Adding to the local mix | Wally’s World

Well, if you’ve seen him in one of his more outrageous moods and costumes, you’ve probably wondered what such a creature is all about. The first time I saw him, poised at the Ski Inn bar with fiery orange hair, a streak of rouge on each cheek and a stud through his nose – looking as if he’d just descended to Earth from the rings of Saturn – I wondered what someone like that was doing in Enumclaw.

In a flashback I thought I remembered him in New York’s CBGB club during the height of the punk phenomenon in 1978 but, of course, he’s far too young to have experienced that scene.

Yet, alien as he appears, he’s still quite attractive and appealing with a warm, happy and inviting smile. Among those who haunt the local gin mills, I’ve noticed he has a lot of casual acquaintances and several close friends, young and old alike. Still, even among his intimate friends, I hasten to add, none of them look nearly as colorful and striking as he does.

He isn’t always as unorthodox as I’ve described. I presume his appearance changes with his mood on any particular evening and he occasionally looks much more conservative. Nevertheless, the guy obviously marches to a different drum and, that being the case – since this wayward writer is always attracted to those who are a bit different, like poets, wizards, artists, and drunks – he qualifies for his own column.

His name is Chance and that’s as unusual as everything else about him. One evening a couple weeks ago, I sat down with him a quiet corner of the Ski Inn, his favorite watering hole.

He said he had always preferred Barbie dolls to Transformers when he was a little boy and, by the time he reached puberty, his sexual orientation had become obvious. He wasn’t ambisexual or asexual or transexual or heterosexual or bisexual. Nope, none of those. He was just flat-out gay.

As you’d surely expect, this led to some difficult times with his middle school and high school peers. He was ostracized. There were fights. On more than one occasion, the other kids actually threw food at him. Nevertheless, Chance fully grasped his sexual persuasion and wasn’t about to deny it or attempt to hide it behind a false persona.

Upon graduation, he spent a year at the Gene Juarez Academy at Federal Way. That was a pretty expensive endeavor, but he thoroughly enjoyed the subject and had a natural talent for the field.     Today, he works as hair stylist in a local HairMaster salon, where many ladies have learned to trust his advice and skills.

Chance has spent time in the Seattle gay culture and, though there are some attractive aspects in that scene, he prefers the more laid-back atmosphere of Enumclaw with his family and friends. Generally speaking, he doesn’t care for gay bars. They can get a bit too base and vulgar.

There is, of course, an Enumclaw gay scene, but it’s still rather underground and shadowy. However, I’ve noticed that local, gay individuals, exclusive of any actual culture, have become more conspicuous and open. That’s a wonderful change that occurs in most small towns when they grow into suburban cities.