Out and Proud in New Haven

May 23, 2016 Posted in Books

The Anne Frank mural is a newer addition to New Haven's historic gay bar.

The Anne Frank mural is a newer addition to New Haven’s historic gay bar.

From the text of Love Slaves:

“In the early eighties, Yale was Out and Proud, but New Haven’s homegrown nethersexers were, I regret to say, Still a Little Ashamed. Partners Café, at the corner of Park and High Streets, drooped accordingly. Outside, the club was surrounded by scabby triple-deckers with trash nests under the stoops and spent bottles in the tree boxes. Inside it was a template of the times, starting with the Betty Boop hand stamp and the two-dollar cover, continuing with the faux-Tiffany lamps over the bar, the glass brick windows, the Broadway partisans yodeling Jerry Herman around a piano below, Donna Summers and Blondie caterwauling above, and everywhere a tangy miasma of smoke, desire, sweat, poppers, and urinal pucks.

Upstairs, men in gold jewelry and Cuban heels were lined up around the dance floor. In this sea of acetate and terrycloth, Silas’s all-cotton shirt gleamed like the flag of a yacht, but he could find no kissing cousins of Scott Jencks. He slipped into the back row and watched the dancers gyrate under the mirrored disco ball. Before he knew it, a man had approached him and was holding out a glass.”