I showed up at Ripcord this past Saturday for Misfits bartending, and I was heading over to the pool table where a few of the guys had gathered, when I passed by the St. Andrew’s Cross next to the men’s room and noticed a gaggle of straight girls striking poses on it.
This occurs a few times a week. Preppy visitors to the bar see the cross and think it’s a stage prop, so they climb up on it and demand that their friends take pictures. And it’s always the same picture — they put their hands through the restraints and then look back over their shoulder, eyes and mouth widened in mock terror, like they’re trapped in a medieval torture chamber.
Comedy pioneers, the lot of them.
I am not a fan of “anything worse than” comparisons (Them: “Ugh. Is there anything worse than a latte made without almond milk?” Me: “Rape culture?”), but very few things enrage me as much as leatherfolk having to wait in line to engage in kink, because Briffany and Co. are pretending to be contestants on a Halloween episode of America’s Next Top Model. Veering away from the Misfits, I sidled up to a girl who’d already taken her turn and was now wielding the camera, and I whispered, “The cross is not here for photo opportunities. It’s here for the people who actually use it.”
The tour group had the decency to scuttle away at my prompting, although the Misfits themselves were unamused, since I was once again interrupting someone’s fun by belligerently checking their privilege. “So, this is how you’re going to be tonight, huh?” my brother Geno asked. And I was all, “Yes, Geno. Yes, it is. And the night is young.”
The rest of the evening was a blur of debauchery and impact play (the usual), and I got home around 3 a.m., glancing at my phone one last time as I plodded to bed. And immediately I was like, “The hell? When did I take a picture of boobs?”
At first I thought one of the straight girls had somehow gotten hold of my phone and was attempting to fuck with me, so I was like, “Nice try, lady, but I don’t act like breasts scare or disgust me like some gay guys do. Same with vaginas. You could show me your vagina all day, and I’d be like, ‘Yup, that sure is a vagina.’ I would neither gag in fake revulsion, nor make shady, misogynistic remarks. So you know what? Bring it. Bring all the vagina, and watch in chagrin as I respond to your lady garden with polite yet aloof deference, whore.” But then I opened the album and was like, “Right, then. This makes much more sense.”
Clearly a good time was had by all, although I really need to work on my issues regarding contempt prior to investigation. And even if my aim with a paddle is spot-fucking-on, I guess it couldn’t hurt to get my eyes checked.