Forty Something Gay Pride Part Two
Forty-Something Gay Pride (Part Two) - Don't Get Me Started!
To say that I was shocked by the number of forty-something gays who wrote in after yesterday's blog would be an understatement. As I tell a lot of people, when you're writing a blog it's a pretty solitary thing so you never really know if people are reading or not unless they write in. So to those who wrote in, thank you for reading and writing to me. The common thread in the emails I received was that everyone seemed to be giving a collective sigh of relief that someone validated their right to stay home from Pride parades and not feel badly about it. After doing some more looking around the web to see what other people had to say about Pride week I felt validated about my feelings on the subject. Forty-something gay Pride (Part Two) - Don't Get Me Started!
I guess one of the bigger surprises from reading everyone's thoughts about Pride online are the people who feel as though we need to have a Pride month similar to Black History Month. Now this is really surprising to me when all over people are talking about how they can't get people to a parade for one day. Now you want to be Julie McCoy on the Love Boat and try to find a month full of activities? Are you crazy? What would those be like? Gay shuffle board (where you push cock rings down the Lido deck)? A Tennessee Williams play festival (where the entire audience is dressed like Blanche DuBois trying to depend on the kindness of strangers)? Sorry to say that I just can't imagine it. From being with a black man for almost nineteen years, I can tell you that Black History Month is basically an insult to that community. Until we get to the point where we can celebrate diversity 365 days a year, giving a specific group a month is like creating a Hallmark holiday - you buy the cards but you're not really sure why.
No, I don't think a month is the answer and let's face it, how many times can you cheer, "Two bits, four bits, suck dicks, a dollar!" at a parade? (Okay, I admit it, I never shouted that in my life nor have I heard anyone say it, it just came to me and I just thought it was funny) Here's my new thought, perhaps we need to do something that will appeal to the gays of a certain age while teaching the gays of tomorrow how "the movement" started? Before we forget the rest of the chant, "We're here, we're queer...um....what was that now....ah.....get used to it?" I'm suggesting we do historical reenactments, you know like they do of the Civil War battles? We can all stuff ourselves into 501 jeans put on big Village People cop mustaches and reenact the Stonewall riots. Next stop on the hysterical historical tour would be a dinner party in the Hamptons and then board "Spirit" airlines to fly to Vegas to finish the night at Studio 54, dancing to Donna Summer. Okay, having just read that last paragraph reminds me of the article I read in The Advocate about a Gay Spring Break that some company had created. It supposedly taught classes about gay history, financial planning and I guess the proper application of lube. It was supposed to be a chance for gay youth to not only have fun in the sun but also be accepted and learn. But to do that for your spring break? Come on, think college kids on mom and dad's dime...you tell me if gay or straight they're going to Florida beaches to learn or get laid?
Okay, so perhaps the Hysterical History tour is out but taking a tip from a Some Like It Scott pal, Grayson, I know what we can do that won't depend on getting a city permit, won't cost us millions of dollars and won't be in danger of becoming a Hallmark card...what if we all get off our gay asses and vote for candidates that don't have to be gay but at least appreciate our existence? Grayson wrote to me about his frustrations when trying to get some friends to vote recently in Dallas for a gay mayoral candidate. His pals gave all the clichés, "What will my one vote matter?" or "Rosie was on that day and my Tivo wasn't working." I'm not saying that just because someone is gay they are the perfect candidate (look at McCreepey, I mean, Mc Greevey from New Jersey - Read that blog here... Jim McGreevey Is A Little McCreepy For This Gay ) but we've got to start getting some representation (and I don't mean from The William Morris Agency - although if there's anyone from that agency reading who's interested in me, just know, I'm interested in you!). Perhaps the best thing we can do to show our Pride is to get some people in office who all ready get that we gays contribute a lot to society (all while being turned down to give blood, being told we can't be Boy Scout Leaders or serve openly in the military). I hate to say it, but it seems as if the only way to get some gays to vote is to tell them the polling booths are actually glory holes. Well whatever it takes but until we get out and vote in leaders who get it, we're doomed to stay in the shadows of society.
At the end of the day, I think the real reason that Pride seems to be wavering is that it was turned into a commercial holiday by some enterprising gays who made a lot of money off their fellow gays (selling rainbow suncatchers and t-shirts with double entendre sayings like, "Mac's Lube Shop"). But like Christmas, no one really remembers what it was supposed to be about anymore. And instead of a Jolly Old Saint Nick character all the Pride parades have are bad drag queens with armpit hair wearing a badly beaded dress. Let's face it, Pride has become the Lola character from the Manilow classic, "Copacabana" - "Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl. But that was thirty years ago, when they used to have a show. Now it's a disco, but not for Lola. Still in that dress she used to wear, faded feathers in her hair..." I think it's time to put Pride out of its misery or perhaps just create Pride The Next Generation.
We've had to reinvent ourselves before and we can do it again. The first thing is to start liking one another again, accepting each other and stop defining ourselves only by the images the media and advertisers show us. Remember when we took to the streets to educate our community about HIV before trying to make the ads look "hot" so that us gays would pay attention to them? Let's show our Pride by celebrating our history, each other and a direction for our future...of just being the gays next door with our 2.5 kids (or not), white picket fence (or not) and as we've always done, being the coolest people on the block to know. Forty-something gay Pride (Part Two) - Don't Get Me Started!
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- Some Like It Scott!
An acquired taste, like Tab cola, Some Like It Scott is one gay man's experiences with love, life and things that make him crazy, all done to a musical theatre soundtrack.
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