Silver Surfer

comment
Release Date: 2009-08-05

The Silver Dollar Saloon has always maintained a loyal following of gay cowboys, line-dancing lesbians, off-duty drag queens, and admirers of any and/or all of the above. Decidedly unfancy, the SD has always been the best gay bar to go “slumming” in. In other words, a bad-hair day in yesterday’s clothes has never been an issue here.

I decided to do my sneak attack on what I thought would be an “off night” to see if the SD had successfully moved the warm and fuzzy gay dive bar into a nightclub setting.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the SD is still free on most nights (Sunday-Thursday), and that they still check everyone’s ID (which always feels good once you’re of a certain age). And as it was in its original incarnation, the SD is still, thank God, a sea of crisp black cowboy hats, starched shirts, boots, beer, and same-sex couples two-stepping to Tejano music.

Just as I was breathing a sigh of relief over the sameness of things, I spotted two peacock-ish characters entering the club — a multicolored explosion that defied gender, race, and logic. When I approached these exotic creatures, appropriately named Shokkiku and Toxxic, they were busy reminding the doorman of their dire need for black lights to bask in. I asked if I could take their picture and they began shrieking in an indecipherable language and voguing like the Paris and Nicole of an alien planet. Shokkiku bought us a round of drinks at the main bar. “Wait, wait! We have to suffocate!” she squealed. A little nervous, I waited while s/he fished a pink aerosol can out of her giant ghetto-blaster-shaped purse and “suffocated” us with a giant cloud of scented gas. “Cheers!” We clinked our glasses and I felt like I had just been initiated into Strawberry Shortcake’s LSD support group.

I left the bar completely flabbergasted by what I had just witnessed. The place had managed to keep the original plot in sight and attract a new cast of characters that don’t exactly fit in elsewhere. In my car, I took a deep breath and nearly gagged — I smelled like a cupcake that had spent the night in an ashtray. That’s when I decided to have my next drink in the bathtub.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.