It was that last double shot that put me over the edge. With my better judgement, and vision, impaired by happy hour drinks and strobe lights, I hiked up my little black dress and climbed up onto the stage reserved for the Revolution Dancers. In skimpy sequin bras and fishnet tights, the dancers were shaking their double-D cups to a Miley Cyrus song as I slipped in sync with them and mimicked their strip tease choreography. I had nearly made it to the chorus line before I was escorted off the stage.
In celebration of the holiday, nicknamed “Gay Day,” my friend and her girlfriend had convinced me, with the help of a few gin and tonics, to go out to a gay bar after the Pride parade. I’ve spent many weekends submerged in the gay culture of Rollins, but, being a straight girl, this was the first time I frequented a gay bar. After opting out of a Rollins exclusive night at Roxy to blow my measly paycheck on fruity drinks at Revolution, a known gay bar, my straight friends seemed to question my sexuality. Gay bars, however, are not exclusive to club goers who identify as homosexual.
Unlike the usual Mitch Buchanan crew, the dance floors at gay bars are populated with a more diversified bunch: I met Rollins students, Orlando locals, and a Chip n’ Dale’s dancer who shared his menthol cigarette with me in exchange for a lap dance. Experimenting with an alternative club scene offers an opportunity to expand your party horizons.
If you’re a first time gay bar attendee, as I was, it is likely that you are not acquainted with many of the club goers, which can be an advantage: if you dance on stage with the Revolution dancers in front of an audience of Pride paraders and wake up reeking of booze and regret, you don’t have to worry about your mistakes from the previous night winding up on the Rollins Confessions page. Rather than a mosh pit of sweaty bodies grinding against each other, a lot of gay bars have more of a lounge feel. Expect to linger around the bar, perhaps chasing shots with cheap beer, in between dancing. Keep in mind, ladies, your vagina holds no power here: the bartender will not take your drink order first just because your cleavage looks amazing in your new Bombshell bra. Wait your turn like everyone else.
There is, however, a stigma surrounding gay bars that deters straight people from frequenting: some are under the false impression that heterosexuals will be incessantly hit on by homosexuals. The idea itself is ignorant. Just because its usual attendees identify as gay does not render the bar a sex-crazed playboy house where no straight man is safe. A person is not hit on at a gay bar anymore than at one of the mainstream favorites. After an evening of tossing back cosmos like Carrie Bradshaw, I was convinced: the gays know how to party.