Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hanging Out In Gay Bars

I am not the perfect woman.  It pains me to think I may be dashing your beliefs by admitting that.  Step down from the ledge; life is still worth living!  I am not the perfect woman.  I do not always have my hair “just so,” I do not always wear makeup, and I do not always have the perfect shoes to go with that outfit – unless you agree that tennis shoes are the perfect shoes.  That said, I am a woman, and over the last few months I have acknowledged that publicly… with mixed results.

Wait… wait!  Don’t leave.  I am not going to jump on the pronoun soapbox again.  I promise!

Before I finally came out, my wife and I (before I met her, just I) used to hang out at a particular gay bar and watch drag shows.  I would not say we were regulars, but we went often enough to have friends there and to be recognized by the bar staff and some of the performers.  I liked it there.  It felt safe.  We did not intentionally stop hanging out there, but life has been busy enough over the last few months that we haven’t had the opportunity to visit until just last weekend.

I did not realize how stressful day-to-day life had become until I walked into that familiar place, and all of the walls and protections and guards simply melted away.  In the way one realizes that a refrigerator had been running by the sudden stop of the motor; I realized how much stress I was carrying over “passing” by the fact that it suddenly did not matter.  There were no suspicious glances, no judgments, and no confusion.  In fact, our presence there was no more remarkable than anyone else’ presence.  The only emotion that could even come close to negative was the lack of interest I inspired in most of the men there (they are mostly gay, after all).  It was so refreshing.

It was nice to be in an environment where people treat you no differently because of how you are dressed or with whom you associate.  It was refreshing to hear compliments on my clothing that carried no hidden meaning (other than maybe the occasional “innuendo”… back off ladies, I am married).  It was nice to be in a place where people were okay with me as me, where there were no expectations other than that everyone should have fun.  And yes, it was nice to be in a place where everyone - and I mean EVERYONE – got their pronouns right.  Sorry, I had to mention it.

I know why I will probably always hang out in gay bars.  It is not because I am a lesbian; it is because I know where I will encounter good people.

Peace and love to you all,

1 comment:

  1. You know I kind of had the same experience, but in a different venue. Oh, and before I forget, just last week I went to my first gay bar to watch the show with a lesbian friend and her wife.
    I was as my male self, but I had a good time. It was quite different for me. I've been hiding for so long that my feelings of social awkwardness must have been shining like a beacon in that dark bar.
    Anyway, the experience that prompted me to comment is of a church that I went to. I happened to be traveling and had the opportunity to visit a Metropolitan Community Church.
    Wow. Firstly, I didn't know what to expect. As a Christian, I had heard about the non-mainstream churches and the all kinds of weirdness that they do and things that they believe.
    I couldn't have been more wrong. I found kind, loving, friendly people that just wanted to worship God. Honestly and openly - without reservation or veils. Granted the church was young in spirit, but I really felt the presence of God in that house.
    What's more is that I found that Gays, Lesbians and whomever else were friendly, kind and loving in ways that I didn't find at the "Christian" churches that I had called home.
    It really opened my eyes in many ways.
    I haven't been able to commit to an MCC, yet, but have started going to a more open church that even my wife likes.
    Thanks for the wonderful blog. Calie turned me on to it through her blog.


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