Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Earth was Quakin'

I don’t know exactly how to set the scene, so picture if you will, not a sandy beach and umbrellas, but one of the largest biker bars in Maine.  It’s Saturday of Labor Day weekend and this was the place to be.  Friends were visiting from NYC and so we ventured to Bentley’s Saloon.  In fact two years ago, nearly to the day, the same friends visited and we enjoyed a night of drinking and dancing to a Led Zeppelin cover band.  I remember the biggest commotion of that evening was a spat between two of my friends, who happen to be boyfriends.  Drinks were thrown and glasses knocked to the ground after accusations on-going texts and previous boyfriends, typical for a biker bar.   So here we were again, two years later and all signs were pointing to a return visit. 

After a sumptuous Maine feast of lobster, butter, corn, and beer we got dolled up for Bentley’s.  While there were differences for each of us this time, for me, this would be my first visit to Bentley’s as Gia, a middle age trans-woman in search of her identity and a good time.  I can’t say I recall seeing many or any transfolk on previous visits, but having safely visited with gay friends in the past, it seemed worthy of a go.  After putting on my Saturday’s best with a node to biker chick chic and a little extra black eyeliner, we made our way the five miles to Arundel’s notorious biker bar.  I was a little nervous as we pulled into the parking lot full of hundreds of motorcycles, but I was not alone.  The excitement and anxiety grew as the four of us (3 girls and a guy) exited my cute little car and my ears were greeted by the assaulting sound of the band playing in the background.  I also noticed a specially erected tent for the holiday weekend crowd of what seemed like thousands. In reality it probably was just a few hundred.  As we entered, I immediately felt the curious eyes of some of the patrons.  We moved expeditiously to the back bar for a drink like we knew what we were doing.  As I waited in line to order a cocktail, I scanned the familiar Maine crowd and realized I was there for the same reason as everyone else; to have a few drinks, listen and dance to music, and if lucky, get lucky.

Now in the back open area, we worked our way toward the music and stage, it was familiar too, thumping bass, harsh guitar, and a raspy voice, Dirty Deeds, followed by Shoot to Thrill, of course, an AC/DC cover band, perfect!  I’ve been a fan since elementary school and always loved the intriguing double meaning of the term AC/DC.  For the next two hours I sipped cocktails, shook my head and ass, stomped my heels, and sang along to classic rock anthems.  While some people starred and “whispered” to each other as they discovered the striking trans-woman in the crowd rocking out to the music (I’m not stealth by any stretch of the imagination), I smiled at those who made eye contact and enjoyed living in the moment.  Near the end of the show; eager, proud, and drunk women made their way to the stage to show of their bodies and dance along to the biggest hit, You Shook me All Night Long.  While I was motioned to join them, I declined; I don’t think I was ready for that much excitement, yet.  So with my fist raised in unison with the crowd and beat, I gleefully sang along to every word, it was like I was in sixth grade in my basement and the stereo blasting, only now with my eyes open…all night long!

-Just another day in the life of Gia, trans-rocker.