I’m Paul Soileau and I’m from Lake Charles, Louisiana. Lake Charles is a really small town. I was like 13 when I came out. I was in a Catholic school, and I found this boy in Catholic school who was 14 and you know, we figured we were good for each other, and all that. Once we discovered our love, if you will, then the next thing would be to find the place where you can celebrate that love – you know? So, there was only one gay bar in Lake Charles called Crystal’s, of course. Crystals was like downtown, and they only have a rear entrance in to the bar which was the ha-ha about it, you can only get in to it through the rear. The front is closed down. So we…when we were like 13 and 14 we would go and hang out in the Crystal’s parking lot, at night, really late and watch the guys come in and out and then we eventually established relationships with some really huge like small town queens. It was a hideout, because every one in town knew about Crystal’s but you didn’t talk about it. It was just there, you know…and like, most of the people that went there, they were…I don’t know, I don’t think they were out as they would be at the bar, you know? It was small town. Everyone always…when they were together, they were real strong. And when we were, we’d go to each others houses, and really be super duper gay and really listen to our Morrissey and our Cure and no one understood us and…You know, in school we had our girlfriends and we had our secrets, but…You know, I think it got really wild at the bar cause we could always go to the bars and its usually most guys first place to meet other guys. It took a long time you know. See if I was waiting tables I wouldn’t be gay at the table, you know what I mean? But that’s ridiculous cause I was out to my parents when I was thirteen, but I still kept it hidden, I still had that small town mentality even in New York, you know, when I was in my late 20’s. I’d go bartender or wait a table, and I would be what they wanted me to be. I’d never be what I was. And it follows you, for a long time. And you think you’re out of the closet. And you think you’re like….I have a boyfriend, so I’m out and all this. But until you really start, just delivering it, to the world. I mean like, here it is, you know? That didn’t happen until I left New York almost. Until I got be like 30 years old. That I really was like, hey, this is it. At work I’m just screaming “hey girl.” Its just everywhere and when you finally realize it doesn’t…no one gives a shit, you know? That’s what I mean, when I go to the bars now. I walk in to those bars as myself now. Instead of going in there to play a roll. It’s really enjoyable. I like throwing gay around, now. Its very fun. So, you know, its a good time.
I’m From Lake Charles, LA – Video Story.
by Paul Soileau