Friday, June 30, 2006

Picking Up Trash

And no, I'm not talking about improving the environment.

Some of you may have seen the spot on Channel 4 the other day concerning a serial thief who picks up gay men in bars, takes them home and then robs them blind, usually stealing their car. Darian Trotter filmed his segment at the Lipstick Lounge, but to our knowledge it hasn't happened here. But that doesn't mean that it couldn't.

We love it that the Lip is a place where people create affinities with one another and get turned on, hook up and go home and bonk each other's brains out. But boys and girls, please exercise caution when you take someone home. And it's not just about getting robbed. You need to protect yourself from STDs including HIV, avoid emotional distress and be concerned for your safety as well. Here is a great article concerning one-night stand safety and sense. But for those of you who are too lazy or busy to follow a hyperlink, here's the Reader's Digest version:

1. ASK AROUND: Does anybody that you trust know this person? References are no guarantee, but better than a shot in the dark.

2. AVOID DRAMA: The love of your life is probably not hitting on you hot and heavy in the Lounge in just one night of knowing you. Not only could they be psycho, they could be a lightning rod for drama you don't need. Look for repeat visitors and talk to them a bit first.

3. OBSERVE: Watch who else they've talked to or hit on. Are they looking for you, or are they looking for anybody?

4. LISTEN TO THEM... AND TO YOURSELF: Anything that puts you off is probably a clue that this may be a mistake. Trust your instincts.

5. DON'T OVERSHARE: Knowledge is power. Don't tell someone all your secrets, or even give them hints. Statements like "I collect priceless Ming vases... wanna see them?" could get you into trouble.

6. USE PROTECTION: For God's sake. No, for real. Condoms, boys. Dental dams, girls. We're serious.

7. INFORM A TRUSTED FRIEND: If nobody knows where you're going, you could get chopped up into little pieces and never found. If you plan on spending the night in a strange place, make sure somebody-- somebody-- knows where you are.

Be safe, kids. Have a great weekend! See you at the Lip!



Thursday, June 22, 2006

Why So Crabby?: A Horoscope for Everyone

The sun has crossed into Cancer, ending the weirdness of schizo Gemini. Not that this is going to be any better.

Cancer rules motherhood, family, the home, homosexuals, beer and crowded places. So, clearly, is there any better place to be than the Lipstick Lounge this month? Governed by the moon, there will be a lot of lunatics out there this month, but what else is new?

For those of you who worry about Cancer because of disease, know that you can't catch it: you have to be born that way.

Cancer is a maternal sign, so we all will show more independence for the next thirty days. In fact, you’re gonna do what you want anyway, so why are you reading this looking for advice? On the 30th of June, go to the nearest public park, dig a little trough, and begin planting a municipal vegetable garden. No, it’s not the season for planting, but when the cops come to arrest you, you’ll have a really interesting story to tell your friends next month when you will be bored out of your skull.

Venus enters Gemini without a search warrant tomorrow, so the illegal drugs that will be found there will not be able to be entered into evidence. You got lucky this time. Which is surprising since Jupiter has been holed up in Scorpio since October, and retrograde since March. The good news is, the crappy losing streak will end July 6th when Big Daddy Jupiter goes direct. Buy a lottery ticket, but make sure to stick to integers between 1 and 50.

On the 28th, Mercury enters Leo for a fantastic week of open communication, flirting and dirty talk until it all comes crashing down on the 4th of July. Yep, bitch is going retrograde. Hope you don't have to fax anything, and your MySpace layout is gonna go haywire. Expect Tom (not me, the MySpace geek) to come crashing into your page over and over until the retrograde period ends on July 28. Quick-travelling Mercury enters Cancer itself on July 10, so the last 18 days of the retrograde period will be particularly pissy.

On the other hand, the outer planets (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are all on strike, and will have no effect on you at all.

One bit of advice: It’s time to forgive and let go. Yes, Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame with the happy ending was morally reprehensible, but who did it hurt? Jesus, it's been 10 years. Move on.

On the 16th, expand your eastern horizons by enrolling in a yoga class, wearing a bindi, getting henna hand tattoos or something else suitably Eastern. No, ordering from L.L. Bean doesn’t count.

Lucky number: seven, duh. Color for the month: hot hot hot pink. Best chance for romance: Hermitage Cafe, 4 AM, July 7th, with the waitress.

Love ya! Mean it! See ya at the Lip!


Saturday, June 17, 2006

No Time To Be Shy

You pass a stranger at the Lounge, pushing your way through the crowd, and you look at each other. You make contact without actually meaning to. And for a brief moment there's a kind of recognition. You look at each other and you know something. You see it in each other's eyes. And the next moment the person has turned their head, or is interrupted, and the moment is over. And it's too late to do anything about it. Still you remember it because it was right there and you let it go.

Just think: "What if I had stopped and said something?"

This might happen only a few times in your life, or even just once. James Blunt's song "Beautiful" is kinda like this. Every time I hear it, I think that he should have just reached out and touched the girl, or shouted out his number.

Moments like this are fleeting. You may never get the chance again to acknowledge this other person's existence like that. I've met some of my dearest friends this way.

Now is not the time to be shy.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fox News Does The Right Thing

I know, the title of this blog seems unlikely.

But you need to watch this:

When America's arch-conservative news channel allows one of its reporters to go full out hillbilly nuts on some gay-bashing weirdo, right down to calling her the devil and telling her she's going to hell... it just kinda restores my faith in humanity.

Love ya all! See you at the Lip!


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fairy Berries

All right. No preaching, no wry observations, just a message for all you drunks:

We got a new shot. It's called a FAIRY BERRY. It's only three bucks this week.

So come getcha one. And by the way, you don't have to be a fairy to enjoy one.

If you like the Fairy Berry, please try one of our other signature shots:


You'll love them all. It's gonna be a great weekend at the Lip. My movie trivia followed by karaoke with Debra tonight. She'll also be back Saturday. Ronda & Jonda Friday night. And Sunday we're having a benefit for the Southern Girls' Rock & Roll Camp.

It's always a good time at the Lipstick Lounge. Come join us!



Saturday, June 03, 2006

We're Queer... But Are We Here?

Today was the big Gay Pride Festival in Centennial Park. Our very own Ronda and Jonda and 3 AM were on the headline stage and put on fantastic shows. We were very proud to be a part of this event.

Yet every year, one thing strikes me about Gay Pride. It resembles Church on Christmas Eve or Easter. You see people you very rarely see. People who come out once every blue moon. People who keep their GLBT-ness to themselves most of the time. It stymies me.

Oh, they're out of the closet perhaps. But they're not active in the community. They're not attending HRC meetings, or participating in the Tennessee Equality Project. They're not talking to their less open-minded friends about issues that resonate in the lives of GLBT Americans every day. They patronize gay-unfriendly businesses. They don't support the people who support them and are fighting for them. And that's not what I call "gay pride." That's a gay shame.

What's the point of only being proud of your identity the first Saturday in June? Yes, it's great that 13,000 people come out to Pride, but if the very next day 12,000 of them go back to being ashamed, then what have we accomplished?

And while, yes, it is all about having a good time, this is a very crucial time for the GLBT community. The Federal Government is trying to write discrimination into the Constitution. South Dakota is making abortions nearly illegal. Florida is taking adopted children away from gay parents.

And here in Tennessee, Proposition 1 is threatening to cement the existing marriage law by defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman directly in State Constitution. This amendment has no applicable change in our daily lives— Tennessee state law already bans gay marriage— but it would symbolically lock down the definition of marriage and make it difficult for future GLBT generations to overturn the already unfair law. We have to work hard to defeat Prop 1, and spread the word, or else we deserve the pawns of intolerance and fear will continue stripping the GLBT community of our basic rights that Jefferson delineated for us in the Declaration of Independence: the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Learn all you can about this issue, and convince your friends to get active in the community and defeat Proposition 1.

Gay pride ought to be your watchword every day. See you at the Lounge.