When I was just a wee pup back in Chicago and trying to navigate my way through the highways and byways of my sexuality, music was the only constant of the ever changing Black Gay nightclub scene. And while I have a specific story about watching those monuments of youthful indulgence, fervor and dubious sexual activity evaporate into frighteningly politically correct family oriented real estate ventures, once moving to Los Angeles I realized that story is one that is shared by every generation of Black Gay people trying to figure out who they are and get their boogie on at the same time, a story that seems to funnel down to one specific occurrence. Gentrification.
So we're left with only the music that, for better or for worse, was the soundtrack to our journeys. Now being from Chicago and hitting the urban jungle in the early 1990's the beat on the street was specifically House Music which is why I got quite the culture shock when arriving in Los Angeles in the late 1990's. At the time overly masculine and rough neck guys would dance and enjoy house music in Chicago while rap music was played in clubs/bars for men on the DL and effeminate men who were comically unaware of their femininity. A quick 2,000 mile trip over to Los Angeles and I found that not only did the bars close at a frustrating 2:00 a.m., but the majority of Black Gay clubs catered to Hip-Hop/Rap which all of the overly masculine and rough neck guys listened to and House Music was relegated to an adjacent basement area where the effeminate men proudly displayed their femininity, balancing peacock feathers and cocktails on their sequinned blouses.
Now this list isn't an ode to those days of House Music, I'm almost positive my "too cool for school" passengers would surely be uninterested in those beats. But it does remind me of those times when I was not so preoccupied by all of the current "Adulting" that I have to do nowadays. Back when I would drink tequila and St. Ides until 6:00 a.m., dance until I literally had to take off my shirt, wring out the sweat in the bathroom and slide on the dry shirt I had tucked in my back pocket, before I realized that the majority of men out there are cheating and lying pieces of shit and my horizons were completely open. This reminds of life. And so far, I've actually caught a few of those too cool for school passengers of mine boogying in the back seat. I invite you to do the same.