Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orlando

There is something about the safety and love of gay men.

In 1990 I moved to Seattle. I was 21, alone and nursing some substantial heartbreak and disappointment.

Capitol Hill/Seattle, 1990 - 1998. I had inadvertently moved to the gayest neighborhood in Seattle. Even better, I had moved into an apartment building with the best neighbors ever, homosexual men. Men who took it upon themselves to allow me in.

We danced at Neighbors most Fridays. There is  nothing like being out on a dark night in a crowded urban club full of beautiful men who love Madonna and Prince even more than I did. Dance and lights and drinks and sweat and the sexual tension between beautiful young men you could lick off the matte black walls.

In a hot summer night of solidarity when a woman had the chutzpah to remove her shirt and disco wildly in her Maidenform, the DJ taunted her and tried to express how unwelcome she was. 

In response: her male escorts proceeded to remove all their clothing down to their sweaty briefs and shouted for the DJ to get ON WITH IT. The rest of the adoring  fruit-flies  on the dance floor  ripped away their blouses and the music played on and on and on. It was  magnificent. What ever could be lost was torn away and we danced until we swooned.

 I can easily imagine what it must have been like, these men and their friends in their safe place in a club designated for expression and joy and lust. As much as I do not want to, I can imagine the ambush in that familiar place.

Michael,  Ted, Michael, Johnathan, Jim, Todd, David and Michael. My most beloved Bob. My angels, my saviors from homesickness and heartache and loneliness.  They were the first ones to embrace my new incarnation as an adult. The ways we were odd were so alike. Loving these friends was so easy and gratifying as they did not use or discard or mistreat me, knowing exactly the result of cruelty of those impulses and rejecting that kind of weaponry. They were kind mostly, funny more often than not, spectacular in their friendship always. I dream of them still the way I dream of hootchy-cootch dancers, only in their finest and warmest light and at their most beautiful.

We were Lost Boys. They took me with them.

Gentlemen: thank you.

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