Monday, December 31, 2007

Mistletoe Madness

In a world bound by tradition …

Where beauty is measured in the size of one’s trust fund and plaid rules men’s fashion …

Where outsiders are silently judged and fine dining options are defined by the choice between the grill room and the dining room …

It is a world few can infiltrate, and even fewer escape. It is up to one man to enter and return to tell the tale.

This is the story of that man.

OK, hi, melodrama, but I did recently have an exciting and adventurous foray into the heart of old Grosse Pointe.

"Mistletoe Magic" is a formal holiday party held at the old money
Country Club of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms. It’s a highly anticipated annual event that draws primarily Grosse Pointe twenty-somethings for an evening of preppy holiday cheer, and by that I mean booze (Grosse Pointers love their hooch). I was invited by a new friend, whom we’ll call Trip. He’s been a really good sport about being dragged to events all over downtown lately, so I could hardly decline his gracious invitation (despite my concerns about being an outlier on the demographic bell curve of the evening).

Full disclosure: I was raised in Grosse Pointe, and while not necessarily to the manor born, I concede I bought into the preppy thing back in the eighties (hey, who didn’t?). I even took
The Preppy Handbook seriously for a few years in my youth, parody being a little beyond me at age 13. By the time I graduated from high school, however, I was ready to head to the east coast seeking places with urban character and an environment where I could come out of the closet and be part of a gay community. (I suppose in fairness I should note that I was fleeing Michigan in general as much as GP, but GP was home). Grosse Pointe had come to represent an inward-looking, insular place to me, and I was looking for a more cosmopolitan and diverse world.

In recent years I’ve mellowed on my aversion to Grosse Pointe. I like how GP’ers tend to have a connection to downtown Detroit and aren’t afraid to drive in for social, professional and cultural events. And now that I’m older and I’ve got friends with children, it’s turned out to be the landing spot for some awesome people who grew up there, moved on to live the world, and have returned to roost. But it is still a very unique and, sure, strange place at times. As was evidenced by this party.

Next to the ivy under that tree to the left is a good spot to make out.
The Country Club of Detroit has a beautiful rambling English estate-style clubhouse, and the party took over the entire place. Most guests were GP kids in their twenties, with a smattering of parental types operating as, I am assuming, chaperones (the parent aspect being a very effective tool in a town where everyone grew up together).

It was actually just like every movie you’ve seen about privileged youth, but not in a creepy “
Less Than Zero” way and more in a benign “Pretty in Pink” way. You could not have made up the fashions, which were of course tuxedos for boys and eveningwear for girls.

The young women of GP have their own style, less influenced by contemporary fashion than you might expect, certainly somewhat conservative, but really fun in its quirky way. While most were able to pull it together, there was a somewhat chronic problem of shoes not working with the dresses. But what GP really needs is someone to come in and educate on hair and makeup – it doesn’t need to be Birmingham glam, but the concept of layering could revolutionize the overall aesthetic of Grosse Pointe. This is a problem that transcends generational boundaries, by the way.

Speaking of, it was the gentlemen of the older generations who really stepped out with the preppy formalwear. Holiday plaids and cardinal red were in fine form on the males who weren’t necessarily looking to score that night.

No cell phones allowed so I had to sneak these pics.

Once I got over the bizarre feeling of being in a movie - the live band, early 20th century clubhouse and kids in formalwear combo really driving that one home - the party was awesome. Trip’s friends are really fun, plus you know, give me a few cocktails and I can have a good time at the bus station.

I have no idea how many other gay people might have been there (ok, I know of one because he grabbed Trip's ass). Truth be told, GP guys can be a little effete. It’s just the way they’re raised. Tennis, yachting and golf are all acceptable sports for teenage boys, so there is less of that macho bullshit that gets bandied about by traditional sporties. And if you decide to avoid sports altogether, there’s really no stigma. Bust out with theater or chorale, you can still go to the cool parties. It’s really quite nice, although probably a big reason the Grosse Pointe Gay phenomenon goes relatively unquestioned.

So obviously Trip and I had a hassle-free evening, and even managed to sneak off for a little making out. Although come to think of it, even if someone had a problem with the gays they wouldn’t make a big deal of it to our face – it’s just not the Grosse Pointe way.

GP is probably not an acceptable landing spot for a fully-actualized gay man in the new millennium - it’s just a little too much about living a very specific lifestyle (and thanks, but I’m busy with the one I’ve already got). It sure is nice for a visit, though. It’s pretty. Everyone is fun and likes to booze. And sometimes you can score with your friend’s dad.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Christmas Edit

If you've checked out the Supergay Christmas Spectacular you may be interested to know that I've added a clip to it ... Evie Harris and a fucked fucked fucked fucked up Christmas tale. I couldn't find it in time to include with version 1.0, but it's there now. I'm a revisionist.

If you haven't checked out the Supergay Christmas Spectacular, what are you waiting for?

(Buffy fans will appreciate a very cute & gay Tom Lenk in a supporting role.)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Broke, Ugly, Dumb

I'm in San Francisco for Christmas and the New Year. It's a real Supergay Road Trip!

Walking down from my friends' house to the Castro this morning I passed a guy huddled up in a doorwell (it's cold and rainy) with a hand-made cardboard sign that said "Broke, Ugly, Dumb - every little bit helps" It was the first thing I've seen that reminded me of Detroit, because God knows you get enough stupid begging lines downtown (and enough stupid people giving people money because "that line is great!").

I love SF and frankly, I can't believe I don't live here. As much as I like Detroit, SF is pretty much everything I want in a city, at least on paper. Every time I visit I've pretty much chained myself to a lamp post by the second or third day, just so I won't have to leave. Surprising even me, however, was my reaction to being here this time around. This time, it's still really great, but it's really easy to talk to people who say "you need to move here!" and tell them I genuinely enjoy living in Detroit.

While San Fran has more stuff going on, has more gay people than is almost conceivable, has better shopping, has a ton of natural beauty, is navigable without a car, has amazing restaurants, is deliciously liberal and is the soul of the gay community in this country ... I still am digging the people, places and possibilities in Detroit, now matter how broke, ugly or dumb it may be.

The view's pretty good though.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Vocab Lesson: Grosse Pointe Gay

I've got a couple of Grosse Pointe-related posts coming up, so a quick vocabulary lesson is in order as preparation.

Since moving back to Detroit and socializing in primarily heterosexual circles, a phenomenon I'd thought had long died out has been discovered thriving in the wild. It is the gay man who is married (to a woman), often has children, and lives his life in heterosexual society as a heterosexual family man. The kicker is that it is usually obvious to all but the most oblivious observer that this man is gay - but nobody talks about it. Due it's prevalence in a certain tony Detroit suburb, this is something we have come to term the "Grosse Pointe Gay."

"Hey buddy! How's it goin'?"

Now I know you are saying to me "big fucking deal, that happens all the time." Well, perhaps. But I'm not talking about my parents' generation, where guys were coming of age when the options for gay life were decidedly more ... frightening? When public acceptance of gays was minimal to non-existent. This is not a (pick a Republican closet case) type of story.

I'm talking about guys my age, maybe a little older, who apparently never had the good sense to get away for a while and figure things out, and instead are spending their lives living someone else's expectations. And kids, Grosse Pointe is FULL of them.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Supergay Christmas Spectacular

Thanks to YouTube, I can now make my own Christmas special right here in the comfort of my own home. So without further ado, I present the Supergay Christmas Spectacular!

Hosted by:
Evie Harris!

Featuring the musical multitalents of the
Sweeney Sisters!

With special guests the Ambiguously Gay Duo!

Take a walk down gay memory lane to a simpler time, when television had no production values, with Sonny & Cher, babydyke Chastity, and Bernadette Peters (with very special guests Shields and Yarnell thrown in for extra camp value!)

And featuring special gay musical guest Bearforce1, the world's first "bearband!"

All of this is brought to you by our sponsor, Marks & Spencer, who know how to create a truly fabulous department store Christmas commercial.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I don't have the answers, but I have better questions

Detroit Renaissance is in the midst of a study to form a development strategy for the Greater Downtown Woodward Corridor, an area they are calling the "Creative Corridor."

As a result of my part-time job being the sole voice of reason in this town, I was asked to participate in a "visioning session" to bring varying viewpoints to the table when shaping this Creative Corridor strategy. It was about 25-30 participants, had a realllllllly consultanty structure and forced casual-ness (like, Dockers and Coogi sweaters on tan white guys), and asked people to identify things such as "what is important to the creative class?"

You are probably as tired as I am of hearing about the Creative Class being the savior of cities, and (a) all this energy being spent redefining the category of creative jobs to include things such as accountant, secretary and janitor, and (b) people who clearly should have nothing to do with the world "cool" developing policies and plans to create "
Cool Cities" here in Michigan. First of all, if you redefine creative jobs to include the people you already have then you really don't need to attract new people, right? And secondly, asking people who live in suburbia to define what makes a city great is kind of what got us into this mess in the first place.

Well, whatever, it was an interesting group. The thing is, it's really hard to condemn a bunch of people who actually have influence and read the New York Times with the intention of making Detroit a more successful place. On the other hand, it's really hard to listen to people who so don't get it talk about what Detroit should be.

The issues raised that day read like an editorial page from Dwell magazine: we need sustainability, we need public transportation, we need to have creative workplaces, we need family-friendly areas ...

For me the irritation really came to a head when I was talking with a couple people during a "breakout session" and the family issue came up again. Someone said "we need to look at why young families won't stay in the city." To which I replied, "No, forget families. What you need to look at is why gay people aren't coming into the city."

Predictably, blank stares ensued.

Quite frankly, Michigan's gay community is pretty lame in this regard. In any other major city the gay community is creating change, pushing things forward. In Chicago the gay bars in Boystown were among the first to ban smoking in an effort to bolster the city's proposed non-smoking ordinance. The gay healthcare community has not only taken care of its own, but they've developed community health infrastructure that takes care of all people. The mayor of that city stood up in front of 50,000 gays and lesbians at the opening ceremonies of the Gay Games last year and thanked the gay community for being on the forefront of every quality of life issue in the city.

Here, we have a great microcosm of a gay community in Ferndale. That is a place that gets it in pretty much every way, but it's disproportionately small compared to the gay population in SE Michigan, and it lacks the vibrancy a true urban gay neighborhood can have..

When I sit through a meeting like this, full of incredibly well-intentioned people where only a fraction have a clue, it makes me a little concerned. The up-side is that Detroit Renaissance is involved, and the City (specifically, I mean Kwame and George Jackson of DEGC) might listen to them instead of having a homophobic reaction to Richard Florida and his Creative Class argument (and don't be naive and think the powers that be in this city didn't have an aneurysm over the argument that a vibrant gay community is a hallmark of every successful city). The downside is, well, the evolution of Detroit should be organic. It's so brilliant down here, despite the negatives, I absolutely hate to see people look to places like Royal Oak for inspiration on what the city needs.

Two things that could make a big difference are (a) Detroit switches to a ward system for City Council from the current at-large system, where council representation is based on a geographic area, and (b) gay people decide to congregate in a certain area. It's not about being a ghetto, it's about consolidating power and visibility. It's why Ferndale works, and it would be a way for the change to happen from the ground up instead of needing "visioning sessions" to create a blueprint for creativity.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Supergay Meets Girl-in-the-D

Well kids, it was bound to happen someday, but I suppose you are never really ready.

Regular readers of this blog know I've had a little fun turning the
Girl-in-the-D blog into my fake arch-nemesis, primarily around the issue of winning the Metro Times "Best Pop Culture Blog" this fall (I do have to admit, that is still one of my all-time favorite Supergay graphics). It's really a tale as old as time: girl writes blog, girl wins award, aspirational faggot moves in and snatches her weave.

Well, it's the season for holiday parties. Every fucking night. If you don't have this happening to you, it's like 70% great and 30% annoying. But it does involve a lot of free food and booze, and generally you get to see some of the same friends you see out and about (and inevitably one random guy with whom you attended high school) so you know I'm there.

This was a lovely party high up in one of Detroit's gorgeous art deco skyscrapers, thrown by some great folks involved with development in Detroit who, more importantly, are acquainted with the art of gracious entertaining. It was a veritable who’s-who of the Detroit development world, as well as a who’s-who of my Detroit social life (not that the two necessarily overlap), and I mixed and mingled with a jinglin’ beat over vodka tonics and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

It was later in the evening as I glided through the crowd that I ran into the handsome husband of Girl-in-the-D, whom I’ve met several times before around town. We exchanged salutations, chatted briefly, and then he uttered those fateful words, “Have you met my wife?”

Well, actually, no.

I feel like I get around town a lot, so it was weird to me that I’d never met her before, especially considering the facts that she writes about goings-on and development in Detroit on her blog AND that half the people I know have met her. So it was with great curiosity that I was ushered over for my introduction.

She is, as you might expect, lovely, and the most concise way I can describe her to you is to say essentially I met Charlotte York from Sex and the City. You can totally not tell that she is from Sterling Heights. Mr. In-The-D introduced me using my civilian identity.

I said, “Nice to meet you!”

She said, “You stole my title.”

Cut to: two cars collide in an intersection
Cut to: a woman screams
Cut to: the World Trade Center collapses
Cut to: Oprah drops her china
Cut to: Supergay slowly shrugs.

Well so much for a fucking secret identity.

So I stood there in my Burberry, and she stood there in her, well, probably Burberry, and a blogger’s chat ensued. I confessed that I forced everyone I know to vote for me. She confided that she had no idea about the award until three days after she won (bam!). We talked about whether or not Metro Times issues award certificates. She told me she won the Ambassador magazine award for best blog this year and she actually got a trophy (pow!). We talked about her freelance work. I talked about my work. She said she hoped to patronize my place of employment someday, possibly when someone she actually likes draws her there (zing!). I am paraphrasing.

There was no overt hostility, and given the fact that I’ve been somewhat vocal with my thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of her blog, I wasn’t really bothered that by the time our five minute conversation was ending she was looking around the room for someone else to talk to. I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not that blog works for you, but the fact of the matter is that I was very probably out-classed that night. There’s no blogger out there vying for my title that I know of, but if there is, I would hope I could be as Charlotte-like as Girl-in-the-D was.

Unless he were hot, then I would hope to be as Samantha-like as possible.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ich liebe das gay boys

Here's a good music video. It's German. It's called Unzertrennlich (Inseparable) and it tells a tale of love and friendship.

Man, if I had a dollar for every time this has happened to me, I'd have ... well, no dollars, actually.


Sorry for the lack of posting lately, I kind of forgot I have a blog with the whole work / holiday / no internet at home / car in the shop after another theft attempt thing.

I'll get back on it soon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Supergay Home Movies, Part 1

Oh, the times we have as an innocent youth. Going through a storage area the other day, I came across an old video of me as a little faglet practicing to be the shining gay star of my future.

As an added bonus, you get to listen to Cher's hit single, "Believe."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Star Whores

This video from the 1993 Arizona state beauty pageant really needs little exposition, except to say it is a trumpet solo and - apparently - interpretive dance to the Star Wars theme.

Sunday in the Park with Dogs

I had a genius morning.

A friend texted me and found, shockingly, that I was up somewhat early on a Sunday and invited me to go for a walk in Lafayette Park (the actual park, technically referred to as Lafayette Plaisance). So I threw on jeans and a sweater, pulled on a hat to hide my bed-head, and took the elevator down to the park for a walk.

What ensued was a crazy example of why life downtown is so amazing to me. First I ran into the owner of Canine to Five, Detroit's doggy daycare, walking her two ginormous dogs. We chatted and walked around the park a few times. And it was good.

Then we ran into "Dutch," the writer of the great blog Sweet Juniper, who was out walking his dog and daughter. Sweet Juniper is an awesome blog about raising a child in Detroit, and he and his wife are expected a second child (a boy) soon. The gender of the new baby led to possibly the gay-friendliest post on any straight blog ever, which ends with the line:

"Well then let them circumcise their own potentially-homosexual son. Mine is going to get into gay night clubs for free."

Then we walked a bit more and ran into an older woman who lives in the Chateaufort association, one of the lesser-known but still lovely Lafayette Park co-ops that border the park (hang out with a dog-daycare owner in a park and you will meet everyone). And finally a cool couple who are inhabiting the design-y new loft development on Gratiot by the folks at Slows and their friends, also out walking their dog.

I can't have a dog - I simply don't spend enough time at home and I would end up boarding the poor thing all the time (like my brother does, ever since I turned him on to Canine to Five). But I love other people's dogs, and that was one fun morning, seeing cool people: people who love living in the city like I do, and frankly, the people who make living here great.

I feel like I seem really Pollyanna in my posts lately, liking Detroit so much as I seem to. But I'll be honest, the more time I spend here, the happier I am to be here. And the less I feel like Detroit needs a makeover.

Anyone who says Detroit is "on it's way" is kind of missing the point. Detroit is actually there. You just have to dig kind of hard to find it. But believe me, it's worth the work.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Year o' the Eero

Attention silver foxes! If you are looking for an age-appropriate gentleman friend then you need to start getting yourself to shit like the Saarinen Symposium that was held this weekend at Cranbrook and the GM Tech Center. It was full of (what appeared to be, at least) gay men in their forties to sixties who, while perhaps not all "foxes" per se, were at least well dressed, interested in something more challenging than celebrity gossip, and had interesting eyewear.

It's pretty well-documented by now that I don't really make sojourns to the suburbs very often, but that doesn't trump my renewed interest in trying to take advantage of some of the more culturally enriching things our area has to offer. And thus I found myself driving to Bloomfield Hills on Saturday morning for a day of lectures about the life and work of architects
Eliel Saarinen and his slightly higher profile son, Eero.

I'm not going to go into detail on the accomplishments of these two, that's what Wikipedia is for. Suffice to say they both did amazing work in their respective lifetimes, with Eliel's signature accomplishment being his
buildings and oversight of the development of the Cranbrook campus; and Eero's masterpieces encompassing the TWA Terminal at Kennedy Airport in New York, the St. Louis Arch and locally the GM Technical Center campus in Warren (not to mention his fabulous mid-century furniture designs for Knoll).

Saarinen House at Cranbrook.

Fabulous topic? Check. Fabulous location? Check. It really only stands to follow that the crowd should be equally fabulous. And you know what? It pretty much was.

Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a
Marc Jacobs runway show crowd. It was a slightly older crowd, nicely dressed in a sophisticated, subdued manner. Lots of design professionals in the hizzy, as well as a lot of younger design student types. It seemed everyone kind of knew each other, and since I didn't have a cocktail in me I wasn't quite as social as I like to be. Plus all I want to talk about is celebrity gossip. But the lectures were awesome, a bit on the academic side but I like that. And the lunch was in the main cafeteria which is all Arts 'n' Crafts 'n' shit and really pretty. And then the post-lunch session was at the GM Tech Center.

OK let's talk about the GM Tech Center. It isn't open to the public, so most design buffs haven't seen it in person. Naturally that was the main reason I wanted to go. It is fantastically mid-century classic in the
International Style, but has a lot of expressive elements that add some drama and keep it entertaining. Amazingly unchanged in many ways since the buildings were first built, GM has nevertheless managed to adapt the buildings to suit contemporary business needs. The most incredible part of it all is that you can't tell you are in Warren, and that certainly counts as a major achievement by anyone's standards.

Supergay enjoying the drama of a Saarinen expressive element.

At these design-oriented things it can be really difficult to figure out who is gay and who is not. In the morning session at Cranbrook, I felt like I identified several groups of gay men, all in their late 40's-50's. Many of them turned up being out-of-towners (in an informal raising of hands initiated by one speaker ... I know, odd), but still, it got me thinking maybe I need to expand my dating pool. The GM part had a lot more attendees and skewed a lot younger, although I really couldn't tell who was a hipster and who was a gay hipster. You really never can, at least not until you are making out with one.

But overall I'd have to commend the Saarinen Symposium for a healthy gay turnout, both on the part of the attendees and the speakers, and it made me feel like at least a sliver of the kind of gay world I want to be a part of exists here in SE Michigan. And the day of the symposium - which took me from Lafayette Park to the Cranbrook campus to the GM Tech Center and back again - I really felt like my life here can, at some times, totally out-fabulous gay life in almost any other city.

How about that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An Impassioned Plea

Please do not forward on the 1977 JC Penny catalog email to me. And stop forwarding it on to other people.

Everyone has seen it. They have seen it 100 times. It was amazing, for a minute. Now it is spam.

If you haven't seen it yet, you are incredibly poorly-connected and out of the loop. When you receive it in your email inbox - and you will - please assume you are at the bottom of the email food chain and delete it when you are done. You are just embarrassing yourself if you forward it on now.

Thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hell on Wheels

Here is a special piece of gay history for you. It's Cher's first professional MTV-style video (pre-MTV by the way), and also part of the soundtrack to the movie "Roller Boogie." Cher roller skates at over 100 mph! You're gonna love it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Karaoke All-Stars

The Comet Bar is a one of downtown’s finest dive bars, with an interior decked out in an exhilarating mélange of veteran memorabilia, alcohol promo materials, Christmas decorations and dogs. It is located just over I-75 from the “Park Avenue entertainment district” in the last bastion of real old-time 1990’s Detroit, the Lower Cass Corridor. The clientele is a mixed bunch: blue collar/vet types, hipsters, frat guys and the girls who love to be date-raped by them, WSU theater types (they make it awesome), downtown condo types and old-time locals. The drinks are served in plastic cups and, in the grand tradition of the best Detroit dive bars, it’s cash only.

The absolute best reason to go to the Comet is for karaoke on Friday nights. What a surreal experience. You get the aforementioned mix of people, and nobody holds back.

My first trip to the Comet for karaoke was actually for the Guerrilla Queer Bar earlier this year. We really took over the place, but it was strangest mix of guerrillas I think I’d ever seen. A friend of mine said, “I thought that guy over there was looking at me because he wanted to beat me up, and then he winked at me.” (He meant that in the hottest rough trade kind of way, btw.) That sums that night up pretty well.

Subsequently there have been many Comet Karaoke Fridays, and while it’s never the same thing twice, there is a beautiful stable of regulars who give any Friday that characteristic Comet, well, freakishness. This is best exemplified in an evening there early this fall, a night I like to refer to as The Night of the Karaoke All-Stars.

It was a going-away party for a friend, another gay young‘un moving on to pinker pastures. He brought a great batch of his theater-type co-horts, which is exactly the type of catalyst the regular crowd needs to push the evening into the karaoke stratosphere. There were the following genius performances that night:

Domo Arigato, Mr. Vibrato:

The theater world presents “Dance Ten, Looks Three” from Chorus Line. You know it as the “Tits and Ass” song, we know it as DRAMAAAAAAAAAA. Love the laughing girls in front.

The Tranny Frank Sinatra:

Is there anything better than a transvestite who makes commentary on current events by changing the words to old standards? No. "Juice The Knife" coming up!

The biggest star of any karaoke night is Gail. She’s a regular, and words really can’t describe her. What can describe her is this YouTube video:

Her baby loves her the way that she is.

Our last trip was as genius at the first. The Friday of Veteran’s Day weekend was full of guys who seemed to be, well, veterans. Or at least solid, hard-working middle-class Americans, as described by the politicians of the world. Except hammered off their asses.

What was remarkable was the missing hipster/college element. It was very us, and them. And it was beautiful. There was Gail performing Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine.” There was the Vietnam vet performing “War.” There was a lesbian performing an awesome version of "Believe" by Cher, among other treasures. By the end of the night she seemed like our very own k d lang. There were those notorious downtown brothers performing “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a performance that actually changed how I think about karaoke forever.

And when it came to my turn, I put in one of my Cher standards, only Terry, the karaoke mistress, called my name and told me she didn’t have that cd with her. So I did what any gay former Boy Scout would do (“Be Prepared”): I opened up my man-bag, pulled out a tambourine, and performed my a capella version of “Ring Them Bells” by Liza Minelli.

All I can say is, it’s a show-stopper.

The Comet is about as gay as any other downtown dive bar, which is to say there’s a smattering. But it’s all part of a bigger picture when it comes to these places. You don’t go there to mingle with gay people; you go there to mingle with EVERYONE. I will say this – as a gay review – there are few places downtown that are as diverse in their clientele and as laissez-faire in their attitude about who’s there as the Comet. Head down some Friday, you will NOT be disappointed.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I love the thea-tah!!!

This was the weekend of live performances, and it made me realize I am a full lame-o about taking advantage of Detroit's cultural scene. I hit the Breathe production of "As Bees In Honey Drown" on Friday, as promised, and totally loved it.

Have you ever been to the Furniture Factory? (insert answer here) Me neither. That is one cool-ass black box theater, right over there on Third, the street you never end up driving down. The crowd was not really what I expected, but then when is it these days? I very probably was the only gay guy in the audience, although there was for sure a selection of lesbians to choose from.

There is a mandatory element of suspension of disbelief in attending live theater and being a total cynic, this presents a huge obstacle for me. But by intermission, I was doing fine. The play is really great. It's by
Douglas Carter Beane, who wrote the screenplay for "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" and the book for the new musical "Xanadu," not to mention winning a Tony Award this year for his play "The Little Dog Laughed." That's exceptionally gay. Anyway, the play is full of all the witty banter and gay pop cultural references you might expect, but it isn't really what I would call a "gay play" at all. It's just a plot point. Which is good because gay theater and cinema can be really irritating, as it so often falls in the trap of putting the emphasis on making a point instead of telling a story.

I was super impressed with the cast, and that lead role of Alexa Vere de Vere is like CRAZY full of rapid-fire dialogue, which the actress handled beautifully. The only way that could have been played better is if there were a drag queen in that role. The supporting cast was full of really surprisingly good actors too(I'll admit, I had my concerns going in).

My only small gripe - because this is my area of expertise - is that maybe the young feller playing the gay, Jewish, New York writer lead did not seem that ... gay? It can be a hard thing to nail, playing gay without playing flaming, but I just kind of thought the whole time that this guy is really straight. Wouldn't it be funny if the actor is gay in real life? Man, that's a problem, TOO straight-acting! Either way, he's cute so that mitigated things a lot.

And also there is the issue of the suit, the purchase of which is a somewhat significant plot point that is referenced several times through the play. The suit itself is fine (although costumer please note: if only one button on a three-button suit is to be buttoned,
it should be the middle one, not the top one. I'd like to see the top two buttoned myself.) But the shirt. Oh Lord. It was just too big for a slim young man like our hero. It had the effect of making him seem less like an up-and-coming New York author caught in the whirlwind of celebrity and more like, well, a customer service specialist at Rock Financial in Livonia. I mean, a gay can only suspend his disbelief so much!

These minor quibbles aside (and please note, I have exactly zero qualifications to review theater), it was a really fun (and funny) play to see, and it was awesome to break out of the usual routine and see people creating something, just for my enjoyment. Regardless of gay audience content, I'm making an effort to incorporate live theater into my routine much more regularly. It's like a whole world of entertainment right under my nose that I've been ignoring. Go see this play, it will make you happy, and you will be supporting the creative economy that everyone is convinced needs to grow for Detroit to be a "world-class" city. Whatever that means. And you will still make it to the bar to meet your friends at the regular time.

Frisky Cop

I don't know where this video came from, but I kind of want his job.

I have no idea why I find another crotch-oriented video worth posting. My subconscious must be telling me something.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cherish the weekend

I needed a little gay pick-me-up so I am watching Madonna videos on YouTube.

Her best one ever has got to be the video for "Cherish." It's a happy song, and Herb Ritts (may he rest in peace) directed the video so it's gorgeous. And it has hunky mer-men. What's not to love?

Have a great weekend.

Big Duke.

Holy cow.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Just Breathe

So clearly Halloween was a bit of a bust on the "finding the gay in Detroit" front, although if there is one thing I've learned about the gay scene here is it's always where you don't expect it (and rarely where you do).

One area I have not explored at all is Detroit's theater community. I know there are gay people involved in theater - not just because "duh" but also because I've befriended some of them during my time in Detroit - but is there really a gay patron of these arts?

Well I start exploring this weekend, because I am going to see the Breathe Art Theatre Project's production of "As Bees In Honey Drown." The only other recent local theater production I've seen was by Breathe last spring, when they had their mind-blowingly awesome production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at the 1515 Broadway theater. Man, that was great. And as I recall, I did recognize some gays in the audience.

"As Bees In Honey Drown" is another show with a gay angle, although I don't know exactly what that angle is. The blurb from Breathe says:

"A comic satire on the lure of success and contemporary pop culture, As Bees…tells the story of a young writer who gets caught up in a lifestyle that blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Faced with the prospect of fame and fortune, he is seduced by a witty and wicked socialite Alexa Vere de Vere. Following this discovery is a deliciously sticky romp through the worlds of art, literature and film in the company of fabulous people, and even more fabulous con artists."

I also don't have any idea if there is gay interest in this kind of thing. I suppose I will find out. It is playing Friday and Saturday for the next three weeks (and 2pm on Sunday, Nov 11 for the bluehairs) at The Furniture Factory in midtown (4126 3rd Street). It's supposed to be hilarious (I checked out some reviews). Go.

The Week That Was

Another great gay high holy day has come and gone. It was full of excitement, but shockingly free of drag queens. I was a little disappointed.

There was a twist to the Guerrilla Queer Bar last Friday night. It was held at Illuminate, one of those loft events we get periodically around town (which, despite my original expectations, usually turn out to be pretty fun). This event was held at Willy's Overland Lofts, which is the loft project next to Avalon International Breads in Midtown. The building is cool and the penthouses are AMAZING (well, the unfinished space is). The model, well, you know, it was model-y. I think my only hearty endorsement was for the shower and for the hot guy leading our tour. It's a little upsetting to me to see these cool projects underway and to see the absolute lack of interesting interior design or space planning. I mean, these aren't cheap places. My advice is buy early so you can control your space completely and avoid the heartbreak of hollow-core doors.

You really get two kinds of Guerrilla Gay Bars - there is the fancy bunch and the regulars. The fancy bunch only shows up at places they are familiar with, but those bar nights tend to be really amazing and cool, with a great vibe and interesting mix of folks. The recent Town Pump event was like that.

When an event is held someplace a little off-beat, or at a dive bar, or features karaoke, attendance tends to be a little lower with a lot of familiar faces. It's kind of like an off-night at a regular bar. But those are fun because you get a chance to check out someplace different, talk to people you don't see all the time, the people tend to be a little more adventurous, and you can let your hair down a little because you aren't trying to impress some cute guy you just met. A "regulars" night might have about 50 folks show up, where a "fancy" night will get upwards of 100. Both are great.

The Illuminate night was a "regulars" night. Oddly, everyone seemed to show up at the exact same moment, like it was a gay flash mob or the rainbow bus just pulled up. The gays mingled, drank, toured, judged the model unit, and were a major presence at the party. They loved the fashion show, and it was declared by boys decidedly fitter than I that the pink "Bad Kitty" sleeveless hoodie is the gay fashion must-have for winter. I'll be sitting that trend out.

When the fashion show ended the band started up. They were kind of cool in a retro Carrie Nation/Beyond the Valley of the Dolls way. And they were loud. And that's when we lost the gays.

Unfinished drinks were set down. Conversations were abruptly curtailed. Your friends waved good-bye across the room. And they were gone. It was as if someone had dropped a giant vagina in the room, they couldn't get out fast enough.

So it was fun while it lasted, and of course we're all eagerly awaiting the next occurrence of our only decent downtown gay bar.

Moving on with the weekend ... a very fun gay-hosted Halloween costume party was on the docket for Saturday where I stayed MUCH later than I'd planned. I ventured out from there to meet a friend for last call at the Town Pump. While parking I watched a group of very macho types lining up to get in the TP and reconsidered my decision to enter the bar alone, in costume. A gal doesn't really like to get harrassed. Then I thought fuck it, I'm Supergay!

Predictably, hilarity ensued and I made it home intact, if not a little inebriated.

Sunday featured an amazing jaunt to Ann Arbor for dinner, drinks and a show, and it couldn't have been better. The details are really not relevant, but I'll just say it is an amazing thing to have a city like Ann Arbor so nearby. If downtown Detroit could just catch a hint of that foodie, intellectual vibe, it'd be a better place. The complacent smugness can stay in A2 though (I love that city, but let's just be honest).

Monday's highlight was lunch at the Caucus Club, as covered previously, and Tuesday's feature was a reception followed by a lecture by Julie Mehretu, hosted by the DIA's Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art. Mehretu's work is one of the exhibitions when the museum reopens - kind of nice to have something contemporary, no? Of course we ended up skipping out on the lecture because, hi, don't serve drinks and then make me sit in an auditorium for an hour. We cut out to meet friends cooler than we are at Cliff Bell's.

And in what has become a tradition, I went to Grosse Pointe Park to dress up like Betty Butterfield and pass out candy at my friend's house. They get tons of kids from both GP and Detroit come through their neighborhood, and originally I came to help "manage" the older non-costumed teens. It's amazing the power a man in a wig and a face smeared with lipstick can have over the youth of America.

What was great this year is that it was way more little kids out with their families. When teens showed up in street clothes, Betty forced them to sing a song, which was great because mostly they just turned and walked away. A lot of the kids get excited, trying to figure out if it's actually a woman passing out the candy. One tenacious little girl of about 8 in a Spider Woman costume came back three times, asking, "What you is? What you is?" She was excited beyond words to figure out I was actually a man in that pink Wal-Mart robe. She ran away yelling "It's a man!" and I had to fake heart palpitations to distract the other children at the door from the truth.

The night ended with a viewing of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," a nice cabernet and child's candy sorting, and it all seemed, in a very strange way, like a perfect gay Halloween. Well, perfect in the absence of anything gay besides me. Sometimes that's plenty.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Field Report: The Caucus Club

The Caucus Club may seem an usual restaurant for exploration as a gay spot, but its inclusion is really almost mandatory, for reasons I'll get to in a minute.

The Caucus Club is one of Detroit's old-time classics. It opened in 1952 and pretty much hasn't changed an iota since. Located on the ground floor of the fabulous Penobscot Building (south entrance), it has a clubby, piano bar kind of vibe. It actually does, in fact, have a piano, although I believe it generally goes unplayed.

I've been to the Caucus Club only a handful of times, the first this spring on the same night I went to the last Sass dance party and most recently for lunch today. It has all the nostalgic appeal you'd hope, including vintage 40's light fixtures over the tables in the bar, circular booths, waiters who have been there since the beginning of time. And the food is really great - since Union Street cut their awesome Salade Nicoise from the menu (I hate them now) I've been looking for something equally good, and the one here possibly exceeds it. Not to mention the espresso is brewed on a stovetop espresso pot, not a machine brewer.

And let's not forget cocktails! The drinks are great, old school, and they have all the top shelf brands you expect and deserve. There is something about the vibe, though, that demands minimally-diluted liquor, so don't bother with anything but a martini or a bullshot.

The clientele, at least at lunch, is typically downtown business-y. Not in the way the Detroit Athletic Club is, but more in the real downtown worker way. I can only illustrate this by describing the tables near me today, which included a late-middle-aged businessman with a slightly younger woman, a guy in a bowtie, and a trio of middle-aged chain smoking women. No pretense, no excessive formality, just real Detroit folks who won't eat at Jimmy John's.

As for the gay, well there weren't any other gay people there that I was aware of during any of my visits. But the Caucus Club holds a very special spot in gay history because it is the place where Barbra Streisand got her first break. As their website states:

"The Caucus Club has had many celebrities cross its door. The most famous would have to be Barbra Streisand who sang in the back room in 1961. Brought here from New York, the Caucus Club was one of Streisand first paying jobs. She was young and inexperienced performer. "Watching her was like watching the first brush strokes in a picture, she was creating herself," said owner Les Gruber. Streisand left Detroit for an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jack Parr, and the rest is history!"

History indeed. If you are looking for a place to go with friends that has charm, class, character and is a part of your gay heritage, I cannot recommend this place enough. It is, frankly, ripe for a gay takeover as a swanky little piano bar. All we'd need is a decent performer. Hey Barbra ... ?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Real Ugly Betty

It's Halloween and, as usual, I am completely unprepared for the myriad of costumed events on the docket. So it looks like I'm dressing up as the Ghost of Halloween Past and recycling a costume from two years ago (which, in my defense, didn't really go out to parties as much as it was used to help a friend pass out candy at her house in Grosse Pointe). And that means it's time to dig out some videos from the vaults.

Betty Butterfield is the creation of
Chuck Knipp, a drag comedian best known for his controversial yet totally hilarious character Shirley Q. Liquor, a poor black Southern woman, which he performs in blackface. That really seems to be asking for trouble, you think? He has a couple cd's available - you can check out Shirley's website here - and as a special bonus for Supergay Detroit readers, I've uploaded the funniest sketch ever - the Preflight Checklist for Ebonics Airways, for your listening pleasure.

Betty Butterfield is a character he developed later, in the format of a video blog. She is a poor white Southern woman who discusses the trials of her life and her search for a church she can live with. It's one of those things where the more you watch it the more you get it, however I am not going to condemn you to an hour of watching Betty Butterfield videos (although you can find many on YouTube, or at the unofficial Betty Butterfield website

I'll be on the prowl as Betty this Halloween, so be sure to say hi if you see me. And with that, I present a primer course in the passion of Betty Butterfield.

OK, that's enough of that taking up space on here - I've uploaded more onto a playlist over on my YouTube account. Check them out!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Well hello!

Well, since I won the prestigious Metro Times People's Pick award I have obviously been busy beyond words. Um, yeah. Actually I've just been coming down from a really crazy time with work and so I beg a thousand pardons for not posting anything in forever. You have to admit though, that Paul Lynde/Girl in the D graphic is pretty entertaining. I hope you enjoyed staring at it for a week.

I'd love to post something substantive, and I'm working on it. But right now I am going to post a follow-up to the brilliant Brenda Dickson "
Welcome to my Home" video I posted in June. If you haven't watched that or are new to the blog, take a looky-loo. It's freaking BRILLIANT.

Equally as brilliant is this parody, by two New York comedians, Julie & Jackie. "
Welcome to Our House."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yeah bitches!!

Hey, guess who won the Metro Times Reader's Pick for "Best Local Pop Culture Blog?" Me!

They said: "Here's SupergayDetroit's self-description of what his blog's all about: "Documenting one upwardly mobile, 30-something man's fight to find the kind of gay life every good homo deserves. In Detroit." Hey, good luck with that."

What an awesome write-up - I'm glad they took the time to at least read the description. Thanks for the good wishes MT!

Anyway, isn't this exciting? Well, probably more for me than for you. But this is a victory for all of us! Thanks to everyone for voting for me!


Monday, October 15, 2007

Guest Blogger: Woodward's Friend

Supergay Detroit is pleased to present our first guest blogger. "Woodward's Friend" is this guy I know (sorry, no other biographical information available). He wrote me with this compelling tale of gay triumph over modiocrity.

Dear Supergay Forum,

I never thought this would happen to me ...

About two months ago I had a craving for a big plate of buffalo wings. It's a straight guy thing - you wouldn't understand. Unfortunately I was over near Macomb Mall and the only place with with decent wings in the God-forsaken hellhole that is the Gratiot corridor is Hooters.

Here's the thing about Hooters: the food is good, but unless you haven't been laid in the last 36 months the waitrons are less than useless. Usually they aren't that hot and they wear these creepy kevlar pantyhose. They are always dumb as a sack of doorknobs. Worse, they insist on trying to strike up a conversation with you. I guess the duller members of our society assume that they can score a date with a talkative waitress and therefore order more shit. The problem of course is all of that disingenuous flirting ruins what could be an otherwise enjoyable dining experience.

Not real Hooters girls, but real kevlar pantyhose.
This is the last time you will see anything this straight and trashy on this blog.

Anyway, I bite the bullet and go to Hooters. It's a Saturday afternoon, I've got a New York Times, there was a baseball game on the big-screen, and a giant plate of wings sitting in front of me. Could I enjoy any of it? Good Lord no because every five minutes Jeni or Mandi or Tiffani has to stop by my table and "chat." Fucking-A these bitches wouldn't leave me alone. Apparently they all have to sign a cocktail napkin on your table with a sharpie - dotting the obligatory i at the end of their name with a heart. I'm still not sure what I was supposed to do with the signature napkin. Take it home and beat off into it? Not bloody likely. I've got better ways to abuse myself thanks to YouPorn.

So when Tiffani sauntered over for her obligatory 90 seconds of pretend flirting I'd had enough. When she asked "what brings you out today hun?" I replied, with a straight face and mouth full of chicken meat, "well my boyfriend is out of town so I get to eat what I want." Poor Tiffani had no idea what to say after that. Gay men at Hooters? In Macomb County? Good golly, a bona fide sodomite in an upstanding family restaurant like Hooters! Horror of horrors!

It may have been my finest hour. All the little couldn't-cut-it-as-a-real-stripper bimbo waitrons stayed away and I was able to enjoy my wings and New York Times in peace. It was wonderful and I thank homosexuality for making it all possible. So thank you gays. I hope its ok if I continue to pretend to be one of you at Hooters or equally ridiculous places that happen to serve tasty crap food like buffalo wings. And Supergay next time you're at the gay bar stuck in a dead end conversation with some douchey guy, give me a call. I'll pump you full of all the useless sports information you'll need to drive the douche away.

Woodwards Friend
Detroit, Michigan

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Soundtrack of Your Coming Out

Today is National Coming Out Day! Celebrate!

No, I am not going to divulge my identity, a subject recently referred to by someone as "the worst-kept secret in Detroit."

But I am going reminisce a bit about my coming out, an occasion that took place twenty years ago this week. Oh, the adolescent melodrama! The tortured anxiety of it all! Man, those were good times, staying in on a Friday night freshman year in college, thinking about how I would instantly land a boyfriend and find a community of friends as soon as I was able to publicly admit I was a homo! As it turns out, not so much. Hell, it took me a year to even hook up with someone (see previous post).

It all may have sucked at the time, but in retrospect there is a rosy glow over that period. And there is no way to recapture the thoughts and feelings of an era than to reflect on the music you were listening to.

Soft Cell's "
Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret" was stumbled upon by accident. If you're only familiar with "Tainted Love" then you need to explore the total weird excellence of this album. It's one of those albums that's a bit of a narrative, something you don't run across quite as much anymore. This one's about an exploration of an alternative sexual world, back when doing so involved more than logging online. "Seedy Films," "Sex Dwarf," and "Say Hello, Say Good-bye" are highlights but the entire album (which I am listening to right now, on the same damn vinyl I listened to twenty years ago) is amazing. At the time, it was a soundtrack of being a sexual deviant. Today, it's a fond remembrance of being a sexual deviant.

Bronski Beat, on the other hand, sang openly of the very real fear and hatred of gay people that existed in the 80's. Singing "You and me together / fighting for our love" seems just a touch melodramatic now, but man oh man, it didn't (and wasn't) at the time. New songs and brilliant reinterpretations of old songs ("It Ain't Necessarily So") cried out with the voice of the oppressed gay person.

Bronski Beat is also the soundtrack to my visits back to Detroit during college, after hanging out with high school friends and the ex-girlfriend I hadn't come out to yet, driving on the freeway and thinking about going to Backstreet. Melancholy, but uplifting. There is a scene in the gay independent film "Parting Glances" (starring Steve Buscemi, and HIGHLY recommended for an amazing glimpse at gay life in the AIDS era circa mid 1980's) where they are going to a gay bar and Bronski Beat is playing, and it just totally captures a gay moment of the time.

The Pet Shop Boys also factored in, although they had yet to voice their gay identity openly. But come on, who didn't at least speculate? Nothing overtly gay or sexual, just REINVENTING FUCKING DUSTY SPRINGFIELD. Genius.

And then ... and then there are the songs from the gay bar. I finally started venturing out to them starting spring break. My first one? Backstreet, with aforementioned ex-girlfriend and straight high school best friend. Cuz you know, the music was great and their friends were going.

Well once back at school it all kicked in with the new gay best friend (who persists to this day, although not locally. Hi Lance!). The most embarrassing of 12" singles made it into my collection, a remembrance of nights at the gay dance club. Rick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up," Natalie Cole "Pink Cadillac," Taylor Dayne (!) "Prove Your Love," Depeche Mode "Behind the Wheel/Route 66." Oh the good times and bad fashions of early 1988! And all captured on vinyl ...

And this wouldn't be complete without a mention of the soundtrack to "
Maurice," the Merchant-Ivory adaptation of the E. M. Forster novel (which was published after his death in 1971). The weekend I worked up the nerve to tell my first friend that I was gay (she yawned), I spent the next few days reading that novel and then going to see the movie. It was probably my first super gay weekend.

What a time that was. ACT UP was in their ascendancy, Queer Nation was about to make their debut. There was no "Will & Grace" popular acceptance of gays and lesbians. It was a time of gay activism, and a whole generation of gay men was desperately fighting for their lives. There were no antiretroviral drugs, there were no drug cocktails to keep HIV at bay. So much was awful and frankly, when I stop and think about it all, it breaks my heart.

I do know this is when the activist part of me was formed. I didn't see the worst of it, and yet I did see the handsome owner of the designer consignment store end up in a wheelchair, a shadow of his former self. I did see angry young men on the streets with picket signs demanding more AIDS funding. I did see a kiss-in. I did see people sitting, panicking, waiting for their HIV test results.

It's why I won't accept that things are great for gay people now, just because you can live in NYC or SF without hassle. It's why I believe that gay marriage - as much as I could personally give a shit - is a matter of fundamental fairness and should be fought for much more aggressively than it is. It's why I am tired of gay people not fighting back harder against the anti-gay (not simply "pro family") agenda of the right wing.

I don't mean to detract from the cotton candy fluffiness that is usually Supergay Detroit, but anniversaries demand reflection. I am pretty sure I don't live in a different world from the rest of the Michigan gay community, but sometimes it feels that way. That is why I so strongly require my life to be in Detroit, not Oakland County. I need to connect with gay spheres that are not my own. And I need to feel like people still seek something better, not the status quo.

The soundtrack of today is the blog post of the future, so let's hope it is as inspiring as it is entertaining. Acceptance for gay lifestyles is important, but it saddens me to think that a collective gay identity may be lost. I worry that right now "fitting in" matters more in our gay community than "being yourself."

I just wonder when we can simply be ourselves? Embrace our gay heritage, our gay culture, our gay identity. And still be accepted. Shouldn't that be the goal?

Anyway, the activist gets away from me again ... what from your coming out inspires you? What is your coming out soundtrack? I'm genuinely interested to hear.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's a small gay world after all

Last night I attended a lovely dinner party at the home of some new gay friends. They live in an amazingly beautiful historic Arts & Crafts home they've been restoring here in the CoD. It is one of those places that exist noplace else in the area, grand scale in the rooms, amazing architectural details ... I almost needed a private moment when they showed me the fabulous ceramic landscape in their Rookwood tile fireplace.

The dinner was an occasion to entertain a friend of theirs visiting from Cincinnati. It was a lovely group - frankly, much classier than I am. I had to make every effort to keep my lip zipped and not embarrass myself, which is harder than you could possibly imagine. Cocktails were delicious and scintillating conversation ensued as I became acquainted with the group.

Rather than drag this all out with irrelevant details, it turns out their visiting friend looked familiar. Like, very familiar. He stepped out of the room to help in the kitchen so I asked my host where he was from ... born in Dominican Republic ... raised in Puerto Rico ... college in Boston ... ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Soooooo, it turns out ... he's the first guy I ever hooked up with, sophomore year in college.

Now I know it's a small world. And this isn't even the first completely unbelievable small world thing that's happened to me. But I guess I thought maybe I'd be immune from that sort of stuff here in Detroit: Gay population 10.

Funny, and not unwelcome, but it just puts stuff in perspective a little bit. The older I get, the smaller my gay world gets. It's comforting and disturbing, all at once.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Too what?

I don't know if you caught it, but last month's HOUR Detroit did a one-page portrait profile on Craig Covey, gay Ferndale uber politician and possibly their next mayor. That's a pretty nice inclusive thing to do, don't you think?

Until you get to the end, where they ask Craig, "If you become mayor, will that make Ferndale 'too gay'?"

Excuse me? Too gay? What the hell does that mean, and why would that even be a perceived problem?

Would someone say "Is Detroit too black?" or "Is West Bloomfield too Jewish?"

They might, but we'd call them bigots.

Here's a REAL timekiller

Oh my God, I just lost a day and a half of my life playing this stupid game. It's called Bubble Shooter.

There really isn't anything gay about it, especially some of those color combinations (seriously, who includes aqua and Christmas red in the same color scheme?). But gay and straight people alike will experience a level of workday escapism that surpasses even Spider Solitaire.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thinking outside the box

You may not have guessed this, but I'm not much of a titty-bar guy. Sure, I've been dragged along on a bachelor party night - I actually got a "private dance" once. It's very weird. Do you know how those things work?? The dancer put me in a chair in that little room and the proceeded to rub up and down in between my legs. I'm probably not explaining that well, but I mean she basically is rubbing her tits on my crotch. I was getting so bored I finally had to tell her I was primarily same-sex oriented and asked if maybe she could actually dance around a little bit for me. I mean really, that's what I paid for.

And she smelled like cotton candy. Is that hot for straight guys?

Anyway, nobody was more surprised than I was when, after a few drinks out on Park Ave with the Frat Pack, it was announced that the next stop was Bouzouki II. "The Deuce."

Do this when you say "the deuce"

Bouzouki II, née "The Grind," is located at the northernmost point of downtown Detroit's final frontier, Capitol Park. It's really just like a little brick box, across from the downtown synagogue and that weird speakeasy place that is open once a week but nobody I know has visited. It's a total dive, at least as far as strip joints go. It's practically an ultra-lounge compared to regular dive bars like The Well, but it definitely lacks some of the slickness of the clubs I visited on my bachelor party sojourns.

That is potentially a poor word choice.

All I can say is that it was awesome. It was a Thursday night, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. There is just a tiny two-pole stage in the middle of the bar, so you are never far from the action. The music was typically bad, but it added to the charm. The dancers were way more attractive than I thought they would be. Someone bought shots. There is something about having a place all to yourself that is somewhat empowering. Even though there were only about ten customers there, the energy level was high.

The dancers were great - have you ever seen those girls work a pole? It's unbelievable. They were incredibly fit, and I was continually amazed at their acrobatics. It was like that Wonder Woman drag show kind of showbiz amazement. I really enjoyed watching them.

(artist's rendering)

We got to meet all of the performers which is, of course, always a thrill. Cinnamon spent a lot of time at our table. She was an interesting young lady, in the way that people trying to act sophisticated when they are not is interesting. I had a whole Pygmalian fantasy about her while we were chatting - I could make her a stripper superstar! My favorite part of that conversation was when she started talking about how hot it was in there, and how thirsty she was, and everyone at our table just kind of looked away in awkward silence. Sorry sunshine!

The craziest thing, though, was when the bartender, who looked exactly like Hatchet-face from the John Waters film "Crybaby" ...

... came over with a beer bottle between her jugs (and they were jugs) and forced my friend to drink from it. I don't know if that was supposed to be some kind of mother's milk thing or what, but it mostly came across as strangely fellatic. Which, you know, feels weird with naked boobs around.

Well, the night ended too soon after one last Cintron energy drink-based cocktail (that stuff is insane) and last call for private dances. As I wandered out, I thought about how this would be such a great little place to hang out all the time - become a regular, schedule business meetings there, impress my friends. The Guerrilla Queer Bar could take it over for a night, and instead of guerrillas they would be cunt-quistadors.

But then I thought about the price of stripper bar drinks, and the irritation of the girls when they discovered I just wanted to watch them dance around a little bit, and I decided that maybe this just needs to be a special gay treat, an occasional indulgence when I'm "out with the guys."

Besides, I'm never going to change our gay world hanging out in a titty bar. Talk about a gay neutral zone. I gotta remember to keep this straight: I'm living in the D, not living in the V.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...