A IS FOR

A-gays A-gays, the A-listers of Sydney’s gay and lesbian community, are made up of the high-profile, the influential, the powerful, the talented, the beautiful and the infamous. They’re the people who can’t go anywhere without being recognised, and whose presence at an event will generate publicity or at least a bit of excitement. They include High Court judge Justice Michael Kirby, who may well be the king of the A-gays. There are the leaders of our community organisations whose photos and quotes appear weekly in the gaypers -“ Stevie Clayton, Adrian Lovney and Marcus Bourget are prime examples. There are the celebrities, like footy player-turned-actor-turned-courthouse regular Ian Roberts, fashion designer Peter Morrissey, hairdresser to the stars Joh Bailey, SBS newsreader Anton Enus, The New Inventors judge Bernie HobbsandTV doctor Kerryn Phelps. Some of the more memorable reality TV stars are also on the list, like Big Brother‘s David and Johnny or Australian Idol‘s Courtney Act. Then there are the other big-name drag queens, drag kings and go-go dancers who can’t go anywhere without being recognised. Some also consider the high-flying executives, bankers, lawyers and doctors in our community to be A-gays, and even some journos of the pink press -¦ Okay, we made that last bit up.

Amyl Also known as poppers, head cleaner or rush, the little brown vial of liquid with the industrial vapour is best known as amyl. Clinically it is used to treat people for angina problems, but for a couple of generations now amyl nitrite has been a popular over-the-counter accessory of choice for gay men. Some have described it as smelling like dirty socks or a wet car but loved it regardless for the buzz it provides. It was once expected that most gay men kept a bottle of the stuff in the bedside table, needed for those moments during coitus to relax certain muscles and make the ride a little easier on the receiving end. It has also had its place on the dancefloor for those moments of hands in the air dancing delirium. But it appears amyl is going through something of a generational shift, with some of the younger tribe members dismissing the little brown bottle as the domain of older gay men and something they have no time for in this modern life. While the market may be growing older, they are obviously still out there in droves and buying it, judging by the rows of variations on offer at the adult shops around town.

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