Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Week 44: Small Town Gay Bar

And the winner for "Title Most Likely to Make Holly Rent a Movie" is...Small Town Gay Bar! By a landslide!

Gay bars hidden in rural Mississippi? Are you kidding me? I can't pass up on that. Too bad the movie itself didn't live up to the promise of the title. True, it does follow the lives of several patrons of a few gay bars in the back woods of Mississipi and Kansas, but STGB is pretty light fare. I was expecting much more grit about the conflict between the under-the-radar gays and the holier-than-thou bible-beaters hoping to purge their towns of such 'sinful' behavior. And while the documentary touches on the underlying hatred, fear and bigotry, it mostly focuses on the touchy-feely aspects of what a gay bar means to its patrons. The bars are the only outlet for most of these people to be free, open and truly themselves. It is touching to watch the bars' patrons express such a deep need to feel accepted and connected.

And let's talk about those patrons. My, oh, my. There are some slim pickins in the deep south. These are not the tanned, plucked and abdominally clenched gays of the North. Oh, no. These are the step-up-to-the-buffet, come back to my trailer, stroke my mullet gays. In short, I was very concerned about the amount of flannel going around.

The biggest question for me was wondering why gay people stay in the deep south. It is a hard and arduous life, and there is no doubt it is a very dangerous existence. But I suppose it's those small inroads of seeing gay people as neighbors, coworkers and friends that may begin to soften the bible-beating masses. Still, gay people of the South, naming your gay bar Rumors really doesn't help the situation. Might I make a few suggestions:

BAD names for a secret gay bar
1. Rumors
2. Whispers from the Closet
3. The Liza Minelli Fan Club
4. Big Gay Al's
5. The Delta (Drag) Queen

GOOD names for a secret gay bar
1. Hetero and Lovin' It
2. No Funny Business Here
3. Straight Harry's House of Brew and Bible Readings
4. Men Who Love to Hump Women
5. Church

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