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Queer City After Dark

Party on at the gay clubs

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This week, I decided to step outside the box. Actually, it was more like taking a long jump out of it. Instead of going to the regular nightlife entities in the QC, I infiltrated the gay nightlife scene.

A gay club is a genre in itself, like pool halls or discos. Still I was surprised to find such a rainbow of gay and lesbian clubs in Charlotte from dives and biker bars to hip-hop joints, strip clubs, and of course, discos. And it seems as though every Charlotte neighborhood has its token gay club.

Here's a tour through the QQC (Queer Queen City):

Liaisons -- This pink Victorian house is Dilworth's contribution to gay nightlife in Charlotte. An after work and before the club source of alcohol and camaraderie; you're essentially just hanging out at someone's house. Liaisons has sitcom-viewing parties and offers free pool every Monday night.

Velocity -- a shirtless circus in uptown. I suppose that it gets so hot in there from all the techno dancing that they have to take off their clothes, even the DJ feels inclined to spin topless.

Hartigans -- it's luck of the lesbians at this Irish pub. There's a pool hall type atmosphere on top and a club environment on bottom.

Chasers -- Got Men? Chasers certainly does. Of course the only all-male strip club in Charlotte is a gay one in Plaza-Midwood. Lots of six packs there ... abs, that is.

Club Myxx -- a hip-hop/spoken word spot that is home to Organik Funk, a form of spoken word.

Woodshed Lounge -- formally known as the Brass Rail, caters to an older, more mature gay crowd.

Scorpios -- a staple for the gay nightlife scene and the recipient of the Best Dance Club award in Creative Loafing's 2006 Best Of issue.

Clean Leather, Dirty Men

That's the motto at the Charlotte Eagle. I told my gay boyfriend to take me to the Sunset Club of gay bars, meaning, upscale and more mature. He figured that since you had to be a member to get into the Eagle, and it was on South Boulevard, it would be the closest equivalent. So we drove up and down South Boulevard before eventually finding the fenced-in bar tucked behind the Beef--N-Bottle restaurant. Walking up to enter the caged in doors, I felt like I was entering an underground NYC club. And I continued to feel that way upon entering the dark club with steel walls, decorated with kinky gay pictures.

As soon as I walked in the door, the manager told me to let him know if I needed to use the restroom because he would have to get me a key to the special ladies room. That answered my question if women typically frequent the bar. In addition to a bar area, giant dance floor, and poolroom, they have a closed-in patio equipped with a leather shop. Judging by the bartender in leather, the manager in overalls, patrons wearing everything from suits to what looked like a Village People costume, about the only thing the clientele has in common is sexuality.

To celebrate their 5th anniversary, the Eagle is having a leather and fetish contest. But they have a reminder posted that Charlotte prohibits any portion of your butt exposed. Darn it, no chaps for me. On Wednesdays, Southern Country Charlotte offers free country line dance lessons, and on the weekends the dance floor is a little more hip than hick.

Psssstttt ... If you have any dirt or inside scoop on nightlife, shoot me an e-mail at brittney.cason@creativeloafing.com.

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