My travels have provided me the opportunity to have odd experiences. But none so far match up to the night when I partied with the LGBT community in Salvador, Brazil. The morning after, I was on an onibus on the way back to my pad in Salvador. I wasn’t going to forget the preceding twelve hours in a hurry.
It all started with a new friend, Robert (name changed). He invited me to this party. Hesitatingly, I accepted this odd offer. The queue made it seem like any other Saturday night club. But there were condoms lying unattended on a table (this is pretty common in Brazil, as I would later learn). Obviously, they were for people to pick up.
I was a straight man at a gay party, but I was also a middle class Indian. Since the condoms were for FREE, I had to oblige.
The crowd led us to what looked like a mini concert. At closer inspection I realised that the performances catered to the LGBT audience. A girl sporting a fake moustache and wearing a gentleman’s suit started stripping to a retro English song.
It was clear that this was a kinda place I had never been to before. As the crowd cheered her on, I was half-expecting her to do the full monty. But she stopped at unbuttoning her shirt. Giving a peek, just a peek, of her assets.
‘Not such a bad place to be straight after all.’ I said to myself.
Things only got crazier with time. Then two ladies performing a capoiera act flirted with women in the audience. Both of them planted cute kisses on a girl they invited on stage. Naughty playfulness filled the air. It was now easy to spot many girls kissing one another.
A bi-sexual (I think, because he also kissed a woman) man then took centre-stage. While others cheered him on, I was clicking pictures. Why were others cheering? For his antics which were akin to strip acts from American movies. Only that this was the first time I was watching a man (in woman’s clothes) strip.
A few other things happened. But I’d rather you attend a gig like this for yourself & discover. By then it was past midnight. There was free food at the party. After having our fill of the staple ‘rice and beans’, it was time to hit the dance floor.
The dance floor possessed electric energy. For most parts it seemed like a choreographed dance video. Almost everyone sang along and danced to beats, except for that one Indian (me).
Within the high energy dance party, there were oases of people kissing passionately.First it was women kissing women and then some men got into the act. However, no one seemed to care (this was Brazil, after all). Neither getting caught on camera bothered any of these romantics.
It was probably a good time for me to put the camera away and practice my limited dance moves. But the night sprang a surprise. Yet again.
Now a pretty woman on crutches walked into the dance floor. The picture should explain this better. She was attractive and her dance moves seemed well-rehearsed.
In a party of straight men, everyone would be falling over each other to get her. But not here. As if her dance moves weren’t hot enough, she decided to go topless. That worked as a trigger for many more tops to disappear. Now, we were surrounded by many topless girls.
But the irony was none of them were interested in me, or other men. They were interested in each other. At this point, I was growing a tad frustrated. So many beautiful women, but not a chance with even single one of them. That is when I spotted a beautiful ebony skinned girl dancing with a guy. It was quite unlike the norm on that dance floor. I said a silent prayer. If the guy let her go, I was surely going to take my chance. But a single man’s so-called ‘hedonistic’ life is actually filled with more disappointments than one can imagine.
The next moment they were kissing each other. A few moments later, they turned into a threesome. Now two boys and the girl were kissing each other. A talent I clearly didn’t possess. After that, I realized it was best to rest my carnal desires for the night. For the next couple of hours, I sat in a corner watching and wondering what brand of energy drink these young Brazilians consumed.
Some of them danced straight for six hours without a break, if not longer. And all I wanted to do, was to get to bed. Finally, the sun arrived at the scheduled time. I was walking to the punto do onibus to take the first bus back home.
To be honest, there was some fear in my mind to be surrounded by gays & lesbians. But as the bus cruised, I could not even explain the reason for that fear. They were all people like me, just with different sexual choices.
Not once did I feel threatened or unsafe that night. In that sense, it is they who can justify being scared of straight people. It is us, the majority, which makes life difficult for them. Sometimes you need to jump into an odd experience to realise that it isn’t so odd after all.
About the author:
Sachin Bhandary, The Odd Traveller, has taken a year off and made travelling his mission. He believes that travelling is a fantastic learning opportunity and is out to prove as much by setting examples! Reach out to him through his blog , Facebook and Twitter . Happy travelling!