As the Kreme machine was long ago dubbed an honorary bull dyke by the J-unit, I'm ready to get down with the get-down. At least I can pass, being that my breasts are so large and my penis so, er, hard to find through the folds of flab. Moreover, I'd heard good things about the club from drag diva Barbra Seville ("Drag-Stars," July 29), who currently lights up Sunday nights at the E-Lounge with her new "She-Lounge" revue, being that her previous hang Wink's recently went south.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the E-Lounge is wall-to-wall with booful ladies and a smattering of crank-yankers (i.e., dudes) up at its bar, or down in its square, sunken dance-floor. It's a smaller, more intimate space than the Biz, with couches to the right of the pit and one lonely pool table over to the other side. More important, the dime-to-penny ratio happens to be running in the right direction when Jett and I stroll in 'round 11 p.m. There are strong contingents of ultra-femmy gals, career-a-holic "power lesbians," and doo-raggers, those ladies for whom the doo-rag is the ever au courant fashion accessory.
In the former category is the tall, pale-skinned Gabriele Enriquez, or Gabby for short, who, with her high-born Spanish features and raven tresses, could easily be a soap star in one of those Latin American telenovelas. We bump into the Mexican bombshell as she's taking a break from the dance floor, kicking it with a gal-pal at the bar. Gabby, 23, tells us she's an artist, but she's not making a living at it yet.
"I do monotype," explains this Salma Hayek of P-town in her alluring accent. "That means I draw on a clear piece of glass and then I put it to a print and transfer that image to a piece of paper. But monotype means 'one.' So there is one print only."
"What do you draw?" I ask.
"My soul," she answers breathlessly.
"Whoa, that's deep. Have you always wanted to be an artist?"
"No, no," says Gabby, waving a hand dramatically. "Before I was an artist, I was trapped in the position where I was going to be a psychologist or a teacher. But the books, the expression that they were going to allow me, was not enough."
"Do you show your art at any galleries here?"
"I show it in my living room," she replies. "Because you're going to enter my world. And before I enter your world, you're going to enter my world. . . . I use every color in the rainbow, baby. And more that I have invented."
"What do you like about the E-Lounge?" inquires Jett, getting into the act.
"The challenge," she says. "Because you have to remain a lady while being completely dominant."
"Do you prefer women or men or both?"
"I only do ladies," she says proudly. "What I look for in them is a reflection of what's right and wrong with me, so I learn more about me. I love to be sexual, and it might as well be in a different way. Because a woman who has slept with many men is a slut. But a woman who has slept with many women is a legend."
"Game recognize game, girl," cries Jett, high-fivin' her fellow connoisseur of trim.
While they're busy brushin' off each other's shoulders, ála the Jigga-man, I begin conversatin' with a playa of a different kind, Kathina from Colorado. Home-girl's rockin' a red doo-rag, wraparound sunglasses and a blue tee that says "Colorado is for hustlers." Kathina's a graphic artist by trade, and has been down in the Valley from her home of Colorado Springs for the past nine months. Seems P-town has treated her like the princess bride, and she's passin' out the props like a stagehand.
"You know what, Phoenix nightlife rocks," says Kathina. "The reason being that women here love themselves and they're not afraid of being themselves. I've kept a bachelorette persona while I've been here, and it's been great. Every woman I've broke bread with, so to speak, we've enjoyed each other's company. I'm going back home, and I want Phoenix to know that I have much respect."