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Love Letter to Houston: Art, sweaty gays, more sweat, and a grilled cheese that ruined me for any other

Geoff and I have lunch (it was Saturday, so we both slept through breakfast) at a Vietnamese sandwich shop. I ordered a tofu sandwich and some spring roles, both of which tasted pretty good. I tried some of Geoff’s Vietnamese iced coffee and instantly wanted an entire vat of it. I don’t know how they make it taste so good, but those Vietnamese know how to make insanely strong, delicious coffee.

After lunch, we take in the art scene of the Menil Collection, a series of buildings spread out across a beautiful campus. They have a great assortment of African and early Native American art, as well as some surrealist and contemporary art. Elsewhere on the grounds is a chapel designed by Rothko (his last piece before his suicide, Geoff tells me. Also, they have an entire building devoted to Cy Twombly, who just passed away recently. His art wasn't my favorite, but I respect his work and recognize it's importance.

After we take in some more art, we drive down to the chaos that is Houston Pride. This is the kind of pride celebration that shuts down an entire part of the city. Parking is a nightmare, and so is walking down the main drag (no pun intended) of the festival. It’s fucking hot out, and the throng of sweaty gays makes it even worse.

We soon decide that walking is for suckers, and duck into the Brazil Cafe (sorry, no website I could find), a trendy but charming little eatery. It is there I order the most incredible four-cheese grilled sandwich, with tomatoes and pesto. This sandwich has ruined me for other grilled cheese much in the same way Doughnut Plant in NYC has ruined me for other doughnuts. The bread is warm and buttery and just slightly crisp. It compliments the potent cheeses well. The thick potato chips and iced coffee are an added bonus.

Geoff—who is suffering from a delayed hangover at this point—and I sit and chat in the glorious air conditioning before venturing out for the pride parade.

This pride parade puts all the others I’ve seen to shame. Granted I’ve not seen many, but holy crap, Houston has some crazy gays. And I love it. Just watching all the people walk by is an adventure in itself. Lots of skinny Latino boys dressed as girls, lots of ugly men in skirts and high heels, lots of lesbians (hey girls!) and lots of guys with questionable looks wearing shirts with suggestive slogans (“A hard man is good to find” was one of my personal favorites, worn by a man wearing tiny golden spandex shorts. Why did I not take a pic of him?!)

The parade kicks off and it’s two hours of sweaty, bead-throwing, screaming ridiculousness. The parade floats vary in quality, but almost all of them are entertaining. I especially love the LOAF (Lesbians Over Age Fifty) ladies, sitting on their float and doing absolutely nothing, not throwing beads or candy or condoms, just sitting in bitter quiet. Don’t ever change.

BTW Did you know the mayor of Houston is a lezzie? She is! And she is adorable.

Can I make a confession? We’re all friends here, right? I feel safe sharing this with you: I love bears. Those beefy, chubby, hairy fuckers are by far the most fun subgenre of the gays...second only to drag queens, but more on them soon. Back to bears (Or, “bearback” if you will. But please don’t, that shit’s dangerous.) One float was a big bathtub full of bears...and one Asian girl for some reason. Another was a trippy-looking gutted school bus with blacklights and smoke and dancing bears.

I think what I love about the bear community is their confidence; they embrace who they are, they’re unabashedly wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, I love me all kinds of guys, but what is it about the bears that intrigues me so? Guess I’ll just have to screw a few to figure it out.

Second confession: I love me some drag queens, and Houston Pride did not disappoint. They all looked great, especially in all that sweaty heat. I don’t know how you girls do it, but I love that you do.

Special shout out to the one queen that looked like Lady Gaga in a silver Judy Jetson dress. Bitch was fierce!

Speaking of Lady Gaga, let’s talk music. The club behind us, “Anvil,” I think, played a soundtrack that reminded me of our fearless leader, Britt. Robyn, La Roux, Beyonce, and of course Gaga.

Speaking of Britt, let’s talk freaky bitches (love you, bb!). There was this one girl dressed in a men’s button up and bikini bottoms, drinking a 40 and being generally trashy. She hitched a ride on one of the parade’s firetrucks and we thought we’d seen the last of her. Some time later, she returns from the opposite direction and douses us with glitter. I wonder if she made it through the night unscathed. If you’re reading this, crazy girl, please leave a comment to let me know you didn’t get gang-raped!

I’d be remiss to not mention the man we’ve lovingly dubbed “Oil Change.” I noticed him walking on the opposite side of the parade route. He was a larger fellow in a wifebeater and jeans, tattoo sleeves and an impressive beard that almost reached his man tits. He was the type of fellow that exuded an aura of hostility, and I imagined sex with him would either be the most terrifying/satisfying experience, or the most vanilla, because with Oil Change there could be no in-between. Geoff and I created a mythology around OC, that he’s a shaman with the power to change one’s sexual orientation after a night of unforgettable sexing. It reminds me of Johnny Knoxville’s character in “A Dirty Shame” now that I think of it.If only I'd taken a picture of him so I could make sweet love to it.

Before I forget, Hannah from last season of Top Model was there. I came a little when I saw her. She totally got robbed that season, amirite?

The insanity of the pride parade over, Geoff, Alex, (Did I mention she was there? She was.) and I went into downtown Houston. It was Geoff’s friend Dan’s birthday, and we met up with him at Warren's Inn. Dan reminded me of several people I know, all of them great. I also met Geoff’s former roommate and her...friend, who may or may not be a mannequin. I also met Alex’s friend Garrett, a man so overly lauded at this point, I assumed he’d appear in a beam of light from on high. But in reality, he was a very cool guy. Pretty hot, too.

After that, we all went back to Caroline and crashed (again). Did I mention Geoff threw up (or as our friend Lacey would say “ended his birthday”) in the bathroom at Warren's? He totally did. HOW’S THAT FOR JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY

Discussion Topic: Have you eaten a particular food, or slept with a particular person, that ruined you for that type of food or sex forever? Also, are you a bear? If so, would you sleep with me?







  3. I thought LOAF would be more like a really muscular girl that is either very small or very large.

    Let's get in an urban dictionary war over this.

  4. I love urban dictionary wars! BRING IT!


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