A Gay in the Life for April 25, 2013

For Weekly SurgeApril 24, 2013 

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Conversion therapy gone too far?

This gay conversion bullshit has gone too far. Not that I ever believed in it.

I know plenty of gay men who have supposedly turned straight. They typically stop dating guys; they just borrow one at the gym from time to time and then go on with their heterosexual lives and marry some clueless woman like Michelle Bachmann. I could care less either way. If someone decides he is straight and wants to jump that fence, I look at it as sort of a thinning the herd event. It takes the weakest and most fashion-challenged members of the gay community out of the equation and deposits them on the shores of Middle America where they can pass their days perfecting their lawn cutting patterns and buying their beer in a 24-can pack.

Bidding goodbye to a member of the club from time-to-time is no big deal but when the conversion actually involves a physical club, I have to take notice. Myrtle Beach recently witnessed such an event. A staple of the downtown trifecta of gay clubs recently became a hangout for people who practice the love that all too often speaks its name. That’s right my friends, Traxx went straight on us and is now Club 503, which has dropped the whole drag/gay thing. After what I can only assume was a period of quiet inward reflection and deep contemplative soul searching, another gay club is no more. Oh the humanity!

When I first moved to the Myrtle Beach area about a year ago, Traxx was the first gay club that I located. It was easy to find. I didn’t need a map, I didn’t need a guide, I just found it. I was able to do this because the place was so gay that it literally drew me in as I was driving by. I think it may have had something to do with the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) bumper sticker on my Jeep. Somehow, the magnetic pull of the bar must have interacted with the logo and created a subliminal force that dragged me into the club. It was either that or the fact that Traxx was the only club downtown blasting the club mix of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” during the lunch hour. Either way, I just knew.

The loss of an uber-gay establishment is not just a change of venue. It causes an economic shift in the community that affects the lives of many people. For example, do you have any idea what happens when Drag Night disappears from the schedule in a club? Sure, a few entertainers may be able to go elsewhere and get on the roster but many do not. That means a trickle down loss of revenue for other businesses as well. Suddenly, guys aren’t showing up at the MAC Counter at Belk buying eyeliner and concealer for their “moms and sisters.” There is a huge dip in the demand for size 13 Jimmy Choos and the folks at Lane Bryant are just sitting there wondering if a new diet craze has hit the area and customers no longer need plus-size gowns.

Traxx also supported a substantial cadre of those hugely talented men known as the exotic dancers. This is a talent that you just can’t take down to the local TGI Fridays and employ. Although, if anyone wants to hire me as a consultant, I can give you a very interesting plan to boost sales by using them in your pizza delivery business. This type of loss is also going to result in the local banks having a sudden overstock of one dollar bills (as opposed to three dollar bills) because nobody is going to be to stuffing the already overflowing G-strings of these studious young men working their way through law school. I suppose now we will have to start appreciating other men for their intellect or sense of humor.

Call me an alarmist if you must but I see a pattern here. Not long ago Ru Mors was supposed to be the newest jewel in the pageant crown of gay nightlife in Myrtle Beach. Before it even opened, the owners seemed to reduce that plan down to having a gay night and then eventually, it became a pink-free zone. Ru Mors was not in the Super Block/Five Points area with the other gay clubs so maybe you didn’t notice or count it as a loss for our team. The next blow to the gay community came with the tragic loss of Time Out! in October. People stood on the street and wept as an icon disappeared from the skyline in a destructive blaze.

And now, this. Some dark force has flipped a club. The Facebook page for Traxx has disappeared and now they answer the phone as “Club 503.” What next? Will there be a Saturday afternoon prayer meeting or will some cult like AA move in and start spreading its doctrine? I don’t know what may happen next. In a world where it’s difficult to find a place where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came, if this trend continues, we may all end up drinking Lite beer out of a can at the Bowery. It would almost be worth it to see Imani DeVour take over show night.


Saturday, April 27 – The Dining with Friends fundraiser for CARE Team involves the hosting of dinner parties across the greater Myrtle Beach area on Saturday. If you are not attending an individual party, you can still attend the Grand Finale Event at the Clarion Hotel by the Intracoastal Waterway starting at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. A donation of $50 at the door will go to support the important work of the CARE Team, which administers to local people living with HIV and their caregivers. For additional information, visit www.diningwithfriendsmc.com.

Friday, May 3 - The First Friday Happy Hour Group will meet at Fiesta Mexicana. Come out and gear up for the upcoming summer season with your friends. As the group continues to grow, more local businesses are opening their doors and providing us with excellent hospitality. Fiesta Mexicana is located at 1000 Commons Suite Dr. Suite 1, Myrtle Beach. Check out the awesome menu at www.fiestamexicanaonline.com. For more information on the First Friday Group, check out www.firstfridayhappyhour.org.

Have a thought, comment or Out & About event? Send Drew Levy-Neal an e-mail to Drew.Levy.Neal@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @Drew_Levy_Neal.

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