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"Wait, You're Not Gay?"

Maren Wade’s Confessions of a Showgirl: “Wait, You’re Not Gay?”

I should rewind to give you some context, though it may make it more confusing. But at least you’ll be as confused as I am.

Life as a showgirl consists of singing and dancing. They say you’re the company you keep, so I’m surrounded by singers and dancers. You with me so far?

When you are a part of cast, they are like family. Albeit, a dysfunctional family. Come to think of it, a lot like my real family. You spend most of your days together backstage or in the dressing room constantly bonding. You laugh. You cry. You share your deepest darkest secrets. You regret sharing your deepest darkest secrets. Then you do it again. Then you regret it all over again.

Another thing about life backstage is that there’s no time for modesty. Everyone is pretty much naked or in varying states of undress the whole time they’re not onstage. (I know, you’re wondering why you can’t buy tickets to that show. I don’t blame ya. It’s like an orgy. Wait, so maybe saying your cast is like family isn’t the best analogy.)

Anyway, my point is you get close to all the showgirls and you also get close to all the showboys. Now, I don’t wish to shock you, but a significant percentage of men who sing and dance onstage are gay. Given this, can one blame someone for assuming that to be the case? (And by someone, I mean me.)

In the animal kingdom, when a female cat is ready to mate, she places her elbows on the ground, crouches her back legs and elevates her bottom into the air. Flirt. Spotted hyenas engage in a “greeting” display, where they lift their leg up and expose themselves. Showgirls do pretty much all of the above (depending on the choreographer), plus a flick of the hair (aka “hairography”), whether they are pursuing a mate or not.

So, this one particular showboy had already seen me naked. We quick-changed together everyday. He groped and prodded me in various positions. Did I mention we were dance partners? We stretched and performed together the entire show. We laughed and gossiped backstage. We told each other our best breakup stories, without any pronouns. (Only something I came to notice after the fact.)

One night, he asked if I’d like to go for drinks after work. I mean, why not take this friendship to the next level? Sure, I’ll go for a drink. Sure, I’ll hang out at your apartment with you, just the two of us and a bottle of wine. Sure, I’ll talk with you about what I’m looking for in a man, and you’ll do the same.

Well, that was lovely. Would you look at the time! It’s 5 a.m. I got to get home early. (What can I say, it’s all part of the glamorous life of a showgirl.)

Alright ol’ buddy, ol’ pal, give me a nice big hug before I make my way home. It has been sooo nice hanging with you. You are such a good friend! Hmm. That is a really long hug. Hugs are nice. Wow, there is some firm hand action moving its way down to my lower back. Oh, my mistake. Hang on a sec. That hand is on my butt. Weird! Well, let me know how it feels. You gay guys do have amazing taste, and you always give us honest feedback. Okay, time to go! I’ll just say goodbye, “It’s sooo good to see …”

And now you’re caught up.

“Wait, you’re not gay?” These were the muffled words coming out of my mouth while he was planting a nice juicy wet one on me.

I was in shock. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I thought, “We go shopping together. He picks out my best outfits. He does my makeup better than anyone I know. He’s so in touch with his emotions. He’s the only friend I have that cries at Disney movies with me. We screamed together that time we saw that spider. We both love musical theater!”

So I’m sure you get the moral of this story. I guess some straight guys have good taste, too.


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