The Weekend FAB-ulous!
Saturday: Going dancing at Rain and Oilcan Harry's: Check!
Sunday: Noah's Arc viewing party with nine gay guys: Check!
Yep, I'm a fag hag.
There are much worse things to be, of course. It's great fun to go out and be totally campy and know that you can behave as outrageously as you like without having to worry about waking up naked with a malodorous stranger. On the minus side, you're pretty much stuck paying for your own drinks. But on the whole, it's probably worth it.
There's a certain status to being a fag hag. I'll have to study the phenomenon further, but couldn't help noticing several others of my kind at Rain, most of them fairly attractive and all attached to groups of three or more extremely well-muscled men. Not a bad bargain at all, since the men are all courtly and debonair. The friend I went with immediately introduced me to everyone he knew with flawless etiquette (a lot more than I can say for my husband, whom people sometimes stammer to interrupt after several minutes to ask, "So is this your wife?") It's possible I got picked apart by a few clubgoers later - Oh my god! Did you see how frizzy her hair was?! Can you believe she would go dancing in those shoes?!? Could you just die?!?!? - but again, on the whole, well worth the fun and the unbelievable camp of people-watching, in a place where all the people are beautiful and have a fine flair for drama.
Oh, and drama there is. Not, perhaps, quite as much drama as there is on Noah's Arc. But the unfortunate realities of being gay in a society that can still be incredibly ugly and hateful about it create a fairly tight-knit community with fairly stringent rules of behavior. I was amazed at how many of the people in the club my friend knows. He knows who's dating whom, who's whose ex, who's not on speaking terms, and who's committed such egregious social grievances that they are no longer accepted in polite gay circles.
What I find particularly interesting about this is that it represents the same kind of return to "traditional" values that social conservatives always harp about - including many of the negative aspects of those values that have caused modern society to move away from them: everybody knowing your business; gossip; insincerity in the name of proper manners; social pressure to be something that may not work for you.
My friend had a hug and a kiss on the cheek for everyone he knew at the club, and we followed some fairly standardized rules for conversing with the people we talked to. It was commented upon when one person deviated: "Oh my god! He did not just walk by and only wave at you!" And at one point, someone who did stop to talk to my group got a polite but unmistakable dismissal: "Hi, (hug, kiss) so nice to see you! Well, we're going to go walk now!"
Exeunt omnes in fine theatrical style.
The theatrics in Noah's Arc were fairly over-the-top and very funny, but received hoots of recognition from the guys there: exaggerated, but not without basis in reality. I felt a pang of sympathy for anyone who finds the dramatics of the gay scene more than the sense of inclusion is worth. Until you found your own dominion, there's always someone else whose rules you end up having to play by.
The part of sidekick and observer suits me nicely, though. I hope to play it often.