Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where My Gays At?

In a backwards mode of thinking I don’t ascribe to, all girls are destined to fulfill a particular station. Some are destined to become wives and mothers, successful business ladies, or have it all: man, kids and career. I was born into this world to excel at the art of faghag-dom.

To paraphrase my main bitch Jane Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of an Absolutely Fabulous box set must be in want of a gay BFF."

Well, color me Mr. Darcy.

The day I realized I was most likely to succeed as a bestie to the gays was in high school. The cutest boy ever was a junior and I loved him sooooooooo much. He was artistic, funny, cute, adventurous and like, the best actor ever. He gave me butterflies in my tummy and I wanted to die when I saw him. Eventually, the crush blossomed into a close, fulfilling friendship, culminating in his coming out to me. This happened a couple more times in my teen years. A pattern was developing. I didn’t choose to be a fruit fly. They chose me.

My grooming began at birth. Mom and Dad were still kids when I danced myself out of the womb, and so was MTV. Brash, loud and tacky as hell, the fledgling music channel aired videos by gay icon Boy George, fellow fruit fly Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. The sugary pop music went down like a bowlful of Applejacks, and Cyndi’s hair colors far outshone any color in my crayon box. I was in love. Unlike my fellow Catholic grade school kindergarteners whose square folks enforced rules and structure, cable TV was not verboten to me. I had young, cool parents.

In fact, cable is responsible for just about everything I learned way too soon. Shows like HBO’s titty-thriller and the Hitchhiker taught me every usage of the word “fuck.” While I took in an HBO airing of the first Police Academy movie I became aware of just what homosexuality meant. Remember that scene where those ridiculously stereotyped leather daddies slow-danced at the Blue Oyster Bar? At first, five year-old me was a little puzzled. Then slowly, I figured it out. It was easier for me to accept homosexuality than it was for me to accept Steve Gutenberg being cast as a loveable cad, I’ll tell you that much.

When I wasn’t subjected to highly inappropriate adult content, I was dancing. I love to dance. Always have. While the future homemakers of America played “house,” I was in my room wearing out my Madonna cassette. I replayed “Burnin’ Up” over and over again so I could perfect its choreography. I’d pay a queen’s ransom for footage of six year-old me in Mom’s bra reenacting Madge’s moves. “Do you wanna see me down on my knees, bending over backwards/Now would you be pleased?” Paging Humbert Humbert…

After high school, I took my dance moves out of the bedroom and onto the dance floor. Every Sunday, my older cohorts snuck my underage ass into the Cabaret, Kansas City’s biggest and best gay club for the drag show.

In between stuffing dollars down queens’ stuffed chests as they mouthed Donna Summer and tireless dance sessions among sweaty shirtless hunks, I downed rum and cokes with three limes. This was my first foray into drunky town, so it never occurred to me to hydrate myself. I spent many nights facedown on the cold linoleum of my friend’s bathroom, swearing to gawd that some jerky twink drugged my drink. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case.

Shortly after my 21st birthday, Club Cabaret closed its fabulous doors. Now, there are plenty of other gay bars in Kansas City, but none quite as magickal as the Cab. With no truly inspirational dance parties to turn to, I discovered the theat-tuh.

Kansas City’s Late Night Theatre featured a cast of beautiful drags who excelled at bitchy satire, recreating cult classics like “Valley of the Dolls” and “The Stepford Wives,” as well as their own original productions. My wicked, pop culture-saturated self ate it up. The Late Nighters were fun, genuine, flippant and clever. They threw parties where everyone was a star. It was Kansas City’s answer to a modern day Factory, but with better art and kinder drugs.

But, like the Cabaret before it, LNT too had to close its doors. Fortunately, I maintained lasting friendships with its members. The day Late Night Theatre folded, Kansas City lost a lot of sparkle, and I was ready to move to more thrilling pastures.

Now I live in New York City. The home of Stonewall, Christopher Street and Lady Bunny. And I have like no gay friends. What the hell? Where my gays at? Sure, I’ve been to parties and met some lovely boys who’ve found me adorable and charming and blah blah blah, but they never call like they say they will. I’ve considered taking out a Craigslist ad: “Fruitfly desperately seeking fun-but-not-flaky gay boyfriend for drinks, dancing, ANTM marathons, trips to the MOMA, karaoke and smack talk.” If anyone reading this knows of anybody, hook a sister up.

-Megan Metzger


Anonymous said...

theres gotta be a nyc party you can find some gays at - then let me know where you went

Anonymous said...

i suggest the ramble in central park