Dirty Dozen

GA Voice - - Best Bets Lgbt Atlanta Events -

I’m used to hear­ing dis­ap­point­ment in At­lanta’s gay scene from new ar­rivals, and com­plaints that it is filled with vapid, con­niv­ing, ma­te­ri­al­is­tic sluts. I’m sure many char­ac­ters are out there, but in my 12 years as a res­i­dent I’ve mer­ci­fully been able to avoid them—ex­cept for the sluts.

I re­cently met a fresh trans­plant to At­lanta and asked him whether he was en­joy­ing his first month in the city.

“I love At­lanta, but I can’t do the gay scene,” he said.

“And what is it about the gay scene that you can’t do?”

“The guys here are so phony and messy,” he said, as he be­gan to tell me about his pre­vi­ous night.

I had to in­ter­rupt him mid­story for clar­i­fi­ca­tion: “So your friend’s tires were slashed at the other boy’s house or at your place?”

“In my build­ing’s garage,” he said in a New York ac­cent, with a tone of voice that made it seem I was the sim­ple one for not be­ing able to fol­low the kalei­do­scopic night­mare he was nar­rat­ing. As we talked a few more min­utes, I learned that he had been to three restau­rants that day and sent back a dish at each. He lied to me about his age, which I had no in­ter­est in to begin with. And he tried to make a scene about be­ing con­fused by the “mil­lions of doors” in an estab­lish­ment that had ex­actly two.

I’m used to hear­ing dis­ap­point­ment in At­lanta’s gay scene from new ar­rivals, and com­plaints that it is filled with vapid, con­niv­ing, ma­te­ri­al­is­tic sluts. I’m sure many char­ac­ters are out there, but in my 12 years as a res­i­dent I’ve mer­ci­fully been able to avoid them—ex­cept for the sluts.

Here are a few other ob­ser­va­tions to mark my dozen years in ATL:

Our city is an en­chant­ing place to visit for a con­ven­tion, Pride or week­end of par­ty­ing—it’s “where the playas play ... like ev­ery day.” Ex­cept for the five days a week when most peo­ple have to work, pay bills, do laun­dry and han­dle other as­pects of be­ing an adult. Many folks are sur­prised to find that daily life in At­lanta doesn’t al­ways re­sem­ble the ATL al­lure.

Af­ter col­lege, I moved to At­lanta to be with a man I loved—which was sweet, but a clas­sic rookie mis­take.

My ATL fairy tale came true one Wed­nes­day af­ter work when I made eyes with a sexy guy in Publix and we clum­sily

ATL v. At­lanta:

Boyfriend No. 1:

Boyfriend No. 2:

in­tro­duced our­selves. There were great times in our re­la­tion­ship, but we stayed to­gether for prob­a­bly a year too long, sim­ply be­cause nei­ther of us wanted to lose the adorable story when­ever peo­ple asked us, “How did you meet?”

My first open, and ar­guably most suc­cess­ful, re­la­tion­ship. Hon­esty works.

The worst be­trayal I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced in At­lanta was not from a friend or jilted lover, but rather when the com­pany at which I worked for al­most eight years put a note on the door an­nounc­ing it was closed for good. Stunt queens wear suits and ties, too.

I saw a guy in the club a few weeks ago, and even though we know each other only pass­ingly through mu­tual friends, I gave him a big hug and told him how in­spired I am any­time I see him out. “You were one of the first peo­ple I would see when I was vis­it­ing At­lanta,” I said. “It’s good to see you still grow­ing, thriv­ing and hav­ing fun.” Of course, many peo­ple from those years had too much fun with­out grow­ing or thriv­ing, and have moved back home with their par­ents.

I shit you not, there are some dudes who have had the same pro­file pic­ture in gay chat rooms for the en­tire time I have lived in At­lanta. Age­less cat­fish.

All of the above is based on my 12 years of living in At­lanta, which is likely dif­fer­ent from how you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced the city. My ATL is as kick-ass as it was a dozen years ago, and yours is what you make it.

Boyfriend No. 3:

Cor­po­rate Stunt Queens:

Familiar Faces:

Familiar Faces, Part II:

My ATL:

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