Oh, gay bars. They’re the perfect safe-haven for straight girls who like to dance and dry hump pretty boys without the threat of date rape. I loved gay bars back when I could stay up past 11:00. In my own mind, I was a post-Madonna, pre-Gaga fruit-fly-extraordinaire. The chorus of friends shouting ‘hey, girl!’ would ring in my ears like a beautiful song as I charged into the dark and loud room. The thumping techno soothed my mind as the smoke-filled air enlarged my pores.
On a busy dance floor one night, I found out I was nowhere near iconic. I would never be impersonated by a drag-queen in a Vegas show. The humbling went down at a fabulous new gay bar in Little Rock. I don’t remember the name of the place now, but I’m sure the subtly gay name was charming. I jumped right into the mix on the dance floor, hoping to become the princess among the queens. A handsome African American caught my eye. He was dancing with a cute boy, but I beckoned him over to join me. I somehow got the gestures wrong. My hands said, ‘come over here and dance with me’. But his eyes saw, ‘bet you can’t top these mediocre moves in front of a crowd of hot boys who will declare you a hero.’
I danced confidently as the cutie watched, not realizing that he was merely sizing up the competition. I thought he was admiring my shoes or jeans. I looked really cute that night. He jumped in and danced beside me as a small crowd gathered. I realized by the cheers and his facial expression that I had just been completely and utterly served. I also finally realized the gravity of that phrase. All I could do was walk away. There was no way to salvage the situation. In retrospect, it is cool to say I was once in a dance-off with a gay black man. Even if the admission is a cautionary tale. Learn from me (and Larry Craig), my friends. There is more than one reason to keep your gestures in check.
(Sorry for the LC reference, I tried to fight the urge but found it overpowering. I’m sure you understand.)