Gay skate rolls into metro Detroit

Local clubs host monthly LGBT roller-skating event in Farmington Hills

By Chris Azzopardi

Boys in booty shorts zooming around in rollerskates was the scene last week, as Menjo's and Backstreet - two of Detroit's iconic gay clubs - took over Bonaventure in Farmington Hills for a skating party.

"We were thrilled at how well the community embraced this first-time party," said Murray Hodgson, owner of both bars.

Over a hundred and fifty people - from roller-skating newbies to seasoned middle-aged pros who were living out their teen years again (props to the older man flying solo!) - skated around to a mix of music from yesterday and today. And they did it in typical gay fashion.

"Luckily this was a private party, because apparently we broke every 'dress code' rule posted on the rink's wall," said Hodgson. "Wigs, pumps, feather boas, booty shorts, muscle boys and a drag queen somewhere in between. Oh, and guys using the ladies bathroom. It's kind of hard standing at the urinal on roller skates!"

The inaugural gay skate - the first of many, hopes Hodgson - was organized to hold an event for the LGBT community outside of the club scene.

"We see the population of our local community decreasing as many move out-of-state for better opportunities," he said. "We must unite together and be realistic about our expectations for gay entertainment. So many people have asked us to do something in Oakland county. So we strapped on the blades."

And you have another opportunity to strap yours on from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. March 28 at Bonaventure Skate at 24505 Halsted Road in Farmington Hills. Attendees must be 18 and, in case you've already conquered sober skating, a full bar will be on hand if you're looking for a challenge.

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