Sunday, October 14, 2007

Remembering The Misery of Going Out Gay

With Miles away in Atlanta visiting his mom and me wanting to sell some of my "Gay Vegas" guidebooks, I forced myself to go sit in a booth at a National Coming Out Day street fair last night outside two of the city's gay bars. I really hate these scenes, having graduated years ago from the need to be out amongst the gays in party settings. I'm happy that others find such social settings enjoyable, but I don't smoke, drink or dance and I'm happily married, so the only purpose for my being there is to take note of how my looks have faded.

That said, it was a colorful crowd to be sure. I just loved the effusively Afrotastic look in the picture above and, sure, it's never painful to behold a strapping youngster such as this fellow selling Jello shots.

But the weirdest moment was when I encountered emcee and local TV personality Chris Saldana with a pair of blondes earlier in the evening. Saldana introduced me to his friends, but the ugly look from one incredibly arrogant-looking, uh, person sent shivers up my spine. I walked away bewildered by what I had done other than smile and extend my hand.

What I didn't realize until later was that I had been sneered at by none other than the YouTube star of the moment, Chris Crocker, whose "Leave Britney Alone!" rant following her horrible VMA appearance last month shot him/her to, uh, "prominence." (I am not mocking transgender people here; it is really unclear how Chris self-identifies.) I had text-messaged Miles to tell him someone LOOKED like that Britney-crier, but it never actually occurred to me that someone would pay for he/she to travel to a gay-pride-type event or that the public would want to see such a thing. I made it over the stage just in time, in fact, to see this person exhibit his/her "talent," which seemed to consist of talking bawdy, asking the crowd which men had shaved their nether-regions and teasing (?) the audience with the prospect (unfulfilled, alas) of pulling down his/her pants.

I packed up the booth and headed home almost immediately. Selling books isn't important enough to suffer in such a manner!