Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Lords of Bakersfield
No harm, no foul. We returned home and all was well. Truth be told, the more we thought about it, the less we were worried about being robbed. This is Bakersfield, after all, and had we been robbed there was a better than even chance that they would've left the valuables and taken something stupid like the vacuum cleaner.
So, I spent sometime yesterday afternoon catching up on all the local news, or what passes for it here, and I stumbled upon the latest gay scandal.
Jeez.... there sure do seem to be a lot of them around here. Why, it seems like only yesterday the virulently anti-gay local GOP state senator was stopped for a DUI. Leaving a gay bar. With a male escort. Good times.
The latest is a city councilman from a neighboring town, fine upstanding member of the community and firefighter, who was caught schtupping 16 year old boys.
What caught my eye, reading the article, was one of the comments.
"...just like the Lords of Bakersfield..."
"The Lords of Bakersfield"?
Oh... I had to look that up. And all I can say is... yikes!
"The Lords of Bakersfield" is/was a secret society that's been the source of dark talk and whispers for generations. All the "important" people in town have always insisted it was nothing but a myth, but occasionally things would go awry and the truth would be briefly exposed, only to be swept back under the rug as quickly as possible.
"The Lords" were a group of many prominent men in town - judges, lawyers, city and county officials, the editor of the paper, police officials, pastors and scions of some of the wealthiest families.
And they were all gay!
And, obviously, closeted. And predatory.
Originally it was called the "White Orchid Society", which is about as gay as it gets. At some point someone wisely decided to butch it up and re-brand it "The Lords of Bakersfield".
It was a creepy secret association of closeted gay men who preyed on the young men of Bako or any hapless drifter who had the misfortune to pass through town. Whenever something got out of hand or a member of the group was in danger of being exposed, the other members would use their power and position to make the problem "go away". Evidently, in the 80's, that involved a couple of murders.
I wish I could say I was surprised, but Bakersfield is so repressed and wound tight that of course there was an underground gay cabal of powerful people fucking the teen boys. How could there not be? If you go on any of the gay chat sites, absolutely everyone is married and "on the down low".
It's always the most pious, anti-gay reactionaries who get caught soliciting in airport restrooms, offering teens to be a "sugar daddy for a night" or, shockingly, showing off the latest "Puerto Rican Diet".
I always had a gut feeling Bako had a sleazy, freaky underbelly. I also always felt there was something slightly sinister about this place. Seems I was right on both counts.