go to gay clubs for "bachelorette" parties are visibly celebrating a right that's denied to all the other patrons of the club. My sister lives in Boystown in Chicago, and has noticed a couple club owners taking a stand against that with "no bachelorette party" policies at their gay bars.

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  3. Thanks for the support guys!

    Meghan, I know, I didn't even address the concept of having a bachelorette party at a placed filled with people who are denied the right to marry. I'm not surprised some clubs in Chicago have done that. I don't think the south ever will, but it's interesting to know others have.

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  4. WARNING: NOT A POLITICALLY CORRECT COMMENT:

    It always amuses me when straight women attempt to use their boobs on me. It amuses me even more to tell them they have no power here. Meanwhile, I think I've literally laid down in dog shit for a straight boy to walk on my back.

    This weekend we went to the state fair. I'd purchased a candied apple to take home and eat later. As I was walking out, this cute straight boy who was working one of the games was like, "I'll give you anything for that apple. I'm hungry!" Cue porno music. I was instantly back in the eighth grade when I'd give the Snickers bar from my lunch to Ricky Bolding. I was like, HERE! Take my candied apple! Take my body! Take my soul! But bitch, don't cut in front of me at a gay bar unless I can grab your ass when you pass and actually enjoy it.

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