Circuit events or “Prides” as it’s affectionately called in the black gay community, was something I avoided like the plague in the past. My perception of these events was that they were a ridiculous opportunity for individuals who led a vapid existence to have an excuse to have sex. Why did I need to book a flight to some exotic destination to frolic in the sand with Rashad from Bedstuy, when I could do that at home for free?
After years of living under the radar and the watching dating scene change from the phone chat lines, iconic night clubs, to social media and people posting their every move, I was persuaded to take a risk and try something different. Okay that last sentence was complete and utter BS, I booked my first circuit party based on the sexy model on the advertisement photo for the event. Whatever gets the passport stamped right?
“I ended up having the time of my life and became aware that there was an opportunity to connect with so many men, who like me, don’t always have the luxury of being who they truly are.”
If I were to think back to my financial struggle years during my twenties, I thought that vacations were for other people who could actually afford it. Even though my family took annual summer trips, my coming into adulthood with limited funds, meant vacation for me was an MTV Real World marathon, eating Papa John’s pizza, while chilling in my apartment with a half-assed air conditioning unit. There wasn’t a more rewarding moment than when I finally became a grown ass man who travels.
When the time came for me to attend my first international gay soiree, just as one would expect, the event did not disappoint. Now at this time, I want you to close your eyes. Okay are they closed? Whatever you think was happening at this event, HAPPENED. Whatever you think I did at this event allegedly HAPPENED! Now open your eyes and get your mind out of the gutter about what you think I did. I won’t be revealing any details (I was actually a good boy this time). I say all this to say that whatever visual you’ve just had, multiply that by a thousand. I can however say with confidence, you did not, and could not envision what I’m about to tell you that proved to be a game changer for me. It was truly an experience with a touch of Island life, sunshine and paradise in the Dominican Republic.
“At some point, it became abundantly clear that I was in an oasis of comfort and safety shielded from the harsh judgment and criticism of so many back home in the states.”
With the countless array of beautiful men in every variety of tank tops imaginable, I met some of the most amazing personalities on the planet. I ended up having the time of my life and became aware that there was an opportunity to connect with so many men, who like me, don’t always have the luxury of being who they truly are.
I was bombarded with a genuine sense of brotherhood as I heard the stories of complicated men living extraordinary lives. It was comforting to know that many of my struggles, pain, and joy were mirrored in the vivid stories we all exchanged while lazily sipping cocktails on Bavarro Beach. At some point, it became abundantly clear that I was in an oasis of comfort and safety, shielded from the harsh judgment and criticism of so many back home in the states.
There is sometimes a bit of hateration of those who attend circuit parties. Mainly because of sentiments I too once subscribed to that they were for people who couldn’t think of a better way to spend their hard earned cash. I eventually learned to apply a bit of critical thinking as it pertains why one would jet off to an all-gay party under the sun. Maybe it was for the hot men in skimpy bathing suits; mind blowing vacation sex, and unlimited alcohol with a chaser of bad decisions. It could also very well be a release of LIFE beating so many of us up, even when we are so desperately trying to play the game, stay hidden, and fit in. Maybe it’s just for a moment in time, when we, without fear, can just BE.
I was happy to be wrong and embrace Possibility while letting my guard down, and taking off the mask of whoever I needed to be at any given moment. I’ve learned that it’s ok to book a flight to anywhere and give yourself permission to try something different. Especially when the alternative is being miserable and judgmental with Rashad in Bedstuy for free.
When you’re ready for a vacation of like-minded souls who can leave the pressures of the world behind for a few days, take a look that the following six reasons why you need to book DRtakeover for your end of summer 1st class experience.
Six Reasons Why You Need To Book DRtakeover For Your End Of Summer 1st Class Experience:
1.Takeover Fever – Any regular attendee knows your takeover experience begins Memorial Day weekend. Why do you ask? It’s the time of year when it’s safe to say warm weather after a long winter is finally here to stay. It’s something about 80-degree weather in New York City that puts one in the mood for summer vacations on the beach. With all the events that take place during DRtakeover, it is never too early to begin shopping for swimsuits, resort wear, and accessories. For the regulars, the text messaging back and forth planning excursions start the bonding experience that will continue right up until the time your flight takes off.
- Get Ready All You Lonely Girls and Boys – Are you traveling alone? Have no fear; I promise you that you will leave with plenty of new friends, some of which can keep a secret. The level of positivity during this event is infectious. A word to the wise, you cannot walk past a takeover guest without speaking and not get the side eye. Use this time to let those walls down. You’re among family and friends so there is no need to be shy. After a few MamaJuana shots trust me, you won’t be.
- Networking opportunities – Yes you read that right! DRtakeover gathers men and women from all walks of life. Educators, Actors, teachers, personal trainers, attorneys, and entrepreneurs are all in attendance to take a break from the demands of their every day lives. If you’re not active on all of the event’s social media outlets, you’re already at a disadvantage. The people who participate on all of these pages could very well be your next client or mentor. What are you waiting for?
- The Events – I need everyone to read this carefully. When it comes to the takeover events, there is something you must do-PARTICIPATE. That means step outside your comfort zone and embrace all the fun activities planned by the management team. The scheduled soirées are in abundance and are always an opportunity to make incredible memories. Whether you’re dressed to kill for a theme party, or jamming to music past or present, you are in for a treat and a few surprises. Also there is no need to worry, discretion is always assured!
- DR Impact Initiative – Since its inception, the Takeover management team has coordinated efforts with generous participants, to give back to some very deserving young souls. School supplies have been donated and provided to a school within the local community. The beauty of this act of kindness is not just the supplies that gets distributed, but the bus ride with your fellow takeover attendees to see the beautiful smiling faces of the children in person. I dare you not to smile while watching this video. DRtakeover is making an impact on the planet and I encourage you to do the same. I promise you, you will not leave this experience uninspired.
- The Management Team and Resort Staff – DrTakeover does not just claim to be a 1st class experience, they actually mean it. If you’re a regular, you know how important you feel when someone of the management team already knows your name and greets you with a hug on the day of your arrival. The entertainers some of which includes the takeover models, are never too busy for a photograph and a little small talk. It will throw you off at first, especially if have reservations about people. I can however, assure you that their intentions are genuine. The staff at the all inclusive host resort Melia Caribe Tropical is nothing short of spectacular. I know by now you’ve noticed that I’ve used the word regulars a few times. That’s because the staff will remember you from year to year. It’s nothing to get a hug from your favorite butler, server, or bartender. The real shocker is that they will even remember your favorite cocktail.
Now that I’ve given you a little taste of what to expect, the rest is up to you to discover. I could tell you the story behind the creation of this event but no need to divulge that here. I have a better option for you, go to DRtakeover.com and book your stay. Once you’re on the resort, on about day two or three, while on the beach chatting it up with new friends having cocktails, ask a regular about that story. When you do, they’ll keep it brief because like the event itself, they have moved on.
DRtakeover has established itself as the premier, unofficial end of summer destination of choice for the LGBTQ community of color. To say that there is a certain swagger of this event is an understatement. The question now remains, what will be your takeover experience? #ruelonoutfront