Rough Trade

As I said Friday, I went to the Burly Bears: Rough Trade get together. I arrived at Red Square and paid my cover charge, got a drink, and looked for the Burly Bears. I saw no one that fit the bill. I sat outside and listened to the band that was playing. Nothing seemed to scream Burly Bears. Then I spotted a group of guys come out and smoke that looked the part, but then they disappeared. I knew there was supposed to be a DJ and there wasn’t one in sight. I ended up texting a friend of mine that is familiar with all things Burlington and asked her if I was missing something. Was there a secret room somewhere? She said there was a small room kind of hidden in the back for parties. She was right, you could smell the men before you got there. I have to admit it’s an intoxicating smell: sweat, testosterone, and manliness. I remember it from the first time I entered a gay bar in New Orleans. I’d finally found it, but what exactly had I found? 
The room was full of old men and young men, but nothing in between. Some were dressed in rough trade outfits, others were not. I did wear my black t-shirt, jeans, and boots, so I wasn’t totally out of place. (No picture, I completely forgot t get someone to take a pic of me.) However, I felt out of place. I knew no one there, and I’m a fairly shy person. One guy introduced himself, and I said my name back, then he walked off. I thought I might talk to other people, but everyone seeemd to know one another, and I might as well have been invisible. I’m just not that good at these things. I stuck around and people watched for a while, but eventually I was just bored. I finished my drink and after about an hour and half decided to head home.
I had fun watching the go-go dancer and some of the people watching. Next month will be “a trip to Rio: Carnival.” That might be fun. We’ll see if I go back. I’m thinking I’ll give it at least another try. The problem with Burlington, and Vermont in general, it’s a small place and everyone knows everyone, and it can be quite difficult for a newcomer. I do a little better with the drag queen events because I can take a female friend with me (I have no male friends up here). Also, I know some of the drag queens. The drag queens are friendly; the gay men, not so much. I’m not going to give up though.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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