Gay Bingo, The Merriest Game of All for a Decade and Counting
Photos by Leslie Minora
When breasts are compared to cantaloupes, it's usually a stretch of a metaphor. I mean c'mon, most are peaches ... mangos, at best. Not so at Gay Bingo, where one of the night's hostesses, Jenna Skyy, is so well endowed up top that a shimmy of the shoulders leaves the crowd questioning whether her body is subject to inertia and gravity.
Two of the most cheerfully flamboyant men peddled raffle tickets as people passed through the entrance of S4 on Saturday evening and went upstairs, where they were met by giant sheet-cakes and snacks. As guests entered the Rose Room, a sweeping space with rows of tables, they filed into seats alongside others of all ages, races, and sexual preferences, everyone hovering over their paper bingo cards.
This year marks the 10th season of the Gay Bingo, organized by the Resource Center of Dallas, and Saturday was the official birthday celebration. The event has endured the test of time with good reason, pure and extreme entertainment value and a damn good time.
"This is not bingo. This is GAY bingo, you idiot!" Patti Le Plae Safe, a hostess with curly blond Marilyn Monroe hair, shouted on stage in her white dress.
For the rest of the night, the word "bingo" was not heard without "gay" preceding it. "This is a good gay bingo, sir," a Gay Bingo employee said into his microphone checking the card of a caller.
During a brief break between games, "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" pumped through the speakers. Everybody did. And it was still only 7 p.m.
With every B7, people pounded tables and acted like 7-year-olds. With every O69, the crowd "OoOoh-ed" waving arms in the air. House rules. Acting too suave to follow suit or answering a cell phone during the game, could land a person in "jail," sticking his head through the wooden cutout on stage that was painted with 'Happy Birthday' decorations.
"You've got to scream like you've got placenta on your Pradas!" the cantaloupe-bearing emcee told a quiet bingo-claimer.
With that, we trust that gay bingo will be around for at least another 10 years. Happy Birthday, Gay Bingo!
The 10th season lasts through November, with games every third Saturday of the month at S4. Check the schedule here.
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