Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I went to a gay college?

While waiting in line at Whole Foods yesterday, I noticed that the latest issue of "Out" magazine features a guide to colleges. I decided to pick it up and browse the feature's contents. To my surprise, under the "Party Time" category, the editors / authors focused on my alma mater, Wash U! Gay, straight, bi, queer, whatever, Wash U is not a big party school, but people do know how to have a good time. As part of the "Nerdy Nine" (the athletic conference with the highest average GPA in the country; no, it's not the Ivy League), students at Wash U take school seriously (myself included). Granted, people also do a lot of partying (read: not much to do in Missouri but drink!), but the school is in St. Louis (more like the outskirts), so the scene is not terribly exciting. The column quoted two gay students (who are or were dating). I know one of them somewhat well, and the opinions they share, I generally agree with. Nevertheless, I've decided to share some stories of the gay establishments with which I am most familiar in the Gateway to the West, St. Louis, Missouri!

1) The main gay club is called the Complex. Showing up wasted with your friends is fun, and $3 rail drinks (that's not a 'specials' price) are hard to turn down. While the onslaught of tapered jeans and white sneakers is a lot to handle at first, most of the guys there are well out of college, so it's really easy to get a lot of attention (if that's your thing). Unfortunately, on one of my last visits to the Complex, a friend of mine and I decided to bring along some of our straight friends to share in the experience. At one point, some hick decided to whip out his c*ck in the middle of the dancefloor, so all of my friends think I had been hanging out a sex club for four years... Here are two more of my favorite Complex memories:

- Seeing my name on the video screen, only to find out that my friend was passed out at the bar, sick and with his fly undone... Needless to say, we had to leave.
- A friend of mine ended up entertaining a particular gentleman one night by the name of Isaac (who was wearing red leather pants), and in the throngs of passion, Isaac declared, "Let's see if boys can make babies!" Uh, let's not...

2) Attitudes is the primary lesbian bar. I visited Attitudes once with my Gay & Lesbian Theory class, on a field trip. Our teacher (openly gay woman) led the pack. Aside from pissing off some scary women who were shooting pool, it was a pretty run-down butch bar.

3) Loading Zone (how gay is that name?) is a simple video bar in the trendy Central West End neighborhood. Good place to go for some pregame drinking and the chance to look at guys.

4) Faces. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with St. Louis, there is a part of the city which sits east of the river, in Illinois called East St. Louis. East St. Louis is one of the worst neighborhoods in the entire country, so it shouldn't be too surprising that it is home to all of the late night clubs. Faces is one of these clubs. Some of its highlights include, cages, a drag show on the third floor, completely naked dancers (who'll let you sample the goods for some dollar bills), and it's biggest draw, the downstairs dark room! Keep in mind, Faces is open til 6 AM, and the Complex is open til 3 AM. So, if you find yourself at Faces, it's almost definitely after 3, and you're most certainly not sober. The majority of the guys are generally really trashy, on drugs and really sleazy. I never made it inside the dark room (not my thing), however, because I am pure and virginal.

That's pretty much the extent of the gay scene in St. Louis (minus the leather bar and maybe a few others I didn't frequent). Most of the gay students at Wash U (those I knew, at least) spend most of their time on campus or in college (straight) bars nearby. For all of its flaws, I will always hold StL in high regard, even its gay scene.

20 comments:

Dale said...

1). When Chip says "browsing the features" I believe he meant to say "drool over boys in underwear"

2). Who knew St. Louis had such an extensive gay scene, I went to School in L/A Maine (Lewiston Auburn for those of you not in the know) and there was I believe one gay bar which I never went to because it was a leather bar...and leather bar + Mainers = yikes...

DC Cookie said...

We had ONE club at UVa. One. And it was an after-hours gay club. Can I give props to the gay community of Charlottesville, VA for showing people that the party doesn't have to stop at 1:30!

Keith said...

Boston College...too conservative to talk about anything gay. Boston, great city, with a good gay scene, but I wasn't out yet :( I'm still trying to get over that....

Dale said...

That's a shame, Bostons gay scene is tots fun, I was there around easter and definitely found myself on top of a platform in between two gentlemen..... debauchery at its finest.

VP of Dior said...

was w&m on the list? definitely a big gay population, although williamsburg is not exactly the most happening spot...

The Boy said...

MMMmmm.....GWU, the Gay White University. I majored in Badlands.

Dop said...

Thanks for the wrap-up. I just crossed St. Louis off my list of cities to visit. I attended Shenandoah University in Virginia. It will never make any national lists. But I dated someone in the theatre dept. (big surprise) and those people knew how to throw a beer bash every weekend. Ah, fond memories.

Keith said...

yeah, wish i was out in Boston. could have had a lot of fun ;)

but when i went back, it didn't have a gay strip like 17th st. it seems a bit more "quiet" in boston.

i've met quite a few 'mos from American as well...

The Boy said...

I always felt like the American 'Mos had to do better advertising, because their locale was so distant. It was cool to meet them though, because they always had cars and could drive me the two blocks back to GW.

Dale said...

Ha ha ha, while at AU or 'Gay Jew' as I so lovingly referred to it I had a bf at GWU who had a car... and as a whole this is what I surmised from my coming out in DC

AU: Guys aren't that hot, they try hard, they're always out because no one would go to their parties in Bumblef*ck

GW: More pretentious than the AU guys but on the whole definitely hotter, had much better parties and did much better PR for said parties

UMCP: Had the wannabe 'frat boy' homosexual who'd invariably all look the same in their A&F gear at sadlands or nation after their ass long trip on the metro to anywhere decent

GMU: Never knew any of them, I think they stayed in VA.

Catholic U: Repressed....that's all I have to say about that.

NOVA + MC: Never met anyone from either....well no one that I didn't already know from HS

Dudley said...

I agree about AU, that's one fugly campus. Went to see Margaret Cho there and was less than impressed with both the show and audience.

The Boy said...

This is an excellent representation.

Although I went on a couple of dates with a guy from GMU (not that he was ever really a viable option because of the whole NoVag thing). They had a real housing problem there, so they had these 'modular dorms' (read: trailers).....Which I thought was pretty hot at the time.

The Boy said...

What about Georgetown?

Never met anyone from there really either...

Dale said...

Totally forgot G town

Gtown: For the most part self important and never attended parties at GW or AU because they were too busy thinking they were smarter than everyone else, thinking being the key word.

The Boy said...

And of course, how could we forget the Gallaudet guys? And the in-class note passing. Some of them were pretty H-O-T though.

Dale said...

yeah I was really popular with those guys for an unknown reason... Chip and I ran into one of my gallaudet friends at rehomo the last time we were there.

and yes... some of them were/are V. hot!

aklsdjhfa said...

For what it's worth, the first gay guy I met in DC was a Georgetown grad, and he's one of the most stand-up guys I've met in this city. He's also extremely intelligent (although I don't think you can attribute this to Georgetown).

Keith said...

my bf went to GMU (don't worry boy, i brought him into the city and out of NoVag). the only other person i've heard of from GMU was his ex...seemed ok.

i knew someone at BC that transferred to G'Town and then came out. he totally fits your description, dale. he's an odd one...

Anonymous said...

don't knock gtown too hard...hoya saxa :)

Emily Flowerz said...

Yes! St. Louis! I'm from Belleville, on the other side of East St. Louis. I like going back for the holidays. There are some great restaurants in St. Louis now. I wish I had gone to Wash U - it's a nice campus in a nice area (it is not the outskirts!) but instead I went to crappy Mizzou because my boyfriend at the time was going there. Ugh.