Had a very nice outdoor dinner Saturday night on our lanai with two very close friends. We chatted about a lot of things; memories of our sordid youth, thoughts about where we are now and where we want to be.
Somehow, the subject came up of After Dark Magazine and how important it was to two young gay Monctonians who saw in it's pages a world that might as well have been OZ. It was no wonder that both my friend and I headed down the yellow brick road and escaped our Kansas as soon as we hitched a ride on any tornado that passed close enough by.
Although the magazine denied it's gayness, it wasn't fooling anyone. Hello! Cher and Bette Midler on the cover, not to mention the nearly naked male celebs (and more obscure male dancers).
An observation was made as to how limited our exposure was at that time to the outside world especially as it related to the world of urban pop culture. You can bet that Eartha Kitt's appearance at Reno Sweeny's wasn't going to be covered on the local CKCW entertainment news. We had magazines. That's it. No web, no TV celeb gossip shows. No Perez Hilton.
After my friends left, I thought nostalgically of the Divine Miss M. and how her campness somehow made me feel part of an elite group: not so much the "in crowd" as the "out and proud" crowd. And you can't think of Bette without thinking of her theme song: " Oh, you gotta have friends"...and I'm so blessed that I do.
So this goes out to all my pals, thanks for being there.