This month, THUMP honors Pride with a celebration of LGBTQ nightlife all across America. Follow our coverage here.
While dating apps like Grindr have revolutionized the way gay men solicit sex, gay nightclubs still exist for those who choose to pick each other up the traditional way: physically talking to each other. Groundbreaking concept, right?
Hooking up isn't always the goal, but the act of going to a gay club almost necessarily asserts to everyone else that you're open to it. But these clubs also offer something necessary for the community: a safe space for gays to be ourselves, away from the ostracizing judgement of crowds in hetero clubs, or society en masse.
Most gay clubs can seem obnoxious or intimidating at first glance, especially to those who posses no nostalgia for Britney Spears because they have no soul. For those new to the gay club scene, it can be a truly daunting experience to navigate this unchartered queermosphere. To lend a guiding hand, we identified seven types of gay clubbers you may be meeting at Pride this weekend. Of course, these characters are by no means representative of the entire spectrum of individuals and identities you will encounter at Pride, but when navigating the specific microcosm of the gay club, it can be helpful to know the lay of the land.
1. The Cute-But-Cunty Door Boy
The first gay you'll encounter at the club is outside it: the cute-but-cunty door boy, covered up in more layers of clothing than his twinky little body is used to. Don't let his charm fool you—he's the exacting type, regulating the guestlist and counting up everyone's money. A bottom who's tried to top once.
2. The Fake Goth DJ
He's the one in the booth with his headphones half on pretending to mix terrible house remixes of your favorite pop bangers. And you'll catch yourself dancing to them anyway. You'd think he was goth, but the all-black pilgrim hat, leather jacket, drapey Vetements shirt, skinny jeans, and boots is just his aesthetic. Vers top. Casually doing cocaine in the green room.
3. The Drag Queen
Towering over everyone are the drag queens who spent more time contouring their faces than the DJ's whole set. Ginormous wigs, sparkly dresses, gaudy jewelry, dangerous heels. They're the most extra of anyone present—the club is their stage, and they can be found lip-synching, sashaying, and striking a pose. Vers.
4. The Muscle Bartender
At some point you'll need a drink, which you'll order at the bar from a beefcake in a speedo and Nikes. You'll be transfixed by his rock-hard muscles as you watch him craft your cocktail with those strong hands of his. But don't get too attached; he's not actually gay, just another straight for you to fantasize about turning. Top, duh.
5. The Go-Go Boy
Another almost-naked character in a Speedo and Nikes (not to be confused with the straight muscle bartender), the go-go boy's perky ass is everywhere. Grinding and gyrating to the music, he's the club's entertainment. Luckily, he's from one category of staff that's actually gay, and sticking dollar bills into his crotch is the way to his heart. Total power bottom. Probably on SeanCody (link NSFW, but if you didn't know that, take more notes). Go get him.
6. The Leather Daddy
Ripped straight out of a Tom of Finland drawing, he's in all leather: motorcycle hat, jacket, assless chaps, boots, and sex harness. Total top. Is ready to buy you 92 drinks. Got arrested at Folsom Street Fair last year for giving a public blowjob.
7. The Anti-Pride Hipster
He's the creative intellectual type who has a million side hustles and hates Pride for being way too corporate. Campaigned for Bernie. Mostly wears clothes from thrift stores. He's trying to badmouth all the brands hopping on the bandwagon to support gays just for profit, but the friends that dragged him out can't hear him over the music. Vers top. You'll find him on Grindr at the club, desperately trying to leave, and he'll never come back again.