San Francisco, Spring 1996
Lane and I were living in San Francisco, gay heaven. I was 35 years old, far beyond my twink years. He was 40, graduated to Daddy.
Our best friend was probably Drake, the leather bear artist (left) -- teddy bears in bulging chaps, in leather jackets, carrying whips and gay flags. He was 53 years old, husky but muscular, with a hairy chest, prominent nipples, and nice biceps. Average beneath the belt, uncut. A bondage bottom.
He had just lost his boyfriend. He was involved in the gay social world, but not dating.
A couple of weeks after Darrell's death, Drake returned to the gay social world.
Beer/soda bust at the Lone Eagle
Underwear contest at the Lone Star
An AIDS benefit at the Metropolitan Community Church
A book signing at Different Light
The bear parties every Wednesday and Friday night.
We saw Drake at every event, eating, drinking, socializing, cruising. But he didn't hook up with anyone, not even at the bear parties, he didn't ask anyone for dates. He always went home alone.
Why do you go to a bear party without even looking for someone to share your bed?
At Christmastime, Lane and I tried to fix him up with a guy we knew, but he refused: "Been there, done that. The domestic thing isn't for me, anyway. Too many rules."
So we let him alone.
Then one day in March 1996, Drake met us at brunch after church and announced: "I have a new boyfriend! Last night was our third date!"
The rest of the story is on Tales of West Hollywood.