Gay and 21: A field guide to hatchlings

1. The Recently Turned 21 (RT-21 or Hatchling) intakes exorbitant amounts of alcohol. Upon turning 21, the hatchling does not know how to register the now-legal access to alcohol. Having been banned from it for so long, the hatchling feels as if a minute not drinking is a minute’s worth of alcohol that vanishes from earth forever. In an effort to save the alcohol akin to the way one would carefully use water so as not to waste, the hatchling drinks more than is necessary. When this happens, the hatchling may:

a. Drunk-dial,
b. Pass out,
c. Get violent verbally or physically, or
d. Find something or someone to fornicate with and regret the next morning. (Regret is not always the case; it is possible to fall in love.)

2. The hatchling feels that nothing else in the world matters. Like Rihanna, the hatchling wants to feel as if he’s the only girl in the world — especially if he’s a boy. That said, unless exceedingly shy, the hatchling will make an utter ass of himself in the bar. If it’s karaoke night, the hatchling will badly sing a song by Beyonce, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, or some other pop diva. If there’s a drag show, the hatchling will dance regardless of the fact that the queen is performing and likely get told off at some point in the night by said queen. Continuing in this vein, the hatchling will probably forget to tip the bartender after asking for extra alcohol in the drink and find himself on the bitter end of everyone’s temper.

3. The hatchling breaks every law put in place to ensure the safety of him/herself and those around him/her. Driving while extremely drunk; taking drugs that are at least dubious in nature and at most fatal; and picking fights with larger-than-you straight guys who might not actually be homophobic, just new to the gay scene — take your pick. These are some of the things that ensue when one suffers from 21ism.

4. The hatchling assumes that they are entitled to more dance floor space than anyone in the vicinity. Arms waving wildly, and stepping on toes, the hatchling is a force to be reckoned with. While most people are allotted five square feet of personal dance space on a crowded night in the club (drag queens being the exception, should they choose to dance, and being allotted seven to ten feet for the safety of others more than their own), the hatchling demands more than is warranted. The hatchling will vogue, the hatchling will jump, the hatchling will demand that nobody get too close because he/she is trained in a style of dance that will probably kill you.

5. The hatchling demands respect. Even though the hatchling will not respect you, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your dignity, and will probably say something that borderlines cruel-not-witty, he or she will demand that you address him or her as “your royal highness of incredible sexy might and valor.” Any slight will have you tried before the high jury of the little people inside his or her head and beheaded.

Further research is necessary to understand better how 21ism manifests itself in heterosexual hatchlings, and the prolonged effects the condition has on the body if not treated by a dose of “get over yourself” or, in the most extreme cases, a kicked ass.

While these observations were conducted in the field and do not claim to be necessarily objective, the researcher holds them to be true and duly applicable to some, though not all, newly legal individuals.

It is the researcher’s greatest wish that you, the reader, understand this piece as satire and not as something worthy of defriending him on Facebook or unsubscribing to his Youtube channel.

Keep in mind that the reader himself is an RT-21/Hatchling. He has, for the most part, managed to keep himself grounded with general dorkery and watching inane amounts of Animal Planet. Results may vary.


Editor’s note: Sage Nenyue is joining the GA Voice as our editorial intern for the summer; an ongoing online column will be one of his projects. You can reach him at