David Placher

Each spring, I visit Justin and Telly, a gay couple that reside in Cincinnati. Originally, they moved from Cincinnati to Baltimore, and then a few years thereafter, moved back to Cincinnati. I met them while they lived in Baltimore, at Baltimore’s famous Grand Central. We have a lot in common, so we bonded quickly, and have been good friends since.

On this visit, I traveled to Cincinnati on a small plane, crammed next to an overweight chatty man that freely revealed personal issues. Casually talking about long flights—without warning– he revealed that when he flew back from an international flight, he had explosive diarrhea due to his diet. He then continued to explain what he ate and warned me to stay away from certain foods. In my mind, he could have provided the dietary warning without describing his digestive debacle.

Upon arriving at the small Cincinnati airport (the airport is actually located in northern Kentucky) Telly was there to greet me with an energetic attitude and friendly smile. “Gay! Gay! Gay! All the way,” was the slogan for the weekend trip.

The first night, we ventured to Below Zero, a small gay bar that is located in downtown Cincinnati. The DJ was a drag queen with young thin guys circling her. Almost like a planet with many moons rotating around and around. Thereafter, we went to The Dock, a gay dance club that is located next to the Ohio River. As we watched people dancing, my first thought resembled Justin’s: “We are getting old.” Many of the guys on the dance floor appeared to be in their young 20s. Of course, Justin had to reaffirm that we have been in our early 20s for the past 13 years—at least that is what we tell people.

The next night, it was only Justin and I that ventured out, Telly stayed behind. Justin and I were able to take a long afternoon nap– after drinking and eating all morning—so we were refreshed and ready to go. Unfortunately, Telly, he did not have nap time. We went to other gay friendly establishments, Hamburger Mary’s, Serpent, and the Bronzes. Hamburger Mary’s appears to be a chain restaurant that caters to the gay community. (Maybe one day Hamburger Mary’s will arrive in Baltimore?)

When we arrived at the Bronzes for the night, Justin was a victim of a distasteful stereotype that appears to haunt many black men. Some people foolishly believe that all black men—regardless of sexual orientation—like white women with large butts. While Justin was on the dance floor—innocent as can be– the lady with the large backend started grinding on Justin. As Justin tried to escape, she followed. There was no exit for Justin, just a large woman on the hunt for a black male dance partner. Finally, Justin kindly asked her to leave him alone. Her responsive was like a teenager getting rejected to the high school prom: angry. Myself, I was having a blast. In fact, both nights provided me with a memorial time with good friends.

So if you are ever in Cincinnati, stop in to visit the gay community, and you just may, see Justin and Telly partying away.


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