Hanging at TheShared is always a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. We’ve been before— live music by local musos. You know how much Fiz and I love kicking back, immersed in music and conversation while watching the passing parade. And, an opportunity to meet some nice blokes couldn’t be passed up either.
The lack of cars and availability of car parks surprised us as we drove into Yandina. It was early, only just three thirty so my expectation of a large crowd was probably unrealistic. Undeterred we walked up and in. What the?We were stopped at the door and blocked from entering, both taken aback.
We were asked to pay a ten dollar entry fee but our focus couldn’t be interrupted from the tall, lanky Drag Queen on stage. Her pink, big hair, sequins every place you could imagine, obvious stockings on legs that went forever, mini skirt and gaudy jewellery backed her feminine gestures and over the top, flashy introductions but here and now—why? Her six- inch platforms couldn’t escape the sequins either, sparkling with every step. And what Drag Queen doesn’t go ‘to town’ with her makeup. It was thick and colourful, accentuating his/her high cheek bones, sculpted jaw line and over emphasized pouting pink lips. Introducing Melony Brests! Where were we?
Fiz and I looked at each other. We looked back at the stage. We looked at each other again. Without one word we vacantly paid our ten dollars and willingly offered our arms for the compulsory paper wristband. (I loathe these things). My thoughts could not abandon the stage scene. We didn’t once contemplate leaving. We didn’t once contemplate staying. We didn’t once consider whether we wanted pay to the entry fee. We allowed ourselves to be swept along in the process. I fessed up later—the surprise and not knowing was actually exciting and fun.
Stunned, we made our way to a table and chairs just inside the open window/door—an easy, accessible means of escape if needed. We sat down. We looked at each other and both burst out laughing. Where are we? What’s going on? As we looked around more carefully it was obvious. This was an event run by Sunshine Coast Pride Network— a Sunshine Coast gay group and we were surrounded by gay singles and couples. There were some not so gay too (we guessed). Letting this sink in for a few moments we resolved that it was ok to be here and it was okay to be here even though we weren’t gay—the minority. Our eyes ventured back to the stage.
‘Happy’ ruled with the band Happy Endings (eeek) now playing. They were really good—a blend of country and easy listening. The double base filled the room with low sexy vibrations and won the attention of two startled gazelles (us) sitting alone. Drink Fiz? Kate, who had also arrived, brutally squashed this idea when she remarked ‘not licensed’. We knew soft drink wouldn’t cut it this time. I elected to head to the Yandina pub for supplies. We decided on cider—apple or pear—dry, not sweet! I hadn’t bought cider for years and I hadn’t been to a gay event ever but it seemed apt for the casual setting.
No need for glasses—we drank from the bottle.
This was going to be an interesting afternoon. Fiz and I discussed earlier that maybe; just maybe, today we would meet some nice, interesting, single men. Miniscule chance of that happening! Only Fiz and Naz could get something so, so wrong.
The Happy Endings bracket finished and re-filling the space and overflowing to the street outside, the music of a loud guitar soloist dominated. It was so loud Fiz and I yelled to be heard. With a reason to now give-in to hunger we headed to the local Thai restaurant, Thai Tong, for dinner. It was early, five-thirty; we were seated on the deck and with only one other couple to be served, service was speedy. Our orders were taken, water poured and we were left to deliberate our decision—The Shared, Yandina, this afternoon.
My duck curry with lychees was totally delicious and Fiz was happy with Laksa. The coconut rice was fluffy, a perfect side dish. Even though the serving was generous, I didn’t leave a skerrick in my bowl. We promised to eat there again. The only thing missing was chopsticks (maybe available on request). Even though forks and spoons are part of the Thai dining table, for me, Thai food shovelled in with chopsticks is taken to the next level. It just tastes better.
It was peaceful at the restaurant and we chatted for a while, unsure whether we would return to The Shared, venture back in or head home.
We were in! Now standing behind a person—man—woman? Somehow, somewhere testosterone was lacking—something didn’t add up albeit he was suited up, short chiselled hair and beard. He had fine features. Moving in closer I could see the beard had been drawn. He was familiar. It was Kate. She had returned home to transform to a Drag King—she makes a handsome man, a tad short but very convincing. Her masculine mannerisms and gestures needed fine tuning but she was convincing all the same and a hit with the crowd.
Upgraded now to being ‘in’ with the cast, we had so much fun. Andrea Kirwin’s performance was outstanding and photo shoots with the Drag King, Kate and Drag Queen Melony Brests topped it off. Laughter, great music, flamboyant personalities—embracing the situation—a happy time with wonderful friends.
Another funday Sunday to write about and happy memories to share.
PS We didn’t ‘pick up’ on the day but it didn’t matter. We did pick up how to make the most of an unexpected situation, get over our surprise and awkwardness, laugh at ourselves and make the experience one to remember. Thanks everyone at the Shared last Sunday. We had a fab afternoon that ended well into the evening.