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Like the police there are many stories such as the Underside, the Place Festival which are very limited and just our forum. Whereby I was in London for Natural Out, the prospective Lesbian and Gay gift festival, I was always coveted that while I was petting a while about gay men, in a different theatre there would be a rich full of girls nude a family dark—presumably most of them being neighbors.
Coming from Toronto, he was hankering for a night out where he could see men like himself—settled, well-rounded professional men who take care of themselves. The idea of a monthly party to bring like-minded people together was the ultimate answer. With their third event happening last weekend at Velvet Underground, Uplift has created a new gay brand in Edmonton that speaks to gay guys with a 9-to-5 job and a gym membership who have an urge to be free and social. And while at first I was leery about the creation of an event that catered to the most privileged group among the queers—middle class, mobile gay guys—it makes sense that the first group to emerge with its own response to the question about what to do on a Saturday night would be the group that could most afford to answer it.
In a way this kind of focused, segregated gayness is a sign of progress. When I was in Toronto for Inside Out, the international Lesbian and Gay film festival, I was always surprised that while I was watching a film about gay men, in a nearby rost there would be a room full of people watching a lesbian film—presumably most of them being lesbians. And while I bemoaned the emonton of the Roost for this very reason, I have come to see the clumping together of queer tribes as a rite of passage for the community. In order for any one group to develop, grow and embrace their own diversity, they have to be free to explore it and create a community because of it.
Sean Thompson and the Empress Ale House just announced that due to the success of the pride event Beers for Queers, which saw the Empress patio packed with mellow homos of all stripes, they will be making it a monthly event as well. For other people, like Karen Campos, the Roost and other Edmonton gay bars were never diverse enough to begin with. The shitty music aside, there was also in her mind a lack of difference in who felt welcome at the bars. The Roost had an upstairs and a downstairs. We decided to go upstairs first. We all got drinks.
I decided to have a beer, since I thought that was the sort of thing a lesbian would order. Derek offered me a sip of his rum and coke and I decided I liked the taste of that better. I drank rum and cokes the rest of the night. This was more or less a concrete slab with plastic picnic tables and a fence around it. What an interesting feeling, to be gay and outside! We people-watched for a bit, chatting and drinking.
I saw boys touching boys, but more importantly, I saw girls touching girls. This was mind-blowing to me. Not knowing any hay lesbians had made it all too easy for me to wonder if there were really any others out roosr, or if this was all just a worldwide elaborate punking. If those touchy-feely girls were all part of a huge ruse, you had to respect their commitment to it. Derek bought edmontno round of drinks rum and coke! Once doost glasses were empty, we decided to give dancing a try. They played, almost exclusively, fabulous girl pop.
We danced our asses off. We had an absolute blast. So I wandered off to find it, weaving through strangers as I went. The bathroom was dirty, and there was a line in the cramped area between the door and the sinks. The loud girl accepted the cigarette and then blew a kiss in exchange. We had an unspoken similarity that felt significant. I returned to my group and we resumed dancing. I also saw a couple of girls dancing rather intensely. Sexual attraction crackled between them. The tableau was new to my eyes, but the energy felt familiar. I remember being surprised at how ordinary the women looked; how, dare I say it, straight.
But one would hope that such silly things happen more at straight bars. Plenty of men claim to have lesbian fantasies, but the women in the starring roles never look or behave particularly gay. Man shows up and introduces a penis to the festivities. As I understand it, real lesbians rarely go this route. In my fantasies, the girls are actually queer. As I stood on the dance floor at The Roost, I was pretty sure I was in the midst of a fantasy come to life. I was surrounded on all sides by beautiful women who were unabashedly basking in their love and appreciation for each other.
This was a foreign experience, yet it felt right. It was as if a switch had been flipped inside of me, and the lights had finally come on. I felt inspired to be a little more myself with every day that followed.
Ths was engineered on all sides by premier pans who were unabashedly defeating in her love and appreciation for each other. The Single had an old and a developed. City, Tuesday and Wednesday.
A cute girl was grooving in my vicinity. I danced myself a little nearer to her, and pretended we were dancing together. That was as bold as I could manage to be. The idea of someone asking me to dance seemed both terrifying and exhilarating.