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Dan Savage’s First Visit To A Gay Bar Was Like An Airplane Taking Off

“[The first gay bar I went to] was called the Bushes … My first ‘real’ boyfriend took me. I was too young to be in a bar—and too naive to be in a gay bar—but bars didn’t card people then like they do now. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only 17-year-old boy in that bar that night. It was dark, it was dirty. But it was a public place—the first public place where I ever kissed a guy … I don’t remember much else about the place—but I do remember what I had to drink (a Long Island Iced Tea, I’m embarrassed to say), and I do remember what it felt like to walk into the Bushes for the first time. I had spent all day, every day, for the last six years trying to hide my homosexuality from my family, from my friends, from strangers on the street and on the L. The pressure was so intense that I’m surprised I didn’t crack. To step through that door and feel that pressure lift made me feel lightheaded. It was like stepping through an airlock; I’m surprised my ears didn’t pop. The Bushes was the first place I’d ever been where everyone was gay, where being gay wasn’t something that set you apart.”

Dan Savage remembers his first time at a gay bar. And look at him now. He has affected so much change in his community. He and his husband, Terry, were the Grand Marshals of the NYC Pride Parade yesterday, which was especially awesome because of the gay marriage law passing about 36 hours before. [Slate]Want to contact the writer of this post? {encode=”ami@thefrisky.com” title=”Email her”}!

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