One of these men is not like the others

This fall hasn’t been very funny for me and I’ve resorted to posting pretty pictures of foliage. That was until last night when I went to a gay bar in Manhattan. With my dad.

The scenario that brought me, my sister and my dad to Club T (right next to Hairspray!) on this October night was Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who was supposed to do a signing at my parents’ bookstore but cancelled. The publisher compensated by inviting my parents to sell books at an on-site event called “Times Square Social,” a party where professional gay men meet other professional gay men, bond over $12 cosmos, and have an opportunity to meet the man who coined the phrase “Gay American.”

For those of you who don’t know my dad, he’s a great guy, and conservative in a non-scary way. ie: he actually voted for Bush twice, but not because he believes it’s right to torture people, or restrict women’s rights or destroy the environment but because voting Republican is what he does. As far as I know, he doesn’t care what consenting adults do as long as the government stays out of it and he doesn’t have to pay a lot of taxes. He also doesn’t drink or smoke or do anything that will send a person to hell. My mom summed him up when she said “the last place I would find your dad is at a bar, let alone a gay bar.” However, last night, that’s just where he was.

I think he was expecting chains and leather strips hanging from the ceiling, but instead he found hardwood floors and cozy booths with tea lights.

Some of my favorite moments from last night include the man who explained the color coded name badge system to my dad: green is for “available,” red is for “taken,” and yellow is for “eh…” Dad looked at the man’s red badge and realized that he was talking to a man, a man who was in a committed relationship with another man. And wearing a sticker to advertise it. I also enjoyed watching my dad make small talk with McGreevey’s life partner, Mark. Afterwards, he told me that he overheard that the consensus from the room was that “Mark is totally cute.”

The best part of the evening was when Dad decided there weren’t enough people buying the book, and he declared he was going to hit the dance floor to “get some action,” his cute way of saying he was going to walk the floor and let the men know that the governor was signing books and they could buy a copy from the girl at the table who is currently laughing hysterically. He actually walked up to men and interrupted their conversations to give them this information. Then he bought a $5 bottle of Poland Spring water. Upon his return:

Me: How did it go out there, Dad?
Dad: Fine, they seem like normal people.
Me: They are normal people.
Dad: I mean they’re dressed in suits and they look professional. There are even some women here.
Me: That woman over there was not born a woman.
Dad: …
Me: You can tell because her eyelashes are falling off.
Dad: HER eyelashes?

Soon after that, the woman in question came over to our table, introduced herself as “Clover” and bought a copy of the book. The moment she walked away to get her book signed, Sister Alyson and I taunted him mercilessly, because Dad, a man who thought that Damne Edna was just a nice old lady, sold a book to a drag queen!

Although the event was scheduled to go until 10:00, the place cleared completely at 9:00 when almost everyone including McGreevey scattered to the wind. Despite all he had learned in the past 4 hours, Dad supposed that most of the men were interested in watching the Mets play game 6 of the major league playoffs. Hugh, our contact from the bar overheard him, and gave Dad one final insight into gay culture, “Actually, they all just left to watch the season finale of ‘Project Runway.'”

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Elizabeth on October 20, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    HILARIOUS…..and you should see how spiffy Dad looks in his new pink shirt!

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