A Family for Christmas:
“Skanks?” Tom asked.
“Yeah. The straight girls. For some reason they think a gay bar is the proper place for a ‘bachelorette’ party,” the man answered. “I’m Jack.” He reached a hand in front of Ken.
Tom nodded and shook the hand. “Nice to meet you. Are the two of you a couple?”
“Nope,” Jack answered. “Just good friends.”
Just then, a cute brunette in tight jeans and a crop top walked up to them. “Tom Grady, is that you?” she asked. “I haven’t seen you since graduation. What are you doing in here?”
“Hello, Linda,” Tom answered. “In case you didn’t know, this is a gay bar.”
Her eyes opened wide. “I thought it was a drag bar.”
“And just what do you think a drag bar is, Sweetie?” Jack asked. “Look around. Do you see any straight men in here? No, all these men are gay. They’re here to meet other gay men.”
She glared at Jack, and her jaw dropped as she looked at Tom. “Are you saying you’re gay?”
“I didn’t advertise the fact in high school, but yes.” He gestured toward the girls. “More to the point, what are you doing in here?”
“Oh, we came for the drag show to celebrate Janice Markham’s last night as a single girl.” Linda pointed toward the group of girls. “She and Butch Copeland are getting married tomorrow evening.”
“Now why would you want to celebrate in a gay bar?” Ken asked.
“They say it’s safer,” she said. “None of the men hit on you, and they’re good dancers.”
“I’m sure they don’t want to dance with you,” Tom said.
“Weren’t you invited to the wedding?” Her face reflected surprise. “I know she invited Bethany and your parents. She invited the whole Country Club.” She wrinkled her nose. “Thought she’d get more presents that way.”
“It’s been a few weeks since I talked to Bethany, and even longer since I’ve been in touch with my parents,” Tom said. “Bethany usually calls when something important happens in the family. Apparently, she didn’t think Janice’s marriage is important.”
“I heard you haven’t been home since you left for college. Why not? You obviously still live in town.”
“Because my father can’t accept the fact he has a gay son,” Tom replied. “After all, a preacher can’t acknowledge a son who is an abomination to God.”
“Why don’t you join us?” Linda asked. “You know most of the girls.” She frowned. “In fact, didn’t you date Janice for a while?”
“That’s okay. I’ll just stay here.” Tom turned his back on her and propped his elbows on the bar.
She stood for a minute, and then turned and left.
Tom’s shoulders shook with silent laughter.
Ken asked, “What’s so funny? I can tell you’re holding something in.”
Tom looked up. “I may have dated Janice before I came out, but Butch Copeland was my first blow job.” He paused. “And my second, and my third . . . “
“I get the picture.” Ken chuckled. “But who gave and who received?”
Tom laughed. “It was mutual.”