Circuit Party Gal Who Parties With Gays
Every year, hordes of gays will flock like migratory birds to cities like Taipei or Bangkok to party for three nights straight. Held in huge convention halls with thumping tribal beats, Rihanna remixes and lots of drama, these are gay circuit parties.
Victoria is one of the few girls that has the misfortune or fortune to be stuffed in these parties surrounded by sweaty and topless men.
“You don’t want to be caught in the bear train!” Victoria explained that bears refer to hairy and meaty men, mostly from Taiwan, who would always form a train at the side of the hall during such parties. It is hard to get out because they tend to be bigger and stronger.
I imagined her as helpless Goldilocks, mauled by a family of bears because she ate their porridge.
“I always tell people I am a gay guy trapped in a woman’s body,” Victoria laughed while telling me about how she met her first gay man, hit it off and never looked back.
Virgin experience with a gay man
Ten years ago, Victoria was following someone avidly on Livejournal who compiled ‘handbag music’ playlists—music with special appeal to the LGBT community. She began messaging him on Livejournal and they exchanged contacts on MSN messenger.
Before long, Victoria and her e-pal agreed to meet up over coffee—the dawn of their friendship which would lead them down a queer path. He then invited her to ZoukOut.
“You know at ZoukOut, at the back, there will be all the gay boys who are topless?”
I didn’t but she explained that the experience was particularly enjoyable because she was in the “gay zone”. It allowed her to admire the topless gays, decked out in eight packs, without having to worry about unwanted attention.
If an unwitting predator (usually a groping straight man) wanders into the zone to hit up women like herself, the gays would get their claws out.
Fag hags and gay BFFs
“Does the term fag hag offend you?” was one of the first questions I posed. The term is commonly used to describe ladies like Victoria who spent a lot of time around gay men.
“I don’t find it offensive and I do not consider myself one. There is no need to label people,” she replied.
I think she didn’t really mind the term, because she would use the term to refer to herself and others like her later, just out of convenience.
However, she doesn’t like that some girls treat their gay friends as accessories, “Oh my god, his style is so great!” She enacted how the girls would talk, while throwing her hands up in the air. “It does not recognise their struggles.”
Growing up in a girls’ school, Victoria encountered straight guys would easily drop the term ‘gay’ to deride others in Polytechnic. She regrets not educating them to not use that term so flippantly; it can be hurtful to some gay people as many face rejection by their families.
Her theory is that parents live in denial of their gay child because they feel ashamed of raising their child wrong. She wants them to know their child was just “born this way”.
As for her own family, whenever she gets questioned about her singlehood, her mum would reply it’s because she hangs out with too many gay men.
Too many men in her life
Victoria has to come out of the closet herself, whenever things get serious with a straight man:
“I have to explain to them why there are lots of guys calling me ‘dear’, ‘baby’, ‘hugging’ or ‘kissing’ me on Instagram with the heart emoji.”
It seems that most of the guys she dated weren’t especially accepting of these other men in her life. I guess guys are territorial by instinct, or just plain ignorant.
She hopes to settle down one day. At that stage, she will not be able to party frequently or go on spontaneous trips with her gay clique, so she currently enjoys their carefree lifestyles.
Making friends at the club
I expressed I admired her ability to make friends so easily at the club. But she corrected me, saying she usually stays silent until someone talks to her. “People will come and ask me if something is wrong and I just tell them I have resting bitch face.”
Occasionally, she would even walk up to a guy and comment how good looking he is. The outcome is great overseas; the man usually reciprocates by saying thank you and initiates a conversation with her.
However, for Singaporean gays, they react differently.
“When I tell them they are good looking, they will just nod and say mmm, like they know it. With Singaporeans, it’s always about I deserve this and that.”
Is this a byproduct of meritocracy?
She finds partying overseas more fun. Her favourite place to party is surprisingly Kuala Lumpur. But the party at Divine Bliss got cancelled this year due to complaints from religious folk. What’s new?
When she was younger, Victoria posted many negative statuses on Facebook. A gay acquaintance she met at a club started to question her choice of words.
“He will always scold me and it made me a better person.”
She now considers him her best friend. They don’t keep in touch as much as he has moved to Shanghai for work. But she has already made plans to visit him.
She generally finds gay guys to be more sensitive or caring. They will get her water or take care of her when she gets drunk at the parties. When she feels down, they will immediately show concern by texting.
This might not be a good thing because inevitably, she compares the straight men she dates with them, “I know I shouldn’t think like that but I always feel the arguments won’t happen if they are gay.”
They love her with no agenda
Feelings of affections or unrequited love can complicate many boy-girl friendships. Her gay clique offers her a safe zone to be herself.
“Maybe sometimes they want me to be their aunt agony,” she doesn’t mind because she knows people just need a listening ear. There have been too many cases of friends sharing RIP statuses over a suicide victim.
It Is Possible To Make Genuine Friends At The Club
It could be the strange circumstance of a woman being at a gay club that helps gay men relate to her as a sister. But I am more inclined to think that you can find friends anywhere if you are open to the possibility.
Victoria mentions that sometimes she finds more in common with these partying boys than people she would meet at work. Singaporeans are too practical and won’t befriend you, unless you have something to give them. Even with regards to some of the gays she met at local clubs:
“I don’t understand why they only mix with good-looking people. If you are just looking for friends, why must they be good-looking?”
She probably has nothing more to offer than a shoulder to cry on for her gay friends. It is in this uncanny “marriage” of a straight woman and gay men that I am reminded of how simple and sweet friendship needs to be.
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All photos courtesy of Victoria.