Anyway, here we go. *deep breath*
I LOVE SHOOTERS!
Phew. That was a big weight off my shoulders. Why? Why is it such a big deal for me to love Shooters II?
It's quite simple. The negative stigma around the place is just all wrong. (Well, not ALL wrong. It's not the classiest or cleanest establishment, but when the place is packed with hundreds of inebriated college students every weekend, it's kind of hard to keep it in tip-top condition.)
And I feel that many queer folks look at Shooters as though it's "Straightland" or for heterosexuals only. Many fear being ridiculed or physically assaulted for dancing with someone of the same sex. A D-floor makeout with two guys?! Someone get them out of here! Right?
Well, my friends, I'm here today to let you know that it is not true at all. Take it from someone that has done everything from dancing with a guy in the middle of the dance floor, on the bar, AND in the cage or had a very aggressive dance floor makeout with another guy. I originally was expecting one of those awkward moments in the movies where the music comes to a screeching halt and all eyes are fixated on somebody in the middle of the room. I was expecting looks of death so strong that Death himself would die again. I was just waiting for one of the bouncers to come up to us and tell us we had to leave. I was listening to the music but for the sound of someone yelling the F-bomb. But here's what really happened:
Everyone else around us continued dancing and enjoying their nights. The music continued playing. No security guy dragged us out. There were no obscenities yelled. This may be strange but that was one of the happiest moments of my life. I had just made out with the guy in the dead middle of a "straight", western-themed club and not a single thing happened.
I felt normal. I felt like this thing that I had been making such a big deal about didn't amount to a hill of beans. My sexuality didn't matter. No one cared what my sexuality was. All that mattered was that I was having a good time.
However, I understand the argument that some queer people may not like Shooters because they have no chance of going home with someone. Well, that's not always true. Are the chances of going home with somebody slimmer than at a gay bar? Yeah, sure but those chances are not non-existent. When you get hundreds of people in one area together, there's always a chance. Also, I know that I've learned to stop going out with the intent of finding someone to go home with that night. I've noticed that on those nights when I'm searching for a hookup, I don't have fun. My focus is on getting laid and not enjoying the night. And when searching for a hookup inevitably fails, I end up being pissed at the world and society for creating these impossible qualities that people look for in men. I usually end up having some big emotional breakdown and criticizing every little feature of my body.
So, I learned to just go out and have fun. If a hookup happens, then it happens. If not, oh well, I still had a blast with awesome people. That's how I learned to love Shooters. I don't look for hookups. I look for friends to hang out with. I look for people that I haven't seen in a long time so I can reconnect with them. I go and say hi to my favorite bartender. I celebrate my last year of college and all of the amazing friends I have. That's why I love Shooters.
Also, it's easier to get to and cheaper than other gay bars. #brokecollegestudentproblems
So, I beg of you. If you have any negative stereotypes about Shooters and haven't given it a chance, please do. Get a group of your best friends together and go. Form your own little dance group and dance the night away. Run into that random person from that class you hate and bond over it. Bump into the guy from your first-year hallway and see how he's doing. Climb up on that bar and fist pump like The Situation. And, above all else, RIDE THE BULL!