Following the tragic events in Orlando barely two weeks ago, people the world over have been sharing stories of their first gay bar and what it meant to them. Reading the stories from some of my favorite LGBT celebrities was touching and emotional, and it got me thinking about my first gay bar.
Almost a full year before I began to even consider transition as a possibility, my mother and I had decided that we should do something exciting for my 21st birthday. It was tricky because I was one of the oldest in my friend group which meant that if I went to a bar none of my friends would be able to go. We had decided that for my 21st we were going to go to Drink and Drag, a downtown drag bar that sadly no longer exists. It was my first club and only my second time in drag (officially Halloween a year or two prior was the first), but it was my first time as more of myself. My mother had bought me a pretty cute lacy black dress, black heels, and a gorgeous black wig. My best friends mother who was also in attendance made me a tiara, and my other best friend helped do my makeup.
I didn’t fully realize it at the time, but I felt more myself that night than at any other moment in my life up until then, and even though my feet were killing me by the end of the night, and I had never been more exhausted in my life, in hindsight I realize that this was sort of a defining moment for my transition.
Sadly I never did manage to get back there before they closed.
Sidenote: You can’t tell in the picture because of my hair but I am actually wearing a dress, it was sleeveless (which was daring for me let me tell you, and not something I would do now) and clearly low cut enough that in all the pictures I can find I look topless.