I don’t really know anyone at my favourite bar in Saskatchewan.
I’ve been there twice and I enjoyed myself both times.
People were friendly without being obnoxious. Drinks were cheap and selection was impressive. The music was eclectic and loud, but didn’t hurt my ears or drive me crazy.
I don’t typically have a lot of fun in a nightclub environment, but Q Nightclub and Lounge in Regina is special.
It’s been recently rebranded as Q, but I’ve known that club under many names. Formally, it was known as the Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina (GLCR). I’ve known it as the rainbow room or rainbow lounge. It’s mostly commonly referred to as “the gay bar.”
For a long time it was a location that was shrouded in mystery — to me, at least. All I knew about it was the rainbow overhanging sign in front on Albert Street.
In university, I heard about a members-only policy that kept strangers out. It made sense as a safety policy: someone with a hatred of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community could violently exorcise those feelings.
Regardless, I felt it was unfortunate to paint all heterosexual males as hateful or violent homophobes. I think the word is “ironic.”
I’m still not sure exactly what policy is for getting into Q. I went with a group of people, none of whom are members. But all we did was show our IDs, pay $5, and we were inside.
We drank. We danced. We stared at the unbelievable light show on the wall of the dance floor. We played pool.
I didn’t get hit on once, and I wasn’t offended.
I went to the washroom and nothing crazy happened.
My most recent experience at Q was nothing like an absurd sitcom scenario where a heterosexual male in his 20s goes to the gay bar with a mixed group of friends.
Everyone there was respectful and wanted to have fun on his or her own terms.
It felt like a safe space and I wanted to contribute to that.
Nobody made me feel uncomfortable for being a straight guy, so why would I stare at two men kissing?
I fancy myself a keen observer of lifestyles, a perpetual understudy of the human condition. Lifestyles outside of my own are endlessly fascinating to me.
I am very interested in LGBT lifestyles because I don’t understand. I try. I listen more than I talk. I ask a ton of open-ended questions.
Feelings are feelings, across the board. Heterosexual love is equal to homosexual love.
Being at Q gave me the courage to ask a recently “out” friend of mine about the mechanics and etiquette of gay hook-ups. I won’t provide you the details, because you should ask someone yourself. But I will tell you that it’s refreshing to know that being a single gay guy can be as romantically awkward as being a single straight guy.
Moose Jaw Pride Week showed the visibility of the LGBT community is increasing in this city. Even if everyone in Moose Jaw who was gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered were open and honest about their sexual or gender identities, there still probably wouldn’t be enough people to have a gay bar here.
But I look forward to the day when we can all go to a gay bar and don’t have to worry about talking about it. Especially when it’s so much fun.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theaustinx.