Recently, in an attempt to dope myself up a little out of the stress-haze of finals, I rewatched the holiday movie Happiest Season. For those unfamiliar with the movie, it’s the white femme lesbian representation we’ve all been so desperately needing in order to fully appreciate the diversity of the queer community around the holidays. I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s not a particularly ingenious plot: Lesbian Kristen Stewart (the slightly less femme one) is an orphan, goes home for Christmas with closeted Lesbian Mackenzie Davis (playing such a straight-looking lesbian it will honestly turn you off at times), Dan Levy plays his gay self and is funny in some scenes, and we are all really just watching it because we’re a slut for Aubrey Plaza (and I swear to God don’t even try to deny it).
This is all holiday cheery and queery until one particular scene. Lesbian Mackenzie Davis obviously lives in a very small town that is backwards in every way except now there are token non-white characters that are allowed to play supporting roles, but despite the overt tinyness and backwardsness, when Lesbian Kristen Stewart tells Queen Step On My Throat Please Aubrey Plaza that she needs a drink, where do they go? A DRAG BAR. Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Let me tell all of y’all city slickers out there that us queers that suffered through 18 years of insufferable straightness in bumfucknowhere upstate New York or wherever, there is absolutely no chance in Hell that that small town has a gay bar. There is actually probably only one bar in the entire town and it’s where your sixth grade science teacher and tenth grade AP Euro teacher regularly go to get shitfaced.
If any real life gay person were to return to their small town for the holidays and try to go out to the town, this is probably what would happen:
It’s New Year’s Eve. You go to the one restaurant/bar in town that is open past six pm because the singular band that your town has will be playing. Everyone who wants to be out on New Year’s Eve (approximately 50 of the 2,000 residents of said small town) are at this concert. You go with a few friends (term used loosely to apply to high school acquaintances) and also your ex-girlfriend from high school (covert relationship because you didn’t want to get hate crimed). You are a little drunk. You dance slightly provocatively with your ex-girlfriend because hey, it’s New Year’s, and we will all make better choices tomorrow. You are dancing in front of your friends and also at least one preschool teacher and also a colleague of your grandpa’s and also two mothers of ex-boyfriends from the Denial Period of your gayness. They are all kind of gawking because Lesbians do not exist there. A worldwide pandemic hits about two months after that and you actually never have to see anyone again, so it doesn’t matter, but the point is, THERE WAS NOT A DRAG BAR.