I went out to get attention—or rather, to refract it by way of a costume. I wore short shorts and face powder to a club on the westside; in the women’s bathroom, they shouted at me to leave, but I was terrified to go into the men’s. I went back to Probe on a mixed night, and danced atop a platform backed in mirrors, wearing stacked Adidas and, tucked into my hair, smelly daisies snipped from Xuan’s kitchen-table bouquet. I flashed back to being five years old or so, when my grandfather yanked me off the side table on which I danced dressed as Pinocchio. Now I felt—not like a star, more like an extra in other people’s movies. Eventually, I ventured farther east, to Silver Lake leather bars and mucky dives where Vaginal Davis took the stage. I’d slurp a Coke then leave in order to avoid anything happening, or worse still be caught out waiting in vain. — Jeremy Atherton Lin, Gay Bar
Atherton Lin returns to Los Angeles to read and discuss Gay Bar: Why We Went Out—now in paperback. See bookstore links below for details.
JEREMY ATHERTON LIN IN CONVERSATION
Tuesday, June 28, at 7 pm
8818 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
JEREMY ATHERTON LIN IN CONVERSATION WITH JONATHAN PARKS-RAMAGE
Friday, July 15, at 7 pm
1818 North Vermont, Los Feliz, Los Angeles
*Jeremy Atherton Lin, Gay Bar: Why We Went Out (New York: Little, Brown, 2021), 82 (paperback edition, 2022). Text © Jeremy Atherton Lin.
From top: Jeremy Atherton Lin, photograph courtesy and © the author; Jeremy Atherton Lin, Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, cover photograph © Niz Denox, design by Mario J. Pulice, image courtesy and © Little, Brown; The Factory building, West Hollywood, North La Peer Drive entrance, image courtesy and © Jeremy Atherton Lin.