Recently my boyfriend and I went to NYC to celebrate his birthday. While there we walked around and shopped in some classic gay area of Manhattan. While here we picked up the free Gay magazine NEXT, which has information on what’s going on in the gay scene of bars and clubs for that week (as well as not-so-subtle prostitution advertisements). I’m only 20 (at least for a little bit longer) so sadly I can’t legally do much in the gay scene. But regardless every time we go to the city I pick up a copy of NEXT and, just for my amusement, look at what’s going on in the famous gay party scene.
This time I actually did not even look at the magazine until the train ride home. Unbeknownst to my boyfriend and me, the night before was the Black Party. Now this seemed like a big deal, and after some careful reading in NEXT I saw this is was not only a very expensive party, but a very long party that included a brunch. It did not take me long to realize this was one of those circuit parties I had heard about, but never actual been in proximity to. A Wikipedia search even revealed to me that the Black Party is the original circuit party and is one of the largest gay parties in America.
For a moment I felt like a "bad gay" for not knowing this, but my concern was quelled when my boyfriend said he also had never heard of it. But I sat there, thinking about how I missed one of the largest gay parties of the year, how I was in the right city, at the right time, but I missed it. I was confused as to whether or not I should be upset.
As a child who repressed my homosexuality, I never really got the gay party experience. Now at I’m a college twink who wishes I could be clubbing every weekend. Or so I think. I’ve never actually done it. But I do know for sure that I don’t really want to party for 18 or more hours straight, I don’t want to poppers or crystal meth, and I don’t want to have a drug-induced orgy in a stranger’s house. So, after a quick reflection, I decided I was not really that upset I missed the Black Party.
But now I am wondering: should I be upset? What am I missing out? I am not, and have no desire to be, a circuit queen. Should I? I honestly do not know what the appeal is since I don’t want to do lots of drugs and I am in a monogamous relationship. I’ve never really been part of the metropolitan gay scene, but now I’m starting to wonder why I consider it so attractive. What is it about scene culture that allures us? Where does this desire to have a drug and sex filled day-long party come from? Will this just lead to STDs and drug addictions? I don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to find out.
Next semester my boyfriend and I plan on giving the bar and club scene a shot. After all, I will finally be of age and I’m dying to see what it’s all about. I’m just happy that I have someone (older and wiser) to introduce me to the scene, keep me safe, dance with me, drink with me, and have fun with. So for now, I can say I don’t understand the circuit party culture and what I’m missing by not participating. But I can agree that something about the gay scene is fascinating and I can’t wait to give it a try. Wish me luck.
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