Human connection is a playground of sensations and emotions. Every touch brings us closer and every embrace immerses us in togetherness. As COVID-19 drives us inward, our connections are increasingly threatened. The gay community has been marginalized before, which is why we are the foremost experts at how to create a community out of the tattered remnants of a wounded society.
Look to the leadership of local establishments for inspiration during these troubled times. As they feed your belly and your soul, be sure to return the favor with the appreciation they so richly deserve. We all remember the first time we walked into a gay bar, excited and/or intimidated, before eventually stepping out as part of a cohesive family. That family needs you now more than ever, so let’s tiptoe through the LGBTQ landscape, bars first.
Urban MO’s is the North Star of naughtiness, a jolt of brunch realness that fades brilliantly into fabulous weekly events such as Broke-Ass Mondays and Show Tunes Tuesdays. While we yearn to huddle once more around the bustling bar at MO’s, we can celebrate the spirit of their party atmosphere by purchasing a social distancing-themed T-shirt. All proceeds go to the staff members who have been affected by downtime and lost tips during the current coronavirus scourge. In the eternally sassy style of this Hillcrest enclave, the front of the shirt is a blazing pink entreaty to stay back “6 Feet! Gurl, 6 Feet!”
For the ultimate flirtation from afar, stay online (and on fleek) with Flicks. Their attitude is livestreaming for your entertainment pleasure. Crank up your speakers to eradicate the memory of your last Zoom conference call and shake off the quarantine blues by going full screen, baby! If you like what you hear, see, and feel, then make sure to tip your DJ via Venmo. Download some digital love!
OK, OK, we know what you’re thinking (and we are simultaneously shocked and impressed). What about the booze? Yes, cocktails are an essential ingredient to the gay bar experience, so Rich’s spilleth over… all the way to your doorstep! Their Delivery Disco offers bottle service every day from 3 to 7 p.m. Happy hour has never been so mobile. Yaas responsibly!
Now that you have the ingredient you so desperately desire, log onto Hole in the Wall’s Facebook feed. Affectionately known as “The Hole,” this queer destination is so inclusive, they usher you behind the velvet rope and into their bartender’s online lair. That’s where you can follow how-to instructions to concoct your favorite beverages with the help of Krysta, your quarantine kween. She livestreams her mixological mastery to make you feel right at home…in her home!
If you prefer your libations less liquid and more Mary Jane, groove on over to San Diego Recreational Cannabis (or SDRC if you’re cool like that). Their edibles, extracts, and CBD products are available for puff, puff, pickup! Order online and trip out on this: SDRC delivers locally to keep you anxiety-free during these uncertain times.
Reward those burgeoning munchies and get born again with Baby Cakes. Their sinful confections include signature flavors like Lemon Bavarian and Black Bottom (yum supreme). You will want to stay a while, but social distancing rules must be obeyed…much like your appetite. Fear not, because Baby Cakes offers their deliciousness to go-go!
Speaking of yum on the run, cozy up to the curbside cuisine of Zinqué. Their gastronomy wizards are conjuring up a new line of family-sized meals for pickup or delivery, so your palate needn’t pause. To wash down the wondrous Mediterranean flavors, splash in a half-priced bottle of Champagne or wine. Much like Celine Dion’s heart, the brunch will go on!
Now that you’re fueled up, it’s time to get in touch with yourself. Let’s face it: this quarantine has NOT put a damper on your libido. Who else is frisky AF, by a show of hands? If your hands are “otherwise occupied,” get ready to give them a rest – and please wash them thoroughly…for so many reasons. Pleasures & Treasures is penetrating the digital divide deep and wide by delivering adult toys directly to your front door (or backdoor, let’s be honest). Be single no more with sex accessories galore! Or treat your partner to the devilish sins of your flesh, with a refreshing boost courtesy of P&T.
It is natural to feel alone these days. We are inundated with misinformation, fear, and doubt. But your community is still vibrantly here and queer, lingering in the pixels that filter through your consciousness. Log on, tune in, and connect on a whole new level.