Mar 15, 2014

Myrtle Beach: Gay Beefcake in a Red State

I have relatives in South Carolina, so I visited a couple of times when I was a kid.

But as an adult, I'm scared of it, in spite of the quality of the beefcake.

My Cousin George, who told me that "only fools wear pajamas", fled to Savannah, Georgia with his bodybuilder boyfriend as fast as he could.

The hotbed of fundamentalism that just passed a law that denies state funding for colleges that teach "homosexuality."

In any context.

You want to cover Oscar Wilde in your English class?  Fine, just don't mention that he was gay, or no funding for you!

If you are determined to see Southern beefcake, stick to the resort town of Myrtle Beach, near the North Carolina border.  They have a gay beach and some gay bars.  The Pulse Ultra Club on Main Street has drag shows and male go-go dancers.

Gay Days have been celebrated every April since 2010, with little opposition from the townsfolk.

While you're there, swing past Brookgreen Gardens, a huge public garden with 1400 outdoor sculptures by 350 artists, including a lot of male nudity.

Like this gold-plate Dionysus (Edward McCartan).

Don't forget the nude, muscular Alligator Bender, by gay African-American artist Nathaniel Choate.

And Fountain of the Muses (Carl Milles), with naked male muses.

See also: Nathaniel Choate, Gay African-American Sculptor of the 1960s.