No, not those Giants! Last night, a club for New York’s tallest men convened in Hell’s Kitchen for drinks, conversation, and (sorry, ladies) a lineup of dancing, muscled cowboys at Flaming Saddles, the Western-themed gay bar co-owned by Jacqui Squatriglia, the famed choreographer of Coyote Ugly.
The group, Tall Gay Agenda, is a coterie of gay men from assorted backgrounds, united by their lofty stature. “6’2 and up,” is the general rule of admission, with a range that extends to over 7′.
Membership is obtained through word of mouth, or tall applicants can apply to the group’s Facebook page for updates on the next meeting’s location, which is apt to change.
And while fans of tall men are always welcome, the shorter set seemed a little ill at ease last night among the towering group. “I should have worn my heels, I feel like I’m lost in a forest,” one petite guest quipped, jumping up and down to attract attention.
Founded by Justin Ocean, Evan Hoyt Thompson and his husband Addison Smith, TGA was born out of a casual joke among tall friends. In an interviewwith NEXT Magazine, Mr. Thompson states:
“A few years ago, we went to this party that [Magnetic Fields frontman] Stephin Merritt was having in the East Village for short guys and their admirers called Runt,” Thompson told us. “We met Stephin and joked with him about how fun it would be to be in a room with everyone the same height.”
And a movement was born. Although it was a Monday night, Flaming Saddles was packed with, overall, the kind of guys you’d bring home to mama. Tall, attractive, fit, and educated, the men drank beer and cocktails, debating topics like the Republican primaries and the last Harvard-Yale tailgate. And although the crowd tended toward the white-collar, there were enough creative types like actors, photographers, poets, and opera singers to provide conversational diversity.
While flirtation was certainly an element, many guests claimed to be attracted to TGA by a feeling of tall fraternity. “Never has 6’3″ felt this small,” one member glowed after the night was over, and friends agreed, commenting on how refreshing it was to look others in the eye–or look up–for a change.
Many also bonded over the shared travails that come with living at a higher elevation. Common complaints included airline legroom (it’s discriminatory against the tall!), back pain (gravity!), and shorter life expectancy. But in particular, members commiserated over the gawking they often receive among those of average heights.
“I hate it when people ask if we play basketball,”said one tall, suited, professional, as he checked his blackberry. “I’m a lawyer, I haven’t played basketball since high school.”
“Yeah,” responded one giraffe-hatted young man, laughing. “And the weather up here is just fine.”
Left: Co-founder Evan Hoyt Thompson, Photo via | Right: Daniel Reynolds, Dennis Kwan, Will Sheridan, Evan Hoyt Thompson
By Daniel Reynolds