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Old Dr. Homo

It was the spring of 2005. I was managing Buddys, a gay bar here in Edmonton. A new crop of little gaybies was starting to frequent the bar, and because they saw me there 4-5 nights a week, we became part of each other’s lives. They were 18, 19, 20, ish, and I was there at the ripe old age of 28, wise in the ways of the gay world, the all knowing omnipresent when it came to their baby gay dramas. They came to me with questions about work and school and, of course, sex and dating and love. I don’t know why; maybe it looked like I had the answers, with the boyfriend and the great job and the endless party I was living.

They began to call me Old Dr. Homo.

That was eighteen years ago now. There are now gaybies going to EVO that were not even born when I was servings shots and solutions. I am now much older than 28, with 18 more years of gay life experience to impart, including anecdotal evidence of the damage of addiction, the power of recovery, and of course, more on sex and dating and love.

This weekend, I was offering some semi-unsolicited advice to some of this newest generation of Edmonton gays, and I realized how much life has been crammed into those 18 years. I wonder if I still look like I have the answers, what with the profound lack of boyfriend, but still the great job and the endless party I live.

Edmonton gay life in 2005 was very different than Edmonton queer life in 2023, but some things do remain the same. We make bad choices. We all need help sometimes. We all want connection. And we all do crave some greater purpose.

That message in my DMs where someone looks to me for some guidance or support, or just an ear? That’s the greater purpose I’ve been honored to find, 18 years and counting.

To Scotty, Josh, Mykee, and Lizzie – the Dr. Homo patients of 2005 <3

Rob Browatzke

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