Due to previous substance abuse issues, and discovering my true self, I keep myself on a tight schedule. I go to bed early to rise during my most productive hours. I know I become sluggish and lack my creative muse after noon maybe one o’clock, so often times when asked to go out to the club I decline. I decline because I don’t need the temptation of the drinking and party scene. I decline because I don’t need the smoke in my dreads and clothing. I decline because sometimes I just don’t need the drama. But I didn’t decline last weekend and I had a ball. Why is that?
I was invited to a local hole-in-the-wall bar near my old college. I’d heard of this place for many years but never had the nerve to go. One of the big reasons was because it was a straight bar, and I use to have a big fear of being my gay self in the macho, hetero bars around town (no longer). This time a friend’s band was having a performance and I needed to show him I supported his creativity, after I often declined his invitation, namely because it was at the gay club. You see my conflict? I can’t stand the gay clubs these days. I don’t like to see people get drunk and act up in general, and I guess once being a part of the scene, it makes me sad and then judgmental witnessing avoidable foolishness (see judgmental). So I avoid putting myself in situations where my bad behaviors can arise, whether it is drinking, drugs, or being judgmental. Another reason I don’t enjoy the gay clubs is because I’ve done it before. I am just passed that stage in my life, and while many gay men much older than myself still go weekly, that isn’t me and never was going to be me.
I understand the gay club for many is an opportunity to be themselves. They can hit on other gay men, dress in no traditional ways and not be in fear of any repercussions. I get that and I would never bash our safe havens, but I will bash those who frequent them and in a way take the safe out of it. Who needs to feel inferior because they don’t look like a twink, musclebear, or gym bunny? There are so many clicks from the drag followers, the bear community, leather group, the black kids, etc., I just don’t like any of the pairing off. The point is whether I’m trying to stay sober or not, I’m trying to stay sane and for me, the gay clubs don’t offer me that. So why did I have a great time at the straight bar?
All of the same click energy is present in straight establishments as well. Without really going into giving them names, I tend not to fit in there but I didn’t have to worry about that this time because there were distractions, namely live music. I got to go in, order beers (I still drink beer in moderation), and just focus on my friend I was with and the music. Everyone else was doing the same and I was able to get out of my head and just be. There are only a handful of times I can remember being that comfortable at the gay clubs and that was when I was in my early twenties and worshiped for my body and youth. Now it’s a meat market I just don’t want to be a part of and it’s just that simple.
I plan to decline more invitations that I accept. I’m more of a home body type that likes to hit an event from time to time, hang at friends homes to socialize or, go to the movies. I probably hit the gay clubs once or twice a year, with a max of four and a few weeks to get my mind right to endure what is present every time. But last weekend I got to feel good at the bars. I got to not worry who was trying to hit on me (there still were a few), and I got to just enjoy my friend’s band, my other friend I came with, and new friends we made while there. It was a relaxed atmosphere I use to find at the gay club that now doesn’t exist for me. So if you want to get me out all night, come with something different and unique. Been there, done that will never fly with me again. I will decline.