There is a very good article on the Nerve right now that ties together gay cowboys, the Abbey, and the nature of father-to-gay-son relationships. A great part is when the author’s father unwittingly takes his gay son to the gayest bar in gaytown (West Hollywood) and slowly realizes what he’s done:
“Finally, I blurted, "Do you realize what kind of place you're in? Do you know this is the biggest gay bar in town?" He nodded. Deep wrinkles, from years of narrowing his eyes — hard expressions I'd always seen as angry or suspicious — now looked softer, like traces of wincing and fear. He spoke carefully, as if the sentence were a thing he didn't want to drop: "I had begun. To figure that out."”
This reminds us of a time when we took our dad to a straight bar in our college town called Rudy’s. It was divey and a little bit punky, and the patrons were a well-pierced bunch. “Is this a gay bar?” our dad asked, after a few PBRs. “Oh Dad,” we said. “We go to gay bars to get husbands, not prison-grade tattoos.”
While the nerve.com article is well-written and touching, the best part is undoubtedly when the author finds himself at a gay cowboy bar, chanting along with many other macho hombres the lines of the best “Designing Women” monologue ever. We remember watching this, at the butt-clenchingly awkward age of thirteen - when Dixie Carter is uncharacteristically defending her sister, Delta Burke:
"…Suzanne was not just any Miss Georgia, she was the Miss Georgia. She didn't twirl just a baton, that baton was on fire! And when she threw that baton into the air, it flew higher, further, faster than any baton has ever flown before, hitting a transformer and showering the darkened arena with sparks! And when it finally did come down . . . my sister caught that baton, and twelve thousand people jumped to their feet for sixteen-and-one-half minutes of uninterrupted thunderous ovation, as flames illuminated her tear-stained face! And that . . . just so you will know — and your children will someday know — is the night the lights went out in Georgia!"
If you didn’t just get goosebumps reading that, you may want to try doing some shots of flaming sambuca until you do. Otherwise, you may call yourself gay, but you’re clearly not doing it right.