Another Installment of My Gay Advice Column, “Go Ask Daddy”
Buddy: Daddy, I’ve lived in Boston all of my life and I’ve had it with the snow, ice and cold. I’m determined to get the fuck out of here before next winter and move to Fort Lauderdale. Anything I should know?
Daddy: Yea, first off, some cold hard facts about hot, sexy Lauderdale: unless you’re retiring with your 401K’s, have a job lined up, doing a company transfer, or have a sugar daddy, you better have some bucks to coast for a while – at least five grand – because jobs are hard to come by. Remember, unlike other metro area economies that are more diverse, South Florida is driven by the hospitality industry which is notorious for posting the lowest salaries. And even when you’ve got the credentials (which excludes personal trainers, escorts, nutritionists, bartenders, and waiters), employers frown upon out-of-staters who they think, understandably so, are about as grounded as a gay boy on two week meth binge. So be prepared. Even if you collect disability because you’re poz or in a wheelchair, don’t think that and all the other assistance afforded you will be enough – it usually ain’t. The cost of living here may be a lot less than, say, a Chicago or New York, but it’s rising too.
So don’t go for that three bedroom/two bath condo on the beach just yet. Instead put your shit in storage and rent a one bedroom or even a studio to keep your costs to a minimum until you find work. Yea, you can always get a roommate – more likely three -but sometimes they’re more problematic (read deadbeats) than paying the rent on a walk-in closet yourself.
And please, God, tell me you’ve got a car you didn’t buy when Bush Sr. was President and isn’t ready for the auto graveyard. Living – and finding work – in South Florida without a car is like trying to fuck without a dick. Mass transit sucks – this ain’t a Boston, New York or Chicago or even an L.A. – and frankly the only people who take mass-tranz are commuters who use Tri Rail between cities, or losers who share the bus stops with the homeless.
And if you’re young and pretty or not so young but seasoned at the escort game and expect to find an old guy with an investment portfolio the size of the Yellow Pages, grab your deli stub and wait in line. There may be a lot of rich, retired daddies here but there are a hellava lot more broke gay, and desperate str8 boys, so unless you’re an expert at dealing with the Denture Crème Generation, get ready to hustle burgers on the graveyard shift at Checkers. At least for a while.
I knew two guys with almost nothing who thought they could make a go of it here. One went back to West Virginia after finding selling real estate was super competitive and he was thrown out of his pad he owed three months’ rent on; the other, a former meth dealer in D.C. who figured it would be easy to break into the business here is now having his room and board paid for by the Florida taxpayers courtesy of the Broward County Correctional Facility.
Also don’t think since so many gay men have flocked here because of our free and breezy lifestyle and the fact Lauderdale and Miami are huge gay vacation meccas that sex comes easy. Our gay men are just as fucked up and fickled as any other town’s.
Remember, like everything else in life, it all comes down to money. That is, having it.
So think twice about leaving that winter jacket behind. Those thrift shops on Wilton Drive are always willing to give you a couple of bucks for it which may come in handy while you’re between ten-bucks-an-hour jobs. After all, we wouldn’t want our winter vacationers paying two hundred bucks a night in a hotel off the beach from freezing their pale white butts off when we get a rare cold spell and go down to – God forbid – fifty degrees at night.
Disillusioned yet, huh, buddy?
But if you got a job lined up, are retired with $$ or have a reliable daddy, go have fun!