A Gay Old Time: Hexe's Exclusive Interview with Strider
The date was October 4, 2002. I was already ten minutes late to meet Strider at Salt Lake City's most exclusive gay night club, The Leather Lair, as I squeezed into my black leather pants and a white t-shirt. I knew I'd be the only lesbian in the joint, so I wanted to blend in as much as my XX chromosomes would allow me.
Fifteen minutes later I was stumbling out of a cab, and managed to make my way inside. I pushed through the hoards of men in various leather apparel searching for the bar as "YMCA" pumped through the club's sound system. At the back of the bar sat a man bearing a remarkable resemblance to a J.R.R. Tolkien character, complete with a leather pelt, sipping a strawberry daiquiri. "You must be Strider," I shouted, while trying to flag down the bartender.
He nodded, smirking.
"So what does a girl have to do to get a drink around here? I'm thirsty." With a quick flash of Strider's grin, the bartender was at our end of the bar handing me a glass of their finest single-malt. Baffled, I took the drink, and turned to Strider. "Are you ready to get this thing out of the way?"
Again he nodded. I was beginning to wonder if the man could speak, or if he even needed to.
So how did you find our little playground? When did you arrive?
I originally saw SB as a Yahoo search result. But it wasn't until months
later that I even went to the site for the first time. After all, the name
of the site is SurvivorBlows, and I was totally in love with Survivor, so
why would I want to rush over here? I started reading posts everyday
sometime during S3, but I didn't post myself until S4. Even then, my first
20 posts were just on vote threads. I was inspired to make my first real
post on a purple rock rant thread.
And now, if my memory serves correctly, you're an honorary basher babe! You've come a long way from those early days. What's your favorite forum on SB now?
Gotta be the OT. What a great bunch of people y'all are. I'd have to go with
the TAR bashers forum next. I love making fun of TAR. I especially love
reminding Femme that a Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its
own pros and cons.
You know, I'm so glad you mentioned that—I always get those confused with Road Blocks. Well, moving along, where does the name Strider come from?
Strider is one of the aliases of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings series. He's just so swarthy and manly.
Are you saying you're swarthy and manly?
Manly, yes. I'm way too white to be swarthy, though.
Okay, I'll give you that. Maybe you should think about spending a little more time outside—a little Vitamin D might do you some good. So aside from going to leather bars what do you do when you're not on the boards?
Of course there's the whole work thing, but when I'm home and not on my
computer I'm putzing around in the garden, remodeling some section of the
house, or making furniture. I also make my own wine in the basement, which,
surprise, is legal in the state of Utah.
Ooohhh, wiiinnne. Oh, sorry. Ahem. Um, so you work? What kind of work does
a queer, wine-making, turtle-owning Utah resident typically do? Can I assume
it's one of those freakish, respectable jobs, or perhaps something swarthy
You make the call, Ms. Sarcastica. I teach just about any subject you can think of for a technical college. Mostly math courses like algebra, trig, and calculus, but also sometimes statistics, economics, MSOffice, and of all things, English. You gotta wonder what kinda education students think they're getting when their math teacher one quarter is their English teacher the next.
Wow, so I guess the majority of college instructors are gay after all! (Ms. Sarcastica, pfft!) All right, to prove both your mathematical and English skills, I have a word problem for you:
If Survivor 6 is 25% worse than Survivor 5 and 73.24 % better than
Survivor 3, what is its potential for Bashing material in comparison to all
four prior Survivors?
Uh, square root of pi?
Can you tell I know nothing about math?
You and three-quarters of my first semester algebra students. I'll be
expecting you in class Wednesdays at 8 a.m. sharp.
I'll be there with bells on. You mentioned in a thread some time ago that you're obsessed with game shows. Where did this obsession come from? What are your favorite current and past
When I was a kid I used be home alone for a couple hours after school, and
game shows were the only thing on TV in the middle of the afternoon besides
soap operas. Since the advent of the Game Show Network, I have fallen in
love with the first game shows from the 50's and 60's, such as What's My
Line, To Tell the Truth, and the original versions of The Price is Right and
Password. I am fascinated by being able to see television personalities and
real people from those decades. I'm also a big 70's Match Game fan. My
favorites of the 80's are $100,000 Pyramid and Press Your Luck. I hardly
ever watch current game shows, because none of them compare to the classics.
Unless, of course, you consider Survivor and TAR to be game shows.
Wow, you're full of surprises!
I've gathered that you may have a few pets, and since I love animals too, I have to know, just how many pets do you have, and are they all nameless but for your
turtle, "Webby"? Is this a problem you have--not naming things? Does your
car also not have a name? What about your partner?
It's been a while since I counted. Let's see, I have 3 dogs, 32 assorted
fish, 5 large koi, 31 pigeons, 3 canaries, and 1 turtle. So, 75 pets. And 1
boyfriend, who is responsible for bringing home about 70 of those pets. He
has a tendency to bring home animals without consulting...uh, hold on a sec.
Strider's cell phone plays "We Are Family." I laugh, as he answers the call.
Hello?... Great, what is it now?... And where are you going to keep it?...
Wonderful, we'll talk later.
Add 1 red-bellied parrot. Apparently, it is "so cute."
You know, you've got to be careful about that. I can't tell you how many "so cute" animals have nearly entered our family—a wolf, a chicken, a German duck—you've got to learn to keep a tighter reign on that man of yours. If you'd like, I can give you some pointers.
Strider grins, then quickly changes the subject.
Anyway, until recently, only the dogs and the boyfriend had "official"
names. Then we had a contest in OT to name the turtle, who is now called
Webby. A lot of the other animals we refer to by color. There's a yellow
albino catfish we call Yellow, a red pigeon we call Red, and, well, you get
the picture. And my car does in fact have a name: Dope Taupe.
So you named your car "Dope Taupe," but you stuck with regular ole hetero
colors for the catfish and pigeon? Shouldn't they have been something like
"Custard" and "Vermillion"?
Now that you mention it, wouldn't "Persimmon" make a great name for a
Umm…as a matter of fact, I always thought so. So, how long have you and your partner been together?
Three-and-a-half years. That's 14 in gay years.
Gosh, you know I never could figure out that new chart in this year's gay handbook. Only six more months and you'll be getting your official wall plaque! Anyway, I want to hear more about your guy. What is the best thing about him?
He's made my life so much more than I imagined it could be. Without him I
wouldn't own a house, or have birds or fish or turtles, or a wonderful
garden. I would have no appreciation for art or music, and I wouldn't have
taken up any new hobbies. And of course I'd have nobody to share all these
Okay, no sarcasm here: that's really beautiful. But is there anything he does that drives you absolutely batty?
Besides constantly bring home animals, you mean? When he's done using
something, he leaves it wherever he happens to be. He never puts anything
back where it belongs! And I am certainly not a clean freak.
Right. And I don't like power tools. Are you going to tell you me you also
don't like Judy Garland?
I don't like Judy Garland. Or Martha Stewart. Or Barbara Streisand. I've
never been a hair stylist, a decorator, a flight attendant, an artist, a
nurse, a florist, or a Laura Ashley salesperson. I think musicals are
boring. I don't stick out my pinky when I'm holding things. I'm pretty sure
the only reason I'm allowed in gay society is my tendency to be overly
dramatic. Oh, and I dress well. And I have a good eye for color. And I love
Cher. And come to think of it, The Sound of Music is super. And I buy
candles all the time. And... um... I thought I was making a point but I
forgot what it was.
I'm going to let you off easy with that one, but you still don't have me convinced. That aside, do you two have any plans to add little striders and Mr. striders to the family, or like me and Scribe, will you devote your all of your time, attention, paternal instincts, and paychecks to your veritable herd of non-human children instead?
I think another Mr. Strider would be a blast, but my current Mr. Strider has
this whole magon... monam... gomon... uh, what's the word I'm looking for?
Ummm…do you mean mahogany? mononucleosis? mongoose? Oh never mind. I really don't know what you're talking about.
As to little Striders, we haven't ruled out the idea, but we'd have to move
out of Utah first. For now, whenever people tell me stories about their
kids, it reminds me of things my dogs have done.
Oh you're in good company there. I can't tell you how many times I've compared friends' kids to my cats. They lack the sense of humor I have about it, though.
Okay, now for three very revealing questions of a highly philosophical nature:
If you were stranded on a deserted island, which five things would you want
to take from your world now?
I don't suppose this deserted island has electricity, cellular service, or
an Internet connection? I'd want my bed, a tent, a lighter, a pan, and a
SuperPole. I'm so damn practical.
If you woke up suddenly because your house was on fire, which three things
would you save as you ran outside?
I'll assume that the dogs and hubby would run out on their own. I'd take a
bucket of water with Webby and as many fish as I could scoop up, the bird
cages, and the hard drive from my computer. Everything else can be replaced.
Umm..I know I’m just and English teacher, but wouldn't that be more than three? I'll let it slide for now.
Moving along, if you could choose one of the following men to date, whom would it be and
a) Richard Dawson
b) Alex Trebec
c) Jeff Probst
That would have to be Jiffy, even though his cuteness is quickly becoming
overshadowed by his bitchiness. Richard Dawson is too old and obviously into
women, and Alex does nothing for me. Curly hair is one of my turn-offs.
And finally, one more for good measure, just because I want to compare
notes: How strong is your gaydar? Does it often go off here at SB?
My gaydar is legendary and dead on. Unfortunately, it's mostly a visual thing, so all you in-the-closet SB'ers are safe for now. That notwithstanding, there are a number of posters who I know aren't gay, but wish they were. You can only make so many homoerotic references before
people start to wonder. You know who you are.
**Note to self: no more homoerotic references. Strider will tell everyone I’m gay.
Well Strider, it's been fabulous getting to know you. Now I’m going to get the hell outta here before any more questions about my orientation begin to surface. Thanks for the drink!
Pushing back through the pack of sweaty, leathery men, I found my way to the door, hailed a cab, and went back to my hotel room.
"If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." -Rita Mae Brown