In Tampa, Honky Tonks and ‘Homocon’

(Warren Rojas/CQRC)
(Warren Rojas/CQRC)
Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:03pm

TAMPA, Fla. – Following the first full day of the GOP convention, a marathon of arcane procedures and polished testimonials, conventioneers and other hangers-on abandoned moribund downtown Tampa, striking out in search of respite from all the campaign rhetoric.

Their therapy of choice: singing and dancing.

Rocking the Suburbs

Whereas the ratio of men-to-women at most of these convention shindigs has skewed terrifyingly toward total sausage-fest, there appeared to be a noticeably higher concentration of the fairer sex trolling the Dallas Bull on Tuesday night.

Wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that pop rock pretty boy Gavin DeGraw was there belting out his greatest hits.

The chart-topping crooner played a private concert on behalf of Musicians on Call, a music-related charity sponsored by the Recording Industry Association of America and, at least last night, CQ Roll Call.

The crowd was a mixed bag.

There were ladies in form-fitting gowns and pearls bopping alongside country gals in t-shirts and designer jeans. Younger dudes greedily guzzled ice-cold Coronas, while their suit-clad future selves sipped generic white wine from plastic cups.


DeGraw, for one, encouraged everyone to bend the elbow. “The more you drink, the better we sound,” the multi-talented singer joked.

Not that anyone needed much prodding.

Between the totally talked out political reporters and convention-weary Congressional staffers actively hiding from overzealous delegates, there was no shortage of takers on the open bar.

Going All Out


The thing about the inaugural “Homocon” reception was that it literally had something for everyone.

The host club, The Honey Pot, seeded its multiple stages with eye candy for all appetites.


Add in stiff drinks, pulsing techno remixes (So. Much. Carly Rae Jepsen.) sporadic showers of flittering, twinkling tinsel and the ability to smoke indoors, and you’ve got yourself a party where couples from across the sexual spectrum were aggressively bumping-and-grinding well into the wee hours of the morning.


Organizers said roughly 2,300 people had signed up to attend, but calculated that approximately half as many actually walked through the doors of the gay-friendly nightclub.

The brave souls who would talk to us had plenty to say about what America needs now.

One professional male listed Republican Reps. Aaron Schock (Ill.) and now-vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) as his “dream ticket”—though the subsequent description of their, um, positions and the constituent services desired quickly clued us in that his priorities might not match up with the rest of America.

An international tax lawyer shared dreams of one day working for the Joint Committee on Taxation. But in the meantime, he suggested he’d be happy to pounce on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s tax package.