Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Fag Hag Diaries #1: Dancing at Why Not

Fag hag: a gay slang phrase referring to a woman who has gay and bisexual men as close friends. Yes I am a fag hag. My life is surrounded by gay men. Three out of my five BFFs are gays. And with their permission, I've set out to write a couple of posts about how fun it is to be a fag hag.

Friday, 12 midnight. My friends and I are in Chueca in our casual fripperies, waiting for the big Spanish guy to anoint us with his permission to pass through the door. He glances through us then shuffles us into the door.

The path to dancing nirvana is made up of a dimly lit set of stairs. The music of Abba blares through the room, the crowd sways and shouts their hearts out, "You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life!".

This is a small bar, no fancy neon lights- just a long wooden bar, a beautiful roof and the dance floor. No, you cannot come here to chat and sit the hours away. Where will you sit?

The crowd grooves and shakes to whatever music is played. And this is what we love about Why Not. It is small enough that you do not feel intimidated by all the people inside. I told my friend on our second time at Why Not, Oh My, This is now my comfort zone! Why? Because here I can come just to dance and people will not care. The crowd are just our age , early 30s, with a sprinkling of oldies. The people are nice, they will chat with you at times, give you smiles, but really, this is not a club where you go to hook up. Or okay, let me rephrase it. This is a club where heterosexuals go to have fun and dance. The gays, well, they might just be able to connect with another well-meaning gay here. But that's the thing I love about Why Not, you will not be endangered or forced into scary situations. The crowd are a lot like me, office people in their mid-twenties to thirties, just easing out of their daily lives. The atmosphere is friendly, happy conversations are interspersed with throbbing music.

Because you see, Why Not is in Chueca, the gay district of Madrid. What the hell am I doing dancing in Chueca? Well, a few months ago my GBF (GBF = gay best friend) visited Madrid, and wanted to go out and explore Chueca. So off we went, discovered Why Not, and had such a grand time there that I've returned to Why Not even without the GBF just to dance away whatever stress I had. Let's be clear, Why Not is a bar geared for gays but the bar has gained a stellar reputation for being very friendly to straights like me. Thus you'd see straight people chatting and dancing with gays. And that makes the world a bit happier and safer, no?

When you come to Madrid, gay or straight, and you want to go dance with the locals in a tiny but really well-loved club, drop by Why Not :

Calle San Bartolome, Chueca

Opens at midnight closes at, hmmm, I don't know. I've stayed there until 3 AM and it was still bustling.

***Note that Why Not's signage is very small, thus the rep that it's the local's little secret. The Why Not signage is located above a door. So take your time strolling along Calle Bartolome so as not to miss this gem of a bar.

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