Memorial Day Postscript: Strange Bedfellows

I often talk about the Great Generational Divide that I’ve observed in Gay Life between the old and the young, the ordinary and the beautiful, the leather men and the twinks. But over the weekend as I watched the moveable feast of guys – and some gals – of all types and all sizes come together on the floor of Lauderdale’s most popular dance club, Hunters, I suddenly realized that one thing which all of us share and enjoy, regardless of generation, is disco music! Yes, all those classics from the 70’s and 80’s into the 90’s, for some tribal, for others nostalgic, that as soon as the first chord is played or voice wails generates an instantaneous response of total joy and energy from its listeners. It is something you can’t describe in words – you have to be there to feel the electricity around you go through your own body as waves of ecstasy roll over you like a tsunami.

Will Gloria or Donna or Whitney or Cher or Sylvester ever really die?

And as I was leaving for a night cap at the Ramrod, our leather bar, packing up their wares were two heavyset, white haired vets who had been manning a table, overflowing with those red paper poppies, just outside the club entrance. AVER proclaimed their banner, which stands for American Veterans for Equal Rights, the oldest and largest chapter-based, all-volunteer national LGBT Veterans Service Organization in the United States. I had never heard of them before; I wondered how many there had.

Sadly, I could see that as the humpy help from Hunters gave the two old gentlemen a hand in breaking down their table and loading up their nearby station wagon, their poppy sales had not done well. I just wonder how many of our party people out there overflowing into the parking lot with their cocktails and beers in hand realized that it was guys like these two old geezers who had fought the good fight somewhere in this world so that we could do just about anything we wanted to do.

Even shake our booties to music that’s forty years old.

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