Club Unity is like a slutty 34 year-old drag queen: sweaty and fabulous but a little sketchy, probably having experienced a few bouts of gonorrhea
by Bentley Rambotom
To preface, I’m one of those gays that’s a little afraid of being gay. I’m not afraid of fucking or being fucked, or of social stigma and discrimination. I’m afraid of two facets of gay life primarily: gay zeitgeist and turning into my comic-book-obsessed, boy-fantasizing, lonely-as-fuck professor. I already love comic books and fantasize about boys. Nevertheless, I love enjoying gay culture from time to time. Here’s a little diddy about a boy, some alcohol, a dream, and a club where guys give other guys head in the bathroom.
It’s the first weekend in August, in rainy, sticky Montreal. My two (girly) boys from Toronto come to stay at my place to indulge in the festivities of Divers/Cité, one of Montreal’s pride celebrations. Being a fringe gay myself, I have no idea there are two prides, but I am quickly taught Divers/Cité is a much bigger party, while Fierté is more ‘family-and-old-people oriented’ where you can enjoy a cocktail while watching the parade.
Whether or not I’m in the gay scene, I’m down to get laid. I usually have a strong enough stomach to sit through some light, vapid conversation to get a beej, and my friends have tons of liquor and tons of Monster energy drinks. So, I think to myself, let’s get this party rolling.
Apparently the boys have come down as a part of a larger cohort, who’re staying in Montreal’s Fairmont hotel, Le Reine Elizabeth — that’s where we‘re going to get sauced first. We enter the hotel, ask the concierge for the room number, strut through the swanky lobby and grab the elevator, all of this in our deep Vs and cut-offs, and I think my one friend has lip gloss on. At the suite, I see that this cohort is constituted of Asian lesbians. Interestingly, four of eight of them are wearing vests. One of the girls, who goes by her initials, E. McD., ee-mick-dee, chit chats with me about poetry and the evils of capitalism while I guzzle my guarana-enriched cocktails. A blur of two hours later, I am drunk and the three of us boys make our way to Montreal’s gay Mecca, Unity.
I don’t know the legitimate details of this mythic establishment, but this is how I understand it: it is older than the earth (as are some of its patrons), it is the biggest club in the village, and it’s exploded into flames (or otherwise been destroyed) two distinct times in the past. When I first arrived in the city, the club was on its second incarnation, and it was called Unity II. Then it burned down and it is currently goes by just Unity. Now, beside the façade’s bright lettering, instead of ‘III’, there is a flame image, an homage to the twinks, hair extensions and D&G satchels lost in The Great Fire.
After a thirty-minute walk along Ste Catherine, in which the other two-thirds of our fabulous trio dropped some E, we arrive at the three-storey homomonolith, attracted like fruit flies to leftover beer, or, more aptly, gays to dick. There is no line tonight. The doors are open and we climb the stairs, immediately hit with a wave of humidity. The reason for the speed with which we enter the club becomes clear: the management is simply letting every fucking person in. It’s crowded, it’s sweaty, it’s in violation of fire code and it is fucking fabulous.
The music is great: fantastic, inventive and dynamic remixes of top 40 songs and old Madonna that we gays love anyway. I understand that this music isn’t up everyone’s alley, pun intended, but if you’re in the mood for fun and flighty, Unity always provides, in heaps and heaps.
There’re four scenes, it seems: shirtless main floor, shirtless upper floor, blowjob city (the steamy bathrooms) and the rooftop terrace. All in all, the club is much more intense than usual; basically a rave. The first level seems to offer mostly older guys, 26-40, the second is twink central, and the terrace is hazy with cigarette smoke.
We three queens are bouncing between the floors with horn-citement, scouting guys out, brushing past their bare shoulders and sending out the signal: open for business. I lose one of the guys after a bathroom trip, look for him for two minutes and then decide it’s not worth it to worry about it at a club like this. Whether hunting in a pack of three or going lone wolf, hooking up is always a one-man job. Well, I mean, it eventually involves two men, but not one of my friends.
My remaining friend seems to recognize about 20% of the clientele because they’re also from the T.O. scene. That guy in the hat is definitely on drugs, that tall guy has a seriously puny dick and that one there fucks old guys for money. Everyone knows everyone’s shit, which makes sense, because probably not too long ago they were giving each other rim jobs.
My friend introduces me to Alex, who moved to Montreal a year ago. This is my guy. He’s tall and thin and has long eyelashes. He’s got a tank top, cargo shorts and a purse, but he is rocking it. As we dance in our little group, I try to casually brush up on Alex. We’re making eye contact and I’m getting even more horn-cited. Alex dances like an idiot, but he loves it, and I love that. We get to the terrace and I sit beside him, our legs are touching and we’re unnecessarily close. He tells me he wants to be an interior designer. I get the feeling no one ever sits him down to have a conversation with him. In my typical direct-and-lame style of game I say, “I like you, Alex”. He responds “Thank you.” Whatever, I’ll still fuck him.
We get back on the dance floor, where the strobe lights are so aggressive that some of my peers may actually just be convulsing in seizure and not intentionally shaking their shit up. Alex and I start to dance dirtier, I’m holding on to him, but I get the sense he’s pretty high on lifE. There’s a lot of rubbing but no kissing. He’s going to get it and he knows it. My other friend, who has become the third wheel (unfortunately, my dick doesn’t give a shit about friendship) tells me the lost member of our trio is totally poofaced and waiting for us outside. I tell Alex I’ve got to leave and he says he’ll follow me, but he has to tell his accomplices he’s going, and tells me to wait for him outside.
I wait for about 3 minutes. My need for weed and my friend’s dangerous j-walking trump my desire to get with Alex. We walk home, smoking as many cigarettes as we can bum on the street. When we get home and I remember that I could be getting a gummer from a dude with a purse, and I’m a bit cheesed when I realize how stupid I was. We text Alex, but he’s already on his way home in the other direction. That’s fine with me because I get pretty stoned pretty quick.
As soon as my friend, who we lost in the bathroom, sobers a little bit, he tells us what happened. He got picked up by a deaf guy. They talked in ‘textos’ at the club, skulked off to a bathroom and my friend received oral pleasure. In his words, “I don’t care that his ears don’t work because his mouth works marvelously.”
In my altered state, I think about it: Gay Pride is kind of like the migration of Canada Geese. All the individuals of this population come in from afar, congregate, make a ruckus and fuck. The biggest qualm between them is that the gays think that such long, slender perfectly shaped throats are probably going to waste with whatever the fuck the geese are doing with them.
Happy Goose Pride.