Even for us proudly Southern gays, Memphis seems, at first blush, less campy-gay than tacky-straight. I mean, Graceland’s Jungle Room … hell, ANY room there? It’s like the 1970s threw up a Sears catalogue. Compared to Nashville’s country-and-western drag, where big-boobed bombshells like Dolly reign in leather tassels, there’s a great rift between the towns’ gay appeal.
Or so you might think. But Memphis’s Midtown gayborhood is flush with a range of gay bars — and not just C&W clubs (though there is, of course, Lorenz/Aftershock and Metro if you groove for that kinda thing … and let’s face it, we all do). Backstreet Memphis has a big dance floor called the Coliseum, and Dru’s Place is a sports bar for gays; Pumping Station is a well-established Levi-and-leather bar.
Several big gay events aren’t until fall — the Outflix gay film fest is in September, and Mid-South Pride takes place in October — but you can get to the Athens of the South on American Airlines for a C-note each way, leaving next Friday or Saturday and coming back Monday, May 31.