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“Wherever The Queer People Were, That Was Where I Wanted To Be” (with Amelia from Pitney and Amelia’s Bitchen Boutique)

amelia

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Amelia is the co-host of the podcast Pitney and Amelia’s Bitchen Boutique – they may be awful, but they’re right!
 
(Actually, i don’t know if i agree that they are awful or right, bit it’s how they describe themselves on their show so we’re just gonna go with it….)
 
We caught up to talk about the Austin, Texas club The Crossing.
Now, this is one of those situations where, because the club existed before the internet did, there is NOTHING about this venue online. Which is kind of weird when you think about all the crap that IS online, but also a bit of a reminder of the importance of this project to document our memories…
 
We talk about letting go of toxic friends, the flouncing, bouncing flaccid dick dance of male strippers, and – one of my all-time favourite subjects – the universal appeal of scuzzy, grotty, dirty nightclubs….
 
Listen to Pitney and Amelia’s Bitchen Boutique wherever you find podcasts, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Amelia  00:00

I always amazed that anyone would want to go anywhere else, because it was just so wonderfully, wonderfully trashy. 

K Anderson  00:10

Hello, I am K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces, the podcast that mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories that they created there and the people that they used to know. This week I am talking to Amelia, co host of the podcast Amelia and Pitney’s Bichon boutique. They may be awful, but they are right. Actually, I’m not really sure if I agree that they are both awful, all right, but it’s how they describe themselves on their show. So we’re just going to go with it for the time being. We are talking all about the Austin club, The Crossing. Now, this is one of those situations where because the club existed before the internet did, there is no information about this venue online, which is kind of weird considering all of the crap that you can find online. But it’s also a nice little reminder of the importance of this project to document people’s memories. And this space is where they happened. We talk all about letting go of toxic friends, the flouncing bouncing flatted Dick dance of male strippers, and one of my all time favourite subjects, the universal appeal of scuzzy grotty dirty nightclubs.

Amelia  01:57

Wherever the queer people were, that was where I wanted to be. Whether or not I considered myself particularly queer at the time, because I’m like, 98% Straight anyway. But I’m queer enough that that’s just where I wanted to go.

K Anderson  02:14

So the 2% is that like, a toe?

Amelia  02:19

You know, it’s it’s weird, it’s, it’s something that it’s, it’s taken almost my whole life to kind of define. Because when I was younger, I had this theory that, and I recognised that this was me sort of, almost like doing an entire anthropological study, in my head based entirely on my own experience, and never once asking another person a question, but just making an assumption about all of society, about how sexuality worked. I really thought that because in society, American society in particular, that women are so sexualized, like in media, and whatever that, you know, boobs, sell everything, and that everything is so geared towards women as sex objects, I really thought that I had been conditioned to have a sexual response to women. Even though I was straight, it didn’t occur to me that it wasn’t just this conditioning thing. I just thought I was just being affected by the world around me, and that it wasn’t something internal. And I just assumed it was everybody, which is a really unscientific way of doing things. And that’s not you know, I have a I have a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and think I at some point, I would have thought that maybe talking to other people would have been a good idea to at least, you know, try to support my hypothesis with some data would have been a good idea.

K Anderson  03:57

How would that conversation go like, Oh, you’d like her boobs too, right?

Amelia  04:00

Yeah. And you know, it’s like, so like, you’re not into women, but you still think about them a lot, right? Or like, I don’t know, just and it’s not like it’s something that’s like, super pervasive, but it’s not like it’s not there. It’s almost like, I have an attraction to women in an almost a sexual way. Like, I’ve never gone there. Because it never occurred to me that it was anything more than just this thought that popped into my head every once in a while. That was a conditioning thing. It never occurred to me to well just see what you think. Even though I was always I was always getting hit on by women. I was always seeing women that I was just like, wow, never even consider it.

K Anderson  04:49

And so when did you go? Oh, hang on

Amelia  04:52

me. It really what it really wasn’t that long ago.

K Anderson  04:56

Like so just before this call then? Yeah, like about 10 minutes ago?

Amelia  04:59

Yeah. No, I mean, it’s only been within the last few years. I’m gonna sound really weird, but I’m not sure I’ve actually talked about to my husband.

K Anderson  05:08

Hi, Emily’s husband if you’re listening. What

Amelia  05:15

I mean, like, it doesn’t affect anything, because I’m married to him and I’m not going anywhere. But it’s but it’s one of those things that it’s like, hmm.

K Anderson  05:23

Okay, but so like, help me understand this a bit more. Yeah. Someone who is strictly dickly and has never thought about women in that way. Right. Is it like? It’s a it’s a warm fire in your belly rather than a burning loin?

Amelia  05:38

Yeah, it’s not like it’s not romantic. I wouldn’t say it’s a falling in love feeling. It’s like, I can’t imagine anything past some good making out. Like there’s certain women that it’s just like, Okay, I could go I could go there. Okay, I can maybe go there. I can’t go there. As I point downward, above the waist. I don’t know. Like I like, there’s like certain things that I can be like, Okay, I can. I can go there.

K Anderson  06:08

But uh, you know, like, like breast to find right. But the vagina like is so interesting.

Amelia  06:15

Oh, it is? Like I’m not repulsed by my own.

K Anderson  06:18

No, but like, they are so different from each other.

Amelia  06:21

Oh my god. Yeah.

06:22

They’re fascinating. Never just like, wow, I want to explore there really?

Amelia  06:27

I mean, and a few years ago, I actually became especially fascinated by vaginas because I got really upset towards like the end of 2018. I got really, I just kind of got generally upset probably related to something Gwyneth Paltrow did. I’m, I’m guessing probably kicked that off.

K Anderson  06:47

Damn you Gwyneth. Oh, she

Amelia  06:49

just some days, I just want to smack this. And sometimes she’ll be like, really good in a movie. And I’m like, fuck you. I’d like I don’t like it when you’re a good actress. I don’t want to respect you in any way I want to give you all the time. Yes. Can’t I just hate you just full clock but so like she when when women just don’t get how their junk works. And they just are stupid about it. And like, they’ll just shove stuff up there. thinking oh, I’ll just stick parsley in there. I heard that’s good for it or whatever

K Anderson  07:23

way what does this got to do with grit of powder?

Amelia  07:27

Culture was like the Jade egg nonsense and steaming your vagina? Because she’s one of those people the wellness community crap.

K Anderson  07:37

Okay, well, can we just segue quickly to talk about Yes, sending your asshole.

Amelia  07:42

Oh, God, have

K Anderson  07:43

you heard about this? Yes. I just like what, like, how does it make a difference? I do not get it. I mean, I. So for anyone who’s listening who does not know about this, there is a theory that if you expose your asshole to sunshine for 30 seconds. Yeah, it’s only 30 seconds. It will like change your life fill you with power and energy.

Amelia  08:05

Like yeah, I mean, I have been someone who got a horrible horrible sunburn at a nude beach. Like there are parts of your body with when they see the sun for the first time. They might not react the way you want.

K Anderson  08:18

Are you saying you’re just like me and you burn in 30 seconds?

Amelia  08:21

I am pale. I am absolutely pale blue person.

K Anderson  08:24

I’m just veins. Yeah,

Amelia  08:26

I am definitely one of those people that whenever I have to give blood or whatever, like people, they get so excited. They’re just like, Oh, your veins are great. I’m like, Yeah, you can take blood from anywhere on me. I palms on my hands anywhere you want. I

K Anderson  08:38

get that as well like that as well. Like, oh, yeah, easy. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Anywhere you want. Yeah. So this sunning of an asshole thing. Like, yeah, get it at all.

Amelia  08:47

There’s, there’s a point to which I just, there’s, there’s so many people, I just want to smack the shit out of them. Like I just, I mean, there’s coming up with an idea. There’s just looking for the first person to come up with the idea. Okay, good for you. You know, but then you go, then you go do it and you’re convinced it did something great. Then you go tell your buddy. And now the next thing you know you’re on the internet posting a picture with your legs in the air. And then now there’s like a hole. Yeah,

K Anderson  09:17

but that picture that I posted had nothing to do with the sunshine.

Amelia  09:22

Yeah, well, the thing about the vagina thing was that I got so annoyed by hearing just these crazy stories about women like just harming themselves because they don’t understand their own bits at all. And just like giving themselves horrible infections or just doing terrible things in the name of wellness or whatever. And I just, I declared 2019 The year of the vagina, and I started doing every segment every show that year. I did a little short segment about vaginas and vulvas and whether it’s a new story or just hey, here’s a little here’s something you didn’t know about the clitoris, or whatever. And I learned things. I mean,

K Anderson  10:10

you know, did you write poetry to the vaginas? No, but I did

Amelia  10:13

that. But the last segment of the year I actually, I wrote a song I wrote, I wrote a little song to the tune of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. About snitches. Yeah.

K Anderson  10:23

And okay, so my only follow up question here is, am I pronouncing clitoris wrong? Should I be saying clip Torres? Oh, I think I think is either or is that an American thing?

Amelia  10:33

I think I pronounced it both ways. I think it just depends on the time.

K Anderson  10:38

I mean, I don’t bring it up in conversation very often. So I don’t really need to worry too much about it. But I just wanted to make sure right, anyway, sorry. So let’s go then to the crossing. If that was the name of the club,

Amelia  10:51

I swear to God, it was

K Anderson  10:55

able to tell me about the first time that you went there. Do you remember?

Amelia  10:59

You know, I don’t know if I can pinpoint the exact first time. But I do know that when I went there. I’d gone to other gay clubs before and they were a little more. I don’t want to say see typical gay clearly, like a little more. neofonie a little more tiny shot. Yeah, a little more sparkly. And I mean, because I think anything that was a gay bar automatically felt like, you know, ooh, fun. And then it was like, I get in there. And I might not feel welcome. Like there was a place. I think God I think it may be one of the places that still around in Austin from back then called oil can Harry’s and there’s actually several of them in Texas, I don’t know if it’s a chain are owned by the same people. But at least the one in Austin, it was the place where like the straight acting gays would go. It was like the respectable gay bar. At the time, it was like the gay bar that straight people knew about, like the rest of them. Nobody seemed to be aware of them. It’s like, oh, well, of course, you don’t know about the seedy places. But you know about Okay, here is, but oil cans was like the kind of place where I totally get the, hey, this is our place. This isn’t for you. I get it. You know, like I was saying before, I don’t necessarily want to be around straight women either. But like, a bachelorette party showing up is gonna ruin my evening, too. You know, I get I totally get that. And that’s the kind of place that like a bachelorette party would think they have the right to go to. So if they see me and they don’t know me, I get it. It doesn’t mean they have the right because I’m following my friend through the crowd, to casually gesture in such a way that they just sort of lightly burn me with their cigarette as I walked by. Not cool. No, but I was young enough. And doormat enough that I just sort of brushed ash off my arm and kept walking. I was not going to be confrontational about that sort of thing. And I think part of it was because I knew that. Yeah, this is your place. I mean, eventually, I would only go there if say because you know, there would be like amateur strip night. And if like someone we knew was going to strip and it was like, Okay, well, we should at least go cheer for them or something. You know, and the only time I ever had a really positive experience there was I had this I had this one year where I was determined, I wanted to know what a Brandy Alexander tasted like. And you have to find an old bartender to get one of those. And I would just every bartender in every bar I went to, I would just find the oldest bartender in the place and ask them if they knew how to make one. And they’d be like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. But there was this old queen at oil cans who didn’t know how to make one. And wasn’t as good as I was hoping. But you know,

K Anderson  13:54

so what is a Brandy Alexander, I need to look this up. It’s just your head that you needed one.

Amelia  13:59

I just it’s a very 70s kind of a drink maybe a 60s or 70s kind of drink. It’s like I just mainly, it’s got brandy and cream in it.

K Anderson  14:07

Cognac. Yeah. Okay, those

Amelia  14:11

kinds of cocktails just kind of fascinate me a bit. And I’m fascinated by the kind of cocktails that are like, Oh, well, this is the kind of thing a woman would drink because it doesn’t taste like alcohol. I’m fascinated by let’s combine all these different kinds of alcohol and then it magically turns into something else. Because sometimes that does happen and and that’s that’s like, you know, the first time I ever actually kind of got really tipsy in public the first time out of Colorado bulldog and I almost fell off a barstool that was urato.

K Anderson  14:43

I don’t know any of these. It’s kind

Amelia  14:45

of like a White Russian. It’s very similar to a White Russian.

K Anderson  14:49

Okay, well, let’s know what we had to talk about. Sorry. I’m done. I know about ecology. So then, going back to the very top of our conversation, you You made the statement that you don’t associate with the people that you used to go to this club. Yeah, and I’m kind of fascinated about about this. So, Pitney is the one constant in all of this, he was the person that you went to that club with a group of people who were the other people.

Amelia  15:17

Some of them well, there were people that we met there, so that there was, you know, a lot of it was that some of it just has to do with the fact that we just kind of stopped going out as much. Some of it has to do with the fact that Pitney moved away from Austin and moved to San Antonio, me being an old married lady for a long time. So I had stopped going out but uh, but even before all that, some people that we were hanging around with back then we, we got to a point where we realised that we were friends with people who didn’t deserve us, if that makes sense. One of the one of the people back then that was a guy that we actually met at that particular club. And we used to be there with him a lot, was someone that we eventually, he eventually kind of became a character on our show. And we, we decided to refer to him only as the worst person in the world.

K Anderson  16:14

So how do you feel about him? Do you still like him, you don’t like

Amelia  16:18

his other other human garbage? The first story we ever told about him on the show was that one time he was out at the bar, and he ran into a guy that he hadn’t seen in a few years, you know, like when there’s someone that used to see every weekend, and then they kind of disappear for a while, and then they come back out. And they look very, very thin and frail, and you haven’t seen them in a while. And his reaction to seeing this guy was to tell him, he looked like shit. Well, his friend took this guy aside and said, Yeah, I’m gonna have to ask you to apologise because he’s dying. The reason why you haven’t seen him in a while is because he has AIDS and he’s dying. And he felt good enough to come out tonight. And he’s really, you know, you’re an asshole. And maybe you might want to apologise to him. And his response to that was, I’m not going to apologise to him, he does look like shit. And, and besides, he was a sloth and he deserves it. But even more amazing than that, the reason why I know this story, because I was not there. The next morning, he called me to tell me that story. But the way he told me was as if he was proud about it. Man, that was amazing. And that was like a moment where, and it made me kind of look back over years of knowing this guy and going, Oh, my God, he’s kind of always been this awful. But it’s just these little moments of the sort of letting people get away with things. And then realising like, oh my god, some people really are garbage. And a bunch of us reached the point of, Oh, my God, fuck that guy all at the same time. And we actually, a bunch of us call each other because we were all like, sort of, at different times hearing this story. We had a meeting, we met at a restaurant to discuss how the fuck are we going to get rid of this guy? Because we have like a social circle, and he’s part of it. And how are we going to remove him? If like, the four of us just don’t want to see him anymore? How are we going to do this?

K Anderson  18:39

Okay, so this meeting, did you have posted notes? Did you have plans, approaches?

Amelia  18:45

It was so hilarious that it was nearly that formal. I mean, we we all converged on a restaurant, and we just ate was like, a couple of

K Anderson  18:54

hours you were going in hoping no one would see you.

Amelia  18:59

It was so it was I mean, it was like so serious discussion. And we had a lot of discussion about are we going to confront him? Mm, do we just leave here we’ll just drive and just bang on his door and just tell him he’s a complete piece of shit. And we’re not. Or do we just stop answering the phone when he calls like I got caller ID for the because this was back when caller ID was an automatic thing. I got caller ID for the purpose of avoiding him for not answering the phone when he called. So our decision was ultimately to just stop answering the phone he called just freeze him out. Because we realised after a long discussion that I think this is gonna sound really strange, but I mean, if someone is that bad, and he tells that story with pride, that us telling him you are a terrible person. He’s not going to understand what we’re saying. We just realised it was going to be extremely traumatic for us to go Through having to have that conversation and it’s not going to do any good. And he’s just going to end up convinced that we’re just lying to him or something. And then he’s just going to go around telling everyone how awful we are, which ultimately he did. He made up all kinds of stories about why we weren’t talking to him anymore.

K Anderson  20:18

I’m so it wasn’t like this gradual realisation it was just one day, the blinkers came off.

Amelia  20:23

Yeah. But then looking back, it was the oh my god, he’s always been awful. Like, there would be these little things, things that were like tiny annoyances, but we just blow them off. And then going back and going, Oh, no, he’s this bad all the time.

K Anderson  20:40

Isn’t it fascinating what you put up with when you’re younger? Like, I think I might have gone too far the other way. And now I’m just like, what? You have soy milk with your coffee? No. I mean, a bit too extreme. But like, yeah, just back then you’re just like, Yeah, I’ll let that slide. Let us slide. Yeah. Yeah,

Amelia  20:59

I had a couple years ago. It like I’m days away from the anniversary of walking away from another long friendship

K Anderson  21:07

with someone who you don’t mark these occasions, do you? Well, this

Amelia  21:11

one, just it just happened to fall in a very part of it has to do with Facebook memories, because it reminds me, things come up. And things just kind of connect. But after a year of this guy, like throwing a tantrum and not speaking to me for a year, after like 12 years of a wonderful, perfect friendship. He got really weird with me the year my mother died. Like, everything was wonderful. And then one day, he just got weird and got mad. And then he didn’t speak to me for a year. I went through like a year of horrible depression towards the end of it. I’m just like, okay, yeah, he’s just not gonna speak to me again. It’s like, it’s fine. I’m over it, I’m fine. And then suddenly, he just shows up back in my life again. And I immediately reverted to Oh, yeah, he’s back. Like a like a little lap dog. And I he was so weird. And I just totally took him back. That only lasted for two months. And then he got mad at me again, for no fucking reason. Because I said, I basically wished him a happy new year in a text. And how dare I,

K Anderson  22:09

what was it was Easter or? No, it was, you know, he had gotten

Amelia  22:13

dumped by his girlfriend, and he was sad. And I sent him an upbeat, happy New Year text and that I was being disrespectful to his sadness.

K Anderson  22:21

Oh, I totally see that. Yeah, yeah, that makes total sense. What

Amelia  22:25

an asshole I am. I’m such an asshole for doing that. Right. And yeah, well, yeah, the first time he got mad at me, it didn’t speak to me for years, because it was really cold out. And he was wearing long pants, and I acknowledged it. I’m such an asshole,

K Anderson  22:38

because he normally wears shorts. Yeah, he’s one of those shorts, guys. He’s a short skirt. I don’t actually think I know in shorts, guys. I mean, I don’t live in the climate that you don’t

Amelia  22:47

live down here. I mean, I’ve known him for 12 years. And it was the first time I’d ever seen him in big boy pants. And I’d seen him in cold weather before but it was just like, it was the first time and I just kind of made a comment. And the thing is, I knew him well enough to know why he dressed the way he dressed. Because he’s, you know, like some people have like, like, they’re really, they’re, like physically set really physically sensitive to certain kinds of fabric and they don’t like things to be tight and they want everything to be really loose and baggy and whatever. Part of the way he dressed he he wore clothes that were so enormous on him that he basically looked like a toddler even though he was like six foot three.

K Anderson  23:26

Okay. All right. Well, I mean, I don’t have any follow up questions.

Amelia  23:29

That was his, you know, it’s that. But the thing was that he that in a two month period, I went from immediately taking that guy back. And I’m so glad he’s back in my life and just being like Moony eyed and ridiculous. And then two months later, he he just turns on me again. And I immediately go, oh, you know what, no, fuck you. And I just, you know, I established very strong boundaries. In writing. I gave him a copy. I gave him a copy and writing. That’s how

K Anderson  23:57

it was it was it signed by a notary,

Amelia  23:59

I should have issued that would have been really good. The

K Anderson  24:03

thing that’s really fascinating to me about myself with friendships, like I kind of get that friendships ebb and flow, right? And so right sometimes people kind of have enough of you and they don’t really want to talk to you for a while and then they do want to talk to you again, and sometimes they were really great reasons and sometimes you just kind of overlook it. But there’s there’s some people where I’m just like, No, you’ve burned that bridge. No, yes not. Let’s not be friends ever again. And then there are some people who could just like constantly do those things. And I’m like, Ah, yeah, cool. Let’s go meet up for a drink and I just like he’s just silly. He’s just like, and what is the reason I just and I hate me with that

Amelia  24:43

like with that guy. I hate to think of myself that I give him a pass because he was pretty

K Anderson  24:50

good. You think that’s what it is? I don’t want it to be

Amelia  24:52

but it could probably fucking factors in there somewhere. I don’t know.

K Anderson  24:57

Well, yeah, cuz it’s not gonna be like one thing is it’s gonna be like this. combination of things,

Amelia  25:00

right? It’s, I mean, that’s great if we didn’t have like, you know, a dozen years of awesome, great friendship and just hilarious and really good times and great conversations and you know, loving that guy. I mean, a weirdo, you know, just a weirdo and a hard to fit. And, yeah, he’s gonna have a hard time finding the girlfriend because he’s so fucking weird, but he’s gonna be great. When he finally finds the one, he’s gonna be a great boyfriend and somebody. But if he wants to be a 50 year old dress, like a toddler who throws a tantrum, because someone says Happy New Year, you know, fuck that guy. You know, wish him the best, whatever, whatever is going on with him. But you know, I don’t talk to him anymore.

K Anderson  25:39

I have some unresolved things here, maybe.

Amelia  25:45

Some of it is I have to keep reminding myself, because I think I know that. If he just suddenly showed up in front of me, there’s this little part of me that probably would be like, Oh, I’m so happy to see you. So I have to keep reminding myself. No, he’s an asshole. He was very mean to

K Anderson  26:02

you. Oh, see. And I think this might be where it’s different for me, because I think, potentially the reason that for some people, I’m like, Yeah, sure. Let’s be friends. Again, it’s because I don’t actually care that much about them, like are, you know, I’m not like hurt when they disappear. I’m just like, Oh, okay. They’re not in my life at the moment. But there are people that if they disappear, I’m like, Oh, my God, like, this is a really bad thing. And then I re punish them. So like, when they come back, I’m like, No, I didn’t want to be your friend. And then like, just completely burn that bridge. And,

Amelia  26:37

I mean, there’s there’s other people that they can come and go, and I don’t really fucking care, but like, but this one, there was, I mean, there was a lot of raw nerves because of just the way things went, you know, there was, there’s a lot of Oh my God, why did why did it hurt so bad? You know, but it also, I mean, the first part happened, you know, six months after my mother died, so I’m sure I was going through some shit already. And then he knowing I was going through some shit decided, Oh, I’m just gonna stop talking

K Anderson  27:06

to her for for a year, but you’d still take him back.

Amelia  27:09

I mean, there’s there is this little part of me that still is like, I’m, you know, I’m sympathetic to what a crazy fucked up piece of crap. He is. I don’t know. Okay, he’s cute.

K Anderson  27:23

No, no, that is not the moral of that story.

K Anderson  27:31

What else is there to talk about with the crossing?

Amelia  27:33

I was I was trying to think of I mean, Pitney definitely had more skeezy you know, memories of there. But I, because there was, there was always a lot of strippers. And that that was the place where I realised where if there were strippers, like if someone was bringing in like professional strippers into a gay bar, the likelihood was that those strippers were straight. Because if you had gays represent a gay bar, there was like some liability going, potentially, because, like, whoever was managing them might not have the ability to keep an eye on them. And they might go off and go in the bathroom and make some extra money on the side or something.

K Anderson  28:17

How is that a liability?

Amelia  28:19

I think it just was just, you know, this was a long time ago. But that was one of the weird things that I definitely experienced in there because it there was always like, just maybe a handful of women in there. And when it would be you know, stripper night? Usually, if there’s a guy stripping, I just find it funny. I usually not find it attract. It’s comical at best. Like I talked to Penny like about, he’ll talk about, like, you know, like a really good looking dick. And I’m like, I just I don’t get really excited about like, sometimes I don’t like maybe not as into guys, maybe I’m not as into guys as he is. I don’t know. I just it’s like it has to be attached to a person. And I don’t want to look at it.

K Anderson  29:04

Okay, all right. Okay, so you don’t appreciate a good looking deck, but can you spot a really terribly ugly deck?

Amelia  29:11

Oh, I’ve Yeah, I’ve seen. Yeah, there’s that. Oh, yeah.

K Anderson  29:15

So it’s not like you’ve got penis blindness, like face blind?

Amelia  29:19

No, I mean, I can certainly see it. But like, it doesn’t need to look a certain way. Like I dated a guy who really, he really should have been important. Like, I mean, it was like, Get that thing away from me. It was enormous. It was like the size of my arm. It was ridiculous. And I only dated him for a very short time. I mean, we didn’t even do all that much because part of me was like I terrified. I yeah, he was certainly nice to look at but but it was also kind of pointless because it was like I don’t want to just to do with that. He was one of the one of those rare guys that like yeah, he should just be naked all the time. I mean, You know,

K Anderson  30:02

you’re just you’re just contradicting yourself.

Amelia  30:04

But it’s but it’s very rare. It’s very,

K Anderson  30:07

every now and then you’re like, Yeah, that’s a good deck. But most of the time you’re like, Man, I could take a lever.

Amelia  30:13

But the thing is that I also wasn’t with him for a long time. Like,

K Anderson  30:17

I mean, you weren’t, you weren’t dignitize Is what you’re trying to say.

Amelia  30:20

No, no. I mean, it wasn’t it wasn’t worth keeping around. Well, yeah,

K Anderson  30:24

yeah, it should never be the primary thing. But like, if it’s an odd one, and you’re like, huh, yeah, like that, you know, that’s a nice,

Amelia  30:31

but I also I also didn’t have much use for it. Like I just it didn’t. You’ve heard of puppets, right? Part of part of me was like, I’m sorry. You want to you want to put what where are you? Part of me was oh, look how small my hands look. Very strange. But like when a stripper I mean, there’s something so funny about a stripper because the flat acid bouncing Dick dance that strippers do is so funny to me. And they’re just they’re they’re doing the acting of the being turned on. But clearly, they can’t really be turned on because we could we can all tell you’re not. And they’re in a room full of guys. And they’re not into that. But they’ll spot the one woman in the room. And they have to pretend they’re not looking at her or whatever. And but there was there were two main strippers that I remember from there. Well apart from just like this one homeless dude that we every time this guy he went by the name wildfire and he was like this kind of stoner this like homeless stoner dude. And that guy would always win because everyone was just so he was so pathetic and weird. And we were just like, yeah, we loved him. He was so like, Oh, give him all the beers. But um, there was this one guy who would just try to get my attention so hard. And when I was at one of the back bars, and he was on like, like one of the gogo platforms kind of situation. And he thought it would be cute, too, with one foot on the Google platform and the other one on the bar. So then he’s like, his dick is like, near my face. I’m like, Yeah, really. I’m talking to my friend here. Like he’s like, between he gets between me and my friend. He starts like trying to pull like pulling the front of his G string out. Like, I’m gonna look down there. And I just reached into my glass and took out several ice cubes. And I just dropped them right down the front of this G string. It’s like yeah, that’s that’s what you’re getting. Cool off. Get away from me. What the hell are you doing?

K Anderson  32:36

I can we I? I’ve been where there’s been straight strippers and dominantly gay audience. And it’s so weird. Like, you agreed to this gig. Like you knew what you were doing? And you knew you were coming to strip in a gay bar. Like, you just kind of flirt with the men here. Why are you women and trying to be like, super hetero because like, right just kills the fantasy, but like, right, fantasy. I just don’t get the mindset like why? Why do you have to prove your heterosexuality here of all places?

Amelia  33:15

Yeah. And they’re the other stripper that I have actually have fond memories of. He at least had the decency. I mean, he at least would. He went to the trouble of acting very well, and being flirtatious and whatever. But he then he would just sort of, like walk past me and whisper something in my ear, and then go up and get on the little thing and dance for a while and then come over and say something to me and go back. And one night when we decided that, oh, well, we’re going to we’re going to leave together. But we weren’t going to leave together because he was like, No, I’m going to walk out and I want you to walk out like a couple minutes after, because I don’t want them to see you walk out with me. He’s like, because, you know, I’m working. And I was just like, yeah, that’s totally fine. And then I walked down and he was actually outside and he had his car parked across the street at the liquor store in the parking lot across the street. Now, of course, we didn’t go anywhere. We basically I just like gave him a blowjob in this car in the parking lot of a liquor store across the street from the crossing, but Romans, I know what it was, you know, law more, but he was very pretty. He was very pretty. I mean, for me to just give someone a blowjob, which that’s generally you know, if that’s all that’s gonna happen, they’d have to be pretty fucking pretty. Cuz that’s, that’s generally not Oh, if that’s all that’s gonna happen. Yeah. I’ll pass but

K Anderson  34:43

hang on. I’m negotiating beforehand, like so. What’s happening now? Oh, no, I’m not interested. But I think I think

Amelia  34:50

I probably thought that we were gonna go somewhere.

K Anderson  34:55

Oh, this is turning into a sad story now.

Amelia  34:58

No, it was a good one. But he was very pretty. I wasn’t going there thinking I was picking up a guy. It was the crossing. That was the bar was going to to be amused by, you know, Toothless hobos and whatever it’s like I love that place.

K Anderson  35:21

I’d say like, do you remember then hearing about it closing, were you still going to the place then or had you stopped going

Amelia  35:28

there? It shut down sort of briefly. And then it reopened with the same owners that one of the owners, their initials were DJ, and it reopened as DJs. And I went back when it was DJs. And it was like, they put neon up. And it was like, they tried to clean it up a bit. And it wasn’t, the vibe wasn’t quite the same. But some of that was like the bars around it changed a little bit too. And so I think that kind of changed, like the block changed somewhat. And by that time, it just wasn’t, it wasn’t the same.

K Anderson  36:06

Isn’t it fascinating that that can happen like a lick of paint, change of name, one little thing changing? And suddenly, Oh, this isn’t fun anymore.

Amelia  36:17

It’s like they they tried to get a little bit more respectable. And, and you were like, I’m just kind of Yeah, you know, it’s weird. How, if it had been a straight bar, that was that level of skeezy, I would never have been comfortable there. I would have thought it was disgusting. But because it was a gay bar. It was I was totally fine. It was exactly where I wanted to be. But it does. It’s it is really, really strange how I’ll look online, and I’ll look to see what what the local clubs are now and I don’t even I mean, I I don’t know if it’s just because I’m an old fart. Or it’s like, they don’t look like I would have wanted to go there. It’s not that I don’t want to go there now because I don’t want to go anywhere. Now. I just want to go to bed. I just want to you know, I want to watch Law and Order and go to bed. But I don’t think I would have wanted to go there then like everything looks everything’s too shiny and sterile. Now, I think everything is too nice. Nothing’s trashy enough anymore. The right kind of trashy. Or it’s contrived, trashy, maybe. Yeah, I think I think there’s a certain amount of that out there that just like nailing some licence plates on the wall doesn’t make you edgy. You know, it’s like, I don’t know what you think you’re doing. These things have to come. You know, naturally, they have to have an organically?

K Anderson  37:47

Well, it’s kind of like the cost of everything is so high now that the only people that can get into the bar business or get into these types of like, open a shop are people with lots of money and a business plan and an idea and like, you know, just winging it. They’re not just like, oh, yeah, I’ll sign this lease and then see what happens.

Amelia  38:05

Oh, yeah. That’s got to be a big part of it here because Austin is like a city for millionaires. Now it is. It’s so strange. It’s only we have the reputation of being you know, like the whole Keep Austin weird. It’s like we’re the city of weirdos. Weirdos used to be artists and musicians and artists and musicians could live here because it used to be affordable. And you could be broke and live here. And now you would have to be like 10 people renting an efficiency apartment. I don’t know how anyone can afford to live anywhere in the city. I mean, you can’t afford to be an artist anymore. You can’t afford. You can’t afford to be a student. I don’t you know, I don’t know how anybody does

K Anderson  38:47

it. Yeah. And so that, like, injects everything, doesn’t it? Like you’ve got places that sell bubble tea for $15? Why I brought up novelty? Sorry, it’s just Oh, yeah. Let’s hate on that. And your nightlife needs to be shiny and exciting so that they can charge lots of money to drink there. But it also just means that that personality and that uniqueness gets lost. Yeah. And so let’s not leave it on that. No, no, no. I wanted to ask, What did acrossing teach you about yourself? Oh, wow.

Amelia  39:29

That was not a question I anticipated. Because I was at an age where I was definitely figuring out how to be comfortable in my skin. I think because I was such an awkward teenager that as I went into my 20s You know like once I moved out of my parents house and you know got out of school. And I was just sort of figuring out who the hell I actually was. And I had to be in a place where I was comfortable enough to just, well, let’s see, what what if I, what if I dress like this tonight? How do I feel like I couldn’t try on different ideas of who I was easily in other places, but at the crossing, I think I could kind of play around with because this was like, in the days of less was like before the club kid idea in the 90s. And like, people going really, really extreme club were kind of things this was like, right before all of that. And I, I had started sort of coming up with going out outfits and coming up with what is my style. And Penny was always very, like, you know, he had a pair of little hot pants that he bought in like the little girls department at Ross, that he would wear and like a little, a little mesh crop top and you know, little fishnet stockings or whatever and Doc Martens and he would go out like that. And so it’s like, Well, if he’s gonna dress like that, then I have to come up with something. I can’t just wear jeans and a T shirt, I had to come up with something. And so I think I felt like I felt like a freedom to just Who am I going to be this time and kind of feel around where it feel around the edges of who I was and kind of figure out how comfortable I could be in a place. And I don’t know what it says about me that a place that was that trashy, liable for place had to be that that scummy to for me to feel that comfortable. But I guess I think nobody in that place was going to be judgey of me. And I think that was the number one thing. I needed to find a place where I wasn’t going to feel like oh my God, those people are looking at me I have to get out of here. That was such a novel sensation to not feel like oh my god, someone’s looking at me. And I think that was that was a big thing for me.

K Anderson  42:12

Do you have any memories of the crossing or clubbing from your own cuisine that you want to share? Well, if you do, please get in touch. I want to create the biggest online record of people’s memories and stories of queer nightlife. Go to law spaces podcast.com and find the section share a lost space and tell me all about what you got up to. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has lost spaces pod. Make sure you listen and follow Pitney and Amelia has Bichon boutique wherever you find podcasts, and also follow them on Twitter where their handle is bitchin boutique and Instagram where it’s Pitney and Amelia. Law spaces is not only a podcast, but a concept record has Well, I have been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live their lives there. And we’ll be releasing songs over the coming year. You can hear the first single well grim boys which is playing underneath my talking right now on all good streaming platforms. If you liked this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribed, left a review on your podcast platform of choice or just hold someone who you think might be interested in giving it a little listen to. I am K Anderson, and you have been listening to lost spaces.