Lobsters and Drag Queens in Key West, FL.

Days of the ye olde past seem to light up my mind lately, and by “ye olde past” I mean 2009. It was the summer before my first year in college and my family and I all went to Key West, Florida.

Key West is a beach town. Tiny, and full of the most free spirited people I’ve been around. We stayed at the Parrot Key Hotel and Resort and even though the beaches down there are eroding we still had a view of the ocean.

So to get on with it, Key West was sweat-worthy. It seems like every post I type on here I always remember the weather the most.

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I went through a photography phase in 2009 and this is what it accumulated.

Okay, so to get really on with it I just want to mention Key West has a very colorful night life. Sure, there’s Ernest Hemingway’s house down the street, and Cuba is a hop, skip and jump away but there were drag queens everywhere. I don’t remember if it was like Cinderella and the clock struck midnight but the drag queens decided to greet us with open arms. Well, not really. I was with my family so we, of course, weren’t gonna go traipsing into some gay bar.

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View from the balcony. Rain in the background, on the peninsula.

We were on the look out for lobster. There was a lobster festival that ended the weekend we got there and figured we’d be able to find a ton of it leftover but with high hopes usually comes great disappointment and there was no lobster to be found except at Duffy’s Steak and Lobster House.

After an awakening experience (positive experience, might I add) with the lobster and a long, sweaty jaunt around the downtown area of the island we all decided to call it a day and head back to our euphoric air conditioned hotel rooms.

I don’t know what street we were on, or what the bar was called but we saw the drag queens. Beautiful men, with the best makeup I have ever seen, better than any application I could do. They hung out next to a door way with booming music and I just remember pink. My brother leaned over and said “It would be so funny to get Dad to take a picture with them.”

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One end to the other. 

I wanted to get my Dad to pose with them in a picture but being a shy 19 year old, I wasn’t going to ask. “Yes, excuse sir or madam, but would you please pose in a picture with my father? I’d be much obliged.” No way.

So, with lobster we found a hoot and a holler but being young doesn’t mean you have the guts and glory of someone who is flamboyant. It’s funny that I just really remember that one moment out of the entire vacation. Yes, there was the hobo sleeping on the beach next to us, and yes, the above ground tombs were very interesting but those drag queens just made the trip for me.

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