Tracey and I pulled her ’91 Civic into an ill-fitting space across the way from Playland: a fair of sorts with rides, mostly breaking, extremely sticky, breeding more bacteria than the adrenaline boners carried around by just-pubescent boys and their superior girlfriends.
The sun was hot, the lines were long, and our desire for a thrill of heights was snatched up by the sound of my sister’s cell phone text tone (now that’s a mouthful); It was her friend Sean inviting us to karaoke night at Number’s nightclub on Davie street in the heart of Vancouver’s LGBT district.
We said yes to the dress.
I had never in my LIFE sang karaoke. I had sung a solo at Expo ’86 (anyone younger than thirty years old can fuck right off) with the kids’ choir I was in (a lá church) but alone? With nobody behind me? Not once. And I was in the mood to do it by the power of my Self, without a single drop of liquid confidence. I wanted to sing my heart out with a clear vent so that I could go from here to there without an emotional traffic jam.
Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas” cued up and the announcer called me to the stage. I grabbed the mic, nervously flipped my hair, gave it a tug, spun around to breathe in the warm summer night’s air behind me (Numbers has a mini garage-type wall that pulls up like a window) and then turned to face the crowd of gay dudes that gave absolutely zero fucks that I even had a heartbeat and little Suzy sang her heart out.
And then, we danced. Nobody grabbed my ass or made a faux-tits-swipe. No grinding, no lewd comments, no bullshit. It was the safest I had ever felt in a bar, and it’s a feeling I will never forget as long as I live.
To all my LGBT friends, I love you just a little bit more than everyone else, but not because it’s trendy (if I liked being trendy, I wouldn’t dress like a complete moron in old running clothes that smell like cat pee) but because you’ve been through the shit and back and you know what’s important, and what’s not.
Ill-fitting spaces, mostly sticky, adrenaline boners, superior girlfriends, hot sun, long lines, cell phone text tone, emotional traffic jams, tugging hair, warm summer night air, face the crowd, zero fucks, yes to the dress.