This is the last installment about my big gay cruise – and then it’s back to politics, sex and other politically incorrect shit.
I forgot to mention that while we were docked in a beautiful seaside resort town in Germany, the locals kept asking me if I “was part of the big gay cruise”. This being Germany, I didn’t know what to say…I know my lip line said it all darlings, but that’s not the point. I mean, just a few short decades ago, the Germans masquerading as Nazis gassed us fags to death, so I was reluctant to say yes or no.
“Oh, we have big surprise for you when you leave,” they smiled.
Great, the first gay cruise to Germany and the locals were planning to sink our ship. Well, to my surprise, when the boat left the port, hundreds of Germans had gathered on the pier and were waving and cheering us off. I guess gay dollars do speak after all.
I have to mention St. Petersburg, Russia, too. It was my favorite place on the big gay cruise. Tourists are not allowed on Russian soil unless you have a very expensive Russian Visa or you take part in a pricey tour excursion. For my daytime activities, I went on a riverboat cruise on the various canals and rivers that intertwine throughout the city. St. Petersburg is beautiful…from the blue Winter Palace to the gold room at the Hermitage Museum to the wide Parisian boulevards. The Russians don’t have much money, so most of the buildings are in a serious state of decay.
Only on a gay cruise would one of the pricey excursions be a midnight visit to a local gay club. Forget the museums and historic stuff, I wanted to see how the locals partied, danced and dressed.
We were told by our tour operators to bring sunglasses.
Since it was July, we were still experiencing “white nights” – a time of the year when the sun doesn’t completely set until midnight and then rises again at around 3:30 AM - so the sunglasses would come in handy at 5 am.
The club, Central Station, was amazing. I mean, if anyone has ever wondered where the mythical Babylon from Queer as Folk is, it’s in Russia. The five-story club was really several clubs in one complete with spontaneous drag performances, gyrating go-go boys and a serious dark room.
I loved the trendy wendy room that was packed with fashionista’s “shalaging” to cheesy euro-pop. What is shalaging? It's a form of dance that originated in Sweden that you sing and act out the lyrics of a song as if you were in a music video - I swear I'm not making this up.
The Chelsea-fied boat queens ran from the room, but I had found my tribe. I was at home with the flaming fags in 80s clothes, shag haircuts and thick eyeliner. As I looked down at my "try too hard to fit in on the boat" Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, I was suddenly embarrassed of my normal attire...but I didn't let that bother me. I jumped up on a platform and started shalaging and waving my freak flag.
As the 5 am hour approached, I paid a visit to the dark room. I mean, who doesn’t love a night of dancing, drinking and debauchery? When the fun was over, I looked down to discover a bear from Long Island I had met on the boat. I had to laugh – half way across the globe and I end up getting head from someone who lives a few miles from my apartment.
It was without a doubt, the best night of the cruise.