I don't know that I can fully do this justice because I think my brain stopped working on Wednesday and actually hasn't restarted since then. I will try.
Yesterday saw me dither so much that I arrived at the Tate Britain about half an hour after I'd intended to, wearing shorts I'd literally just made and this make up (https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuOsNfB7eM/?taken-by=derekdesanges
) and this badge/necklace combo (https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuQidGBhOu/?taken-by=derekdesanges
); I milled briefly around the Fayre outside which was frankly underwhelming and full of annoying early-twenties childer and Etsy had sponsored it and yuck. So I took myself to the cafe: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuWR6eh39V/?taken-by=derekdesanges
and had just finished laboriously struggling through test writing (Opportunity is a difficult character for me to write, for some reason) when I got a text from Suzy: was I, perchance, at the Queer Fayre thing.
She came and found me, we wandered around the Fayre a bit more slowly (https://www.instagram.com/p/BVueMxRBuWb/?taken-by=derekdesanges
), and while Suzy was negotiating an order of tailored shirts from one stall I got into eating chutney (it looked lonely, everyone else had been eating the Butch Jams), was complimented first on the badge, and then on the necklace:
D: I was in two minds about wearing it in the daytime but I decided if people already know what the word means, they deserve to look at it.
BJ: *cackling* The font is appropriate. Very drippy.
BJ #2: Evocative.
D: It seemed right. Uh. Anyway. Thank you for the chutney. And the jam. And the public humiliation.
BJ#1 & #2: *LOUD CACKLING*
We toddled up to the main body of the gallery and encountered the Queer Museum stand (add to the timeline with seminal experiences from your gay little life, write a longer version of your personal story to the pink filing cabinets to be placed in the actually museum when one happens). A photographer made Suzy put hers back into the cabinets three times so he could get good pictures of it; presenting a somewhat less wholesome image I was left in peace.
took our pics with the big heart:https://www.instagram.com/p/BVueXsjB2bf/?taken-by=derekdesangeshttps://www.instagram.com/p/BVuebunBnMO/?taken-by=derekdesanges
There was an oral history presentation being given on incarceration and punishment of queer prisoners in history: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVue3jLh2-3/?taken-by=derekdesanges
(badly, IMO); Suzy and I agreed that it was depressing, tried to go to a guided talk on queer art of the 80s and 90s by Sunil Gupta but he was so quiet that we could hardly hear him and when the Pink Singers started up in the main gallery he was all but inaudible, so we went to watch them instead: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVug8OIhCnp/?taken-by=derekdesanges
and then had to cut through several galleries in order to get towards leaving, via another excellent leighton statue (my favourite is alas in paid exhibition downstairs at the moment):https://www.instagram.com/p/BVufdCPBO5n/?taken-by=derekdesanges
in the doorway of the giftshop, watching Suzy pay for something I'd just described, reassuringly, as "more mum than hipster", I was startled to hear my own name from behind me, what with Suzy in front of me. Anyway: turns out it was A Tumblr Person.
J: "I thought I recognised the cumdump necklace!"
D: "Could you NOT have said my face?"
[Over the next couple of hours there was an "Oh I'm going to the RVT with some gays later if you're at a loose end" / "I'm actually already going there, let's assemble our assorted homosexuals into a MegaGay" followed an hour later by "my small friend is ill and I'm escorting them home, another time"]
There was slightly more exhibition in the basement, where I found as postcard of a photo from the LGSM archives, and after simultaneously wondering aloud why the Tate Britain couldn't just make permanent its temporary "all gender toilets: easy access"; "all gender toilets: stalls" and "all gender toilets: stalls & urinals" paper signs over the usual ones, Suzy and I parted company, whereupon it immediately started to rain, because klgaffney is a fucking witch
I hid in a pub. The pub was already on the Cursed Pub list because the only strong memory I have of it was drinking peculiar cider that didn't even feel liquid while explaining to Douglas that Bohemian Like You and Brown Sugar are melodically THE SAME SONG and then making him listen to one song in each ear from our respective iPods to prove my point (and because of The Business Regarding Doug it's not a Great Time to be reminded of a Good Time), but was further cursed by being a dramatic shock in terms of change of atmosphere (the Queer & Now exhibition: bright! Loud! GAY! Full of well-dressed people and also people who appeared to have just been attacked by several wardrobes at once! Smiling people! The pub: DARK! FREEZING COLD AIR CONDITIONER! CREEPILY SILENT BARRING THE SPORTS ON TV! MINIMUM AVERAGE AGE OF FIFTY!); this time I tried to get something to eat and was confronted with the complete absence of the only dish that looked like it might not fuck up my macros; mitigated by the bar maid deciding she was only going to charge me 50p for my drink because she was embarrassed by there being no food, and then cooing delightedly over my leg tattoos. A brief spark of light before trying to continue with my stupid robot story that isn't even FOR anything (I would have read a book but didn't bring a paper one with me and was trying to conserve phone battery for some mad reason). And there was a horribly posh 70-something man holding forth to his female companion that a stiff upper lip might be slightly useful to these people in emergency services and that you shouldn't bloody need therapy and it was just part of the job, while she womanfully tried to explain to him that incidents like the Grenfell Tower Fire are not something anyone expects to have to deal with nor are they prepared for it, and somehow did not brain him with a chair?
Ran away into the rain for some soup at Pret, then away to the station, slowly, because I knew I was going to be early for Jamie's drinks.
To spare you the agony: I did not go to Jamie's drinks because despite time-killing and circumnavigation of Balham and repeated attempts to get someone's attention online for them to tell me where the party had gone to because it wasn't where it was supposed to be, and despite Lindsay suddenly saying he was coming then that he wasn't coming then that he was stuck in traffic... I never did find the damn party, so I aborted on Balham (Cursed Territory) and ran way to central London to sit in a Wetherspoons with Charlie.
Wetherspoons was also better because the bar manager flirted with me and I managed to write a little; it was also mildly worse because - https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvA4DehzzO/?taken-by=derekdesanges
see caption. But I did get to wind Charlie up a bit about him living in KENT (he maintains it's south-east London and I maintain that he's giving himself airs), and consume three jugs of cocktails between us: one raspberry mojito which was ... not great but drinkable (Charlie said it tastes like colman's mint sauce), one rum punch which was entirely fine (Charlie: It's basically pina colada without the coconut cream?), and one long island ice tea, which was FUCKING EXECRABLE. (Charlie: largest amount of alcohol for smallest amount of money. Derek verdict: I have literally never liked these and the first time I tried one I nearly got thrown out of a shit nightclub in Wood Green for smacking a man in the face in an act of ENTIRELY RIGHTEOUS FEMINIST IRE*). Ruthi had by this point joined us although this did little to stem the tide of LOUD DRUNK DEREK. Sorry.
(*Other instances of entirely righteous feminist violence include the time I slapped a man for telling me courtney love was a waste of air)
We then relost Ruthi at Vauxhall as her go had gone, leaving me to drag Charlie through an intersection with very little regard for traffic or his bladder, so that I could get into Duckie faster: whereupon the bouncer squinted at me, and called me by the name of Tumblr Friend from earlier, and said, "I'm sure I've seen you before, though."
Bar staff: delighted by the necklace. At length.
Anyway, Amy Lam&*eacute; was not present so there was a lot less... MCing... but the acts were pretty good. A lady who did a rollerskate lipsynch striptease and later hoolahooped, and also a collection of three who ... did pony tricks? Here is bad photo of Charlie being a pony on stage because of reasons:https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvq02oBW43/?taken-by=derekdesanges
We danced our way to the end, met some new and interesting people, I spent repeated circuits trying to find Charlie every time he disappeared without warning (usually cigarette, Mr "I am giving up smoking", but not always); also a significant amount of stage dancing, although less than I would have liked due to Naked Guy.
Naked Guy was largely humping the stage, mainly in a position designed to provide an advertisement for the skills of his clearly well-practiced back-sack-and-crack waxer. Naked Guy was absolutely delighted to make out with literally everyone and naked guy was entirely thrilled by several of the random Creepy Prowling Men jerking him off (unsuccessfully) while he was, you know, rolling about on the stage where the rest of us were trying to dance. Barring a couple of people who knew him and the aforementioned Creepy Prowling Men, the majority of people just either ignored him, laughed and rolled their eyes, or danced with him for a minute or two when he was upright and then gently danced Elsewhere.
(He insisted on dragging my vest off me at one point which was Tiresome as, apart from anything else, I didn't want to lose my badge)
Towards the very end of the night, one of the more regular regulars (and a very good dancer) and his friends weren't on the stage, because of Naked Guy, at which point I muttered something about how We Could Totally Just Have The Dance Stage Anyway, to which the regular-regular (name of Zia - we had a short conversation afterwards) said, "Come and help then".
In the end, I did not, as I had longed to, give Naked Dude a kick up the arse and tell him to take his daddy issues somewhere else. HOWEVER: after the music had finished and he made a big noise about how much he enjoyed Getting His Man Pussy Out (god I hate that phrase) I grabbed him by the shoulder and said that if he wanted to compete on this whole Man Pussy front I was trans and therefore going to win, what with having an actual one (there were only about three people in earshot at the point but there was some scandalised laughter all the same, so I win).
Despite some promising milling about afterward the mooted party kind of disintegrated (I managed to lose the lesbian who had accidentally danced so hard that she split her jeans, too) and barring the incident where a man somehow decided that the fact I chose to reintroduce myself to Charlie on the platform at the tube after he'd tried to cop off with a girl called Ruth meant that I was ... "her" "sister" -- again ????????? -- the remaining fragments of night were quiet ones.
PHEW okay done.