Turn on your Grindr, and you can instantly tell whether you live in a gay neighbourhood. Indeed, for some men, the quest for the gay bubble is so great that they’ll be logging in within moments of setting foot over the threshold of a prospective home – while simultaneously sizing up the derriere of the estate agent – to check whether there’s any decent trade in the environs.
The problems start a good two weeks to six months after moving in – depending on how rampant your ring is. Some gay men, of course, feel no shame about bumping into their conquests over the fruit and veg on an evening. Indeed, there are those who will use it as an active recruiting scenario for their permanent open house – and open everything else – policy.
No gay man of even the most dubious distinction wants to be banished to the suburbs. The gay bubble demands you’re within tottering distance of the trendiest shops and eateries – ready to be served and serviced by the hottest waiters. Quinoa needs to be within quick and easy supply. Needless to say, the gayest areas will be brimming with the cutest, vainest (and probably loosest and most unimaginative!) metropolitan gays too.
However, sharing more than milk and eggs with your flatmates is a guaranteed step to Armageddon. For some, though, this does not appear to be a problem. Indeed, it’s a firm requirement. They may even insist upon inspecting the merchandise (cock and pulsating hole pics at the ready!) before permitting you that exceptional viewing.
Well, at least on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when your hookup apps will start vibrating ferociously from 5am onwards to advise you that swarms of DNA are flying about at around 50 local ‘chillouts’ within the immediate vicinity.
But silver linings and all that: the streets themselves will be blissfully quiet. Oh, except for the farmer’s market, where you’ll find the oh so smug Mr and Mr Happily Married rooting about for the perfect shaped avocado.
Including the obviously heterosexual, married, 60-something, ultra-conservative local shopkeeper. “You alright, gurl? A pack of Vogue ultra slim, please, darl.” At times your vocab resembles that of an aged east end prostitute. For others, you sound like Jennifer Lopez before she escaped from The Block. And let’s not even start on the terrible problems you have with pronouns. “She’s just too much, gurl!”
Is that a dog or a rat on a leash? Are those real diamonds on its collar – and do they seriously spell out Beyonce? The frankly cringe-worthy yet hilarious spectacle of a four-foot-nothing Muscle Mary being dragged down the street under-worked out legs first by a petulant poodle makes it abundantly clear that you’re living in a gay bubble.
Moreover, this is most probably not a one-off. There will be tens of Muscles Marys being walked by tiny, angry dogs at certain times of the day. Observe how they all ignore one another (the dogs, not the queens), a clear indication that – much like their mutts – they’ve already had a thorough sniffing of the undercarriage.
Yes, gay, of course. And probably male, though there’s the odd lesbian with a power drill to assemble your Ikea furniture. Most likely the friends will be from the same socio-economic group as yourself. But not as good as you. You’ll probably be carnally acquainted, having met on a gay cruise or jolly to Gran Canaria. You’ll have shared dildos and drugs. But that, of course, was in their better days, when they still had hair and some suction in the sphincter.
The great rule of friendship in the gay bubble says that you may all be lovely and fabulous to each other’s faces, but secretly you despise each other. Yes, you’re frenemies. And how you just love throwing shade at one another!
On some matters, you will never be reconciled. The essential life and death issues: she loves Mariah, you rate Gaga. And don’t even get started on Norma Desmond. Some queens have lost all dignity and decency – and even eyes – in handbags at dawn over the veritable merits of Patti LuPone v Glenn Close. Musical theatre is Chernobyl to gay friendship. Don’t go there, gurl.
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