Some rando claiming to be a big-shot drug dealer from New York physically and verbally harassed me in Hang Fire at Cape Fear this weekend, aggravatedly screaming, "You're just a fucking Bohemian!" after doing one of those gross snake-thru-the-crowd-just-to-get-in-your-face moves. (Like literally, a girl dancing next to me leaned over specifically to say, “Uh oh, he’s coming for you!” as we watched him crawl thru people to get to me on the dance floor.)
Ironically enough, YES. Shittily enough, as a queer trans person assigned female at birth Iiving in Savannah for a mULtItUde of reasons (including art and cheap rent) I choose to be, I AM, that “thing,” for all intents and purposes. In my favorite and only queercentric bar downtown. . . that is closing soon because we're all just FuCkInG BoHeMiaNS to be replaced by condos, you fear-mongering piece of scum, wherever you are.
To come closer to terms with a racially-pejorative-turned-“chosen”-class-pejorative word in the name of holding down space here was horrifying. (I screamed "GET OUT OF MY FACE" relentlessly until someone noticed and helped to get him kicked out.)
It was a grossly prophetic gesture about the current state of affairs in club scene Savannah. It hit me hard as all hell: no space is safe, no matter how oN LoCK the crew keeps it for you. Downtown in general is hostile, at best: queer or not, even looking alt and being out is weird. To crave harassment from a more “familiar” group of people is masochistic. But sometimes I think we’d prefer to be objectified by people we knew, or (at least) had a moment to talk to, if only they didn’t all walk by so quickly down the street after hollering “Caitlyn!” atcha girl for being in drag.
Weird, like, “Is that a costume? Can I take a picture with you? Actually, can it be a video? And can you say ‘This is a costume’ into the camera?” weird, people trying to casually sell you molly in front of a Banana Republic on Broughton Street weird, multiple-victim shootings at night in the same place they have cute flash mobs by day weird, drunk bridesmaids meets C-Port rap meets #cportdrag at the corner by Sweet Melissa’s weird.
Being queer in Savannah is an honest-to-God/ess/ex conundrum with a little gentrified Paula Deen flavored butter on top. And I’ll say the g-word even though I know my boss, fellow queer and up-and-coming alternative-to-downtown-neighborhood unofficial mayor (for the time being), hates me for it.
This goes out to literally everyone, starting with Influenza “Oh, and here’s a couple numbers I’ve never rehearsed before” (and did them oh-so-good I think I shed a couple tears) Mueller, for guiding me thru that queerpocalyptic club nite experience in the best ways each of you know how.
You know who you are because Hang Fire/Cape Fear/Gunt/Candyland weird Savannah alien/ally peeps, I see you. Seriously, thank you for smoking, for shaking the champagne until it pops, for the crop tops and cutoffs and “coordinated with velvet in the summer cause it looks good,” for the all-blacked-out windows, on the floor dance moves, late nite weird shit cause it feels good, sounds good, Whitaker curbside good, even in a place like Savannah where there is less and less space for us kind of folx to take in a city that’s only getting bigger. Those spots on the sidewalk outside of 37 are so damn reassuring, even if they’re some of the only ones we’ve got.
But rly, where do the queers go when soon there won't be no' mo' go-TO-go, and the go-TOs got beefheads 2 boot?