Saturday, December 18, 2010

DC's gay community, you let me down



I figured I was smart. I heard that the Senate had used cloture to stop endless bickering about Don't Ask Don't Tell and force a very unusual and very historic Saturday afternoon vote. I remember being at Busboys and Poets and watching the 2008 Presidential debates, and the fever pitch and the emotion that was in that crowd. I figured this vote would be equally momentous to the gay community, and so I rushed off to a gay bar / restaurant to bask in this seminal moment.

I honestly don't believe the fact that I was starving and lightheaded had anything to do with this logic. Now that I am full once again, it still seemed like a reasonable idea.

I drove over to Freddie's Beach Bar & Restaurant on 23rd Street in Alexandria, a gay bar / restaurant I had passed by many times. The outside is adorned with pink umbrellas and pink flamingos. A child's pink motorized car was mounted on the back of the restaurant. Flyers of drag queens were at the front door. I figured I had found a great place.

I went in past the many signs that said "21 ONLY: ID REQUIRED" and stopped short. The inside was as lively as an abandoned warehouse. A few overweight men sat at darkened tables staring into their lunch plates. Patsy Cline played weakly over a PA system. There was a sad buffet with potatoes and other items. The TV's played music videos from the 1950's. There was no excitement, no movement, and no seeming interest in the vote at all.

So did I miscalculate? Or did D.C.'s gays miss out on a chance to build community and entertain ME? I'm voting on the later. I had $20 to spend on brunch, which ended up going to Caeser's Diner. They had excellent seasoned fries, even if their TVs played a IQ-busting Tyler Perry movie.

2 comments:

Zeyev said...

It's too bad you didn't go to a real gay bar. Although I'm not sure how much celebrating was going on in this wonkish environment in general.

I was at a gay sports bar (as I told you) on U Street in The District and we had lots of folks in the military there. There was definitely an undercurrent of excitement even if I (an Army veteran) was watching a football game on a big screen.

Jonathan Rubin said...

Nuts! I couldn't even find my way out of a gay parking lot....