Missed Connections

An open letter from a confused straight guy

Dear Amanda,

It was nice talking to you at Cadillac Ranch Friday night. It was kind of a weird place for a straight person like myself to be out socializing. You know, with the hundreds of gay people who showed up with Guerrilla Queer Bar.

That’s why I appreciated your forwardness when you told me I was cute and asked me if I was gay. I said no and thought to myself, “This cute short-haired girl hanging out with the gay crowd totally likes me.” We chatted about how you work at ArtWorks in the first floor of the CityBeat building, and I thought that was pretty cool.

But that conversation soon ended, as I was committed to recording some quality soundbites for CityBeat’s Pride Issue podcast. Alex Weber and I secured a few minutes with Guerrilla Queer Bar organizer Ethan Philbrick, and everything came together pretty well regarding the podcast (you can listen to clips from the night and the voices of some people behind the Cincinnati Pride Festival here). But something kept you and me from getting any closer.

Toward the end of the night we stood among a small group of people — you sporadically breaking into dance, me sneaking glances at the basketball game on TV. I was going to try to talk to you more while my friend worked on getting us a ride home, but something came between us. It was Jason Gargano, who I believe was oblivious to our connection. That guy is so clueless sometimes!

I still wonder what might have happened between us if we spent more time together that night. Just think: two people bonding over similarly located workspaces and the paper bracelets that denote inclusion among a gay-rights organization.

I thought of you during the long ride home, remembering your feisty response to my friend suggesting you were a “normal straight chick.” What a confining term for him to use!

The first thing I saw upon arrival to work Monday morning was the ArtWorks sign hanging on the side of the building. I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been, and I realized I just couldn’t go on until I asked you: Was it something I said?


Danny Cross

GUERRILLA QUEER BAR is an organization dedicated to demonstrating a queer presence at straight bars. The events take place the first Friday of each month, with the venue to be determined. Event organizers held a successful “invasion” of Cadillac Ranch June 5. Check out the CityBeat Pride Podcast for clips from the night and other interviews here.  For more information on Guerrilla Queer Bar, go to www.cincinnatiguerrillaqueerbar.blogspot.com.

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