About a month and a half ago, I was in Chicago for Market Days where I met up with a few of my friends from Chicago. No surprise, most are gay men, but one in particular is a straight, Indian woman with a great sense of humor. It just so happened that on Friday night, we decided we ought to show her all of the glorious bars of Boystown--dancing and partying all night long.
We somehow ended up in Cocktail (huge surprise, really).
For those of you who don't know Boystown well, Cocktail is a tiny bar at the corner of Roscoe and Halstead that features glittery and muscular male go-go dancers. Our foreign female friend had never seen go-go dancers before. She was fascinated, but needed some social lubrication (tequila) before she could approach the dancer and daintily slide him a $1 tip. Six shots later, she was covered in glittery stripper-sweat and excitedly doling out all of her dollars for more shows.
A few weeks later, I got a giggly phone call late one night.
"Where is that go-go club you took me to again?" She chortled out.
My friend was dragging along a gaggle of gay-loving girls from work to check out this off-the-wall male review. I naively shared the coordinates of Cocktail with her, and rolled over and was promptly asleep.
Little did I know the monster that I'd unleashed on the Chicago gay community. In the subsequent weeks, Our Indian friend had brought about a dozen new girls to this bar. Tonight she called us for the coordinates again, but not for herself--her friends are bringing more friends. A wave of sexually starved straight women is descending on Halstead as I write this.
I've always been leery about straight girls in the 'gay ghetto.' I am a big lover of straight allies, but I have to say a majority of the straight girls I meet at the gay bar are out for their one last night of freedom before they partake in one of the many social institutions I am not allowed to be a part of--marriage. Part of me--very deep down--is a little pissed about straight girls with wedding veils on, flaunting their first class rights, letting 'the gays' show them a good time right before they go off and leave us behind. I'm a little jealous.
These aren't brides to be, though, that I've begun sending down to Cocktail (in droves, apparently). These are something else--potential allies in our fight for liberation. These girls are unmarried and unattached. They understand us.
We have a tremendous opportunity to recruit them to our side. (No, not turn them gay. I mean make them political allies and activists within the context of this frivolity.) Let's make our go-go boys experts in the finer points of LGBT activism! I suggest that while the boys are rubbing up against these cute little straight girls, they explain to them why they should be writing their Senator and setting up meetings to discuss ENDA and Hate Crimes legislation. Rather than hand them drinks on coasters, the bartenders could slide them pamphlets about DOMA and DADT repeals.
Whatever happens, I hope they all have fun tonight. However, I hope they also go home and say "you know, those gays are pretty fun. Maybe it would be cool if they had the same rights as me!"
Have fun, ladies, and be safe! Slide the big blonde one a Fiver for old Phil!