Since moving from Taylor Square to the Newtown/St Peters border -“ oh, okay, it’s St Peters -“ I’ve celebrated being a part of a mixed community.
Don’t get me wrong, I love living gay. I love my job, I love the Sly Fox on a Wednesday night, I love the Colombian for a few after-work drinks, I love Fair Day and I (still) love the parade. But a couple of years spent drowning in the ghetto has made me appreciate the simple things about not being a part of it -“ the daggy shops at Marrickville Metro, my street’s kooky mix of old Greeks, married queers and young straight families, the fact that everyone says hello to each other and everyone knows the neighbourhood dogs by name.
But something’s happening. I don’t know if they’ve been testing that gay bomb in South Newtown that the Americans are secretly developing, but my hood’s definitely gaying up. Even the Monday night trivia comp at the Golden Barley Hotel (not a pub one would expect to find in any reliable gay guide to Sydney) has a totally queer table, complete with tight T-shirts, a dyke and a drag queen.
Oh, big revelation, Farrar, a mate says. Newtown’s gay. Hold the front page.
But it’s not just Newtown, it’s not even just the inner west. Like that irritating drippy kid Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, I’m fully seeing gay people, everywhere and all the time. All-out poofs in Albury. Androgynous dykes in Apollo Bay. All that talk about us being all over the country and everywhere in between is true! Who knew?
Even Mardi Gras is pissing off to the suburbs this year, at least in a small way. A stage version of The Sum Of Us is showing in Chatswood. Apparently they have a theatre there. And down in the Shire, they’re even making something up -“ Prodigal, a new Australian musical. Wollongong’s hosting a queer reading and over in Rydalmere, the SOPV Aarows is turning lesbo for a night. The mountains? Sure! Truly hardcore guys can forgo Fair Day and head up there for a weekend of Sex-Ed, where, apparently, they can explore [their] relationship to erotic energy in a setting that is playful, safe and honouring. Sounds fairly early 80s lesbian to me.
And then, anyone looking for an easy joke can consider checking out the Outfielders softball tournament. Where is it? Rooty Hill, of course.