Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.


Straights Versus the Gays! Straights Versus the Gays!
I’ve never been one for nostalgia. But sometimes — when reclining on my deathbed, for example — I like to look back and reflect on life, this strange journey we all share... Perhaps even try to make sense of it all, or compact three and a half decades of hard-won experience into some golden nugget of wisdom I can pass on to loved ones... Invariably, when these philosophical moments strike, I return to this one thought more than any other:

For a supposedly straight guy, I sure have spent a lot of time in gay bars.

And that’s it! That’s the entry this week. "For a supposedly straight guy, I sure have spent a lot of time in gay bars." Hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by.

…Okay, I reckon leaving this where it is will only trigger more of the already all too-common aspersions as to my sexuality (it was just one buttplug, for fuck’s sake, and I couldn’t even feel the vibration), so I guess I’ll elaborate.

First of all, I should point out that I was raised by a gay person. Well, a supposedly gay person. My mom came out of the closet as a lesbian when I was 9 or 10, you see, but in a way that didn’t really say, "I’m finally comfortable enough to be who I really am," as much as, "I’m fucking nuts, and please pay attention to me." This is a subject for another entry (as well as an estimated $750,000 worth of therapy sessions and Paxil), but I bring it up to illustrate that I was brought up around lots of openly gay people, and was lucky enough to view this sort of thing as perfectly normal from a fairly young age.

Yes, despite lingering negative stereotypes, I’d like to go ahead and take this chance to inform any bigots, ‘phobes or doubters reading this that the gay race (or whatever) is entirely normal — just as boring, petty, stupid, small-minded, reactionary, dull, fucked-up and square as everyone else, for the most part. However, as a teenager I did notice one important difference between the worlds of gay and straight: The former would let me into their bars.

I liked gay bars. They often featured cheap drinks, and good music for dancing. Nobody ever called me a fag there. There were always a handful of open-minded straight chicks, and less competition for their attention. And the sights… Oh, the magical sights I did see... Like the midget female impersonator singing "Over the Rainbow." Or the time (this still brings tears of joy to my eyes) some stray fratboy shoved a girl and called Jimbo the burly, chivalrous bartender a fag, prompting Jimbo to go after him with a baseball bat while hollering, "I may be a faggot, but I’m a 250-pound redneck faggot with a baseball bat, and you will not put your hands on a woman in my presence!" Or the time I saw Mike Watt’s ass (scroll down to 12/1/2003). Cherished memories all.

I’ve also hooked up with what I’m reasonably sure were attractive girls at gay bars pretty often, for me anyway. One time, while still in high school, I was drunk and leaning against the dumpster in the parking lot of an infamous bar on the outskirts of town called My Friend’s Place and making out with a totally hot punk-rock college chick. She was super nice, had bought me a bunch of drinks and even kept making out with me after I turned and ralphed into the dumpster a couple of times, causing one patron walking by to clap his hands and gleefully dub us "Gainesville’s version of Sid and Nancy."

Of course, it wasn’t all dumpsters and ralph and baseball bats. There were a couple of rough patches, too, which is to be expected even when friendly cultures mix. For example, one time some gay friends told a pimp-flavored male stripper named Sweet Dick Willy it was my birthday. Sat just a little too close to the stage that time…

Or there was the incident involving an amorous Rosie Greer lookalike cornering me in the bathroom (Me: "Sorry dude, I’m straight." Him: "Hey, that’s cool — I’m straight too. I just like to suck a little white dick every now and then." Me: "AAAAAAAGGGHHH!!! …Hey, wait a minute. My dick’s not little."). And then there was the time just a few years ago when I turned my back on my stylish, witty (but still stereotype-refuting, mind you) queer friends and became a gaybasher.

It all started with a friend I’ll call Kristy Moss (because that’s her name) somehow convincing me (I think she appealed to my love of booze after unfairly clouding my mind with her abnormally large bosoms) to go drinking and dancing with her at a local gay bar. We arrived early and sat at the bar for a few hours, drinking many crisp, refreshing gin 'n' tonics.

At some point her then-boyfriend Henry showed up, and we made our way downstairs for dancing. Henry wasn’t as confident in his abilities as I was (and by that I mean "not as drunk") and sat off to the side while Kristy and I tested the goodwill of the assembled gays by taking up valuable space on the dance floor. At one point, a girl Henry was friends with stopped by to chat and flirt with him, sending the jealous Kristy and her propensity for heightened emotional states storming out of the club in a huff. I volunteered to go after her.

We spent a few minutes arguing near the club’s entrance, a deck at the top of a single flight of stairs, while assorted patrons snickered at us, assuming since we had been there together all night that we were the feuding couple. "Ha ha, straight people," they said, "So foolish with your silly old-fashioned mores and relationship stuff. After Point Six of the Gay Agenda is implemented, you all will be rounded up and exposed to the rays of the Homotron, which will…" Er, did I just say something about the Gay Agenda? Shit, I promised to keep that a secret. Alright, just pretend you never heard that.

Anyway, Henry eventually walked up. Almost immediately, a middle-aged guy sitting on the deck with his arm around some dude that looked 25 years younger than him pipes up with some sass like, "You need to tell your friends that they should…"

Henry cuts him off: "Hey, mind your own business, alright?"

"Don’t tell me to mind my business when you need to…"

"Why don’t you shut the fuck up and make out with your little boyfriend, there?" Henry says.

That last line came out sounding a lot more homophobic than it was meant. All conversation had stopped, and Kristy and I quit arguing. Everybody was staring at Henry, and nobody looked real happy.

Sensing this, Henry tried to defuse the situation. "Aw, c’mon, I didn’t mean it like that," he said. "Here, I’ll show you — let me give you a little kiss." Everyone stiffened up as Henry leaned toward the guy with his lips puckered. Springing up, the guy swung a quick roundhouse that caught Henry off-balance, sending him sprawling. And without even thinking about it I threw a right cross that smashed right into the poor sap’s nose, breaking it with an audible crack and a generous splatter of blood.

After the punch, there was a brief pause before the place went apeshit… Everyone started screaming and jumping up and down all at once. Total hysteria. Kristy burst into tears: "They’re fighting about MEEEEEEEEE!!!" The guy with the broken face picked himself up and ran down the stairs. A black drag queen who had a good two inches (of height, asshole) and about 50 pounds of muscle on me started screaming, "STRAIGHTS VERSUS THE GAYS! STRAIGHTS VERSUS THE GAYS!"

I stood there for a few seconds, an oasis of calm in a splendidly colorful storm, looking at my bloody fist and thinking, "Goddamn. I’m badass." Then I heard someone scream something about calling the cops. Though I didn’t feel like I had done anything wrong, I really didn’t want to tempt fate and chance getting my ass beat by that big drag queen, so I split and hot-footed it down to the parking lot.

I stood alone in darkness of the lot for a few minutes, watching the mayhem. Kristy, still crying, tried to explain things to a group of patrons while Henry apologized to everyone. People raced around, running in and out of the club. The drag queen leaned over the railing of the deck, pointing at me and screaming, "THERE HE IS! THERE HE IS!" I was wondering if I should wait for my friends or just get the hell out of there when someone walked up behind me. It was the guy I hit. I raised my fists.

"No, no," he said. "I’ve learned my lesson. I deserved it." Blood was pouring out of his face.

"Okay," I said, a little puzzled. "Say, uhhh, sorry about your face, there."

"I’m glad you did it," he said. "I shouldn’t have hit your friend. And I should’ve minded my own business."

"Well, frankly, I agree with you," I said. "But you’re bleeding pretty bad. Are you gonna be alright? Can I give you a hand or anything?"

He made a few noncommittal protests while I looked around on the ground, finally scrounging up a dirty napkin. I handed it to him, and he held it to his nose. We stood there quietly for a minute or two, staring up at the chaos at the entrance to the bar. I looked over at him, and he looked down at the blood all over his shirt and shrugged.

"I wonder how I’m going to explain this to my wife," he said.


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