Tag Archives: Pride

Pride Thought 2015: Your Brick and Mortar Pride

Photo by Stonewall Columbus
Photo by Stonewall Columbus

The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

–Justice Clarence Thomas (Yeah, I just quoted the second biggest judicial prick on the planet, and I realize that the above was surrounded by thought turds of the highest order. Please bear with me.)

STONEWALL NYC

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Copyright: ME

Yesterday as soon as the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges came down, my Facebook feed exploded into rainbows. Friends –the gay ones, the straight ones, and the ones whose whatever they do is none of my business –were busy expressing their approval. Rainbow filters got a work out, from profile pics to some idiot who decided the American Gladiators needed gayulating. As ton of my FB friends are gay guys who live in NYC, by far the most common setting for pictures was the street and park in front of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in the West Village.

But for all the pictures with the bar’s facade in the background, not a single one was taken on the inside.

Zero.

Earlier this week the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission declared the building that houses the Stonewall Inn an OFFICIAL LANDMARK™. Apparently, this is the first building to be designated as such for its role in the struggle for LGBT rights, even though I’m told Fraunces Tavern regularly featured men in wigs and made a killer appletini back in day. If you are reading this, and you are not aware of the significance of the Stonewall Inn, stop right now and look it up.

It is incredibly heartening that Stonewall Inn is being recognized for its importance. Civil rights never move forward in a slow, steady fashion. There are flashpoints, and these physical flashpoints need to be preserved. Tearing down the Stonewall building and putting up condos called The Lofts at Stonewall would, for me, be the equivalent of tearing down the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma and putting up Marty K’s Alabama River ZipLine Adventure in its place.

People need a physical place to rally and remember.

But don’t believe anyone who tells you that the bar called “Stonewall Inn” that has nested inside the building that held the bar involved with the Stonewall uprising has anything to do with pride. It may be a big part of PRIDE, but there is little pride inside. I do not hesitate to say that it is probably the shittiest gay bar in NYC. It’s cramped inside. Continue reading Pride Thought 2015: Your Brick and Mortar Pride

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Photo 101, Day Ten: Mystery & Lighting Effects

Last night I attended my first Pride event in Columbus. Last time I lived in Columbus, I was a frightened high school kid who couldn’t even possibly imagine that someday he would be walking around being gay, gay, gay without threat of being shoved in locker.

I happened to attend the Pride Festival in Goodale Park at Magic Hour. Unfortunately I didn’t have my new Sony A5000 because I thought I’d be going to the bar afterwards. So, all of these pics are taken with my iPhone 6 (a little to a lot of tweaking afterwards on some)…

March

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…in which the author attempts to figure out where he fits on the spectrum, er, rainbow.

New York City

I insist that I had an awful Pride Parade that year. Sure, we were all supposed to be happy about the Supreme Court striking down DOMA. But the ruling came down in the middle of the week. That Wednesday afternoon, I had a Stoli Oranj and soda at Stonewall on Christopher Street and then a burger and another Stoli at Julius, a gay bar even older than Stonewall. Got my gay history on. But by the time the Parade rolled around on Sunday, it seemed all the DOMA decision meant was that “couples” –the kind that always have to remind you that they’re a “couple” –could make out with a leaning impunity, slurring things like “Our love is legal.” Because before Wednesday, the feelings you felt for this person were subject to a $50 fine and a summons. I, in turn, made plans to die alone in a bizarre DVR mishap.

Not everything was bad. I did get to boo at that mayoral candidate I disliked as she rode by looking like Cleopatra on her way to open a PathMark in Luxor. And I got to boo at that other mayoral candidate for his inability to take a decent junk shot. But after a while, it just felt like I was being pandered to by politicians and corporate outreach programs.

And the centerpiece of the Chipotle float was a skinny twink in a cowboy outfit riding a bucking foil-wrapped burrito. That appealed to many of my baser instincts involving jack cheese and bucking. But on every other float, the standard issue twink was provided with a whistle with which he could toot along to the Katy Perry vibrating out of rental loudspeakers.

And, it’s always nice hanging with friends at the Parade. My friends and I have a great place that’s not jammed up against a building, goes into the shade early, and is only a block from Julius where it only costs you the price of drink to use the bathroom. But one of the things about hanging with people is punctuality. People all need to be at the same place at the same time in order to hang. Texting does not count. Two friends, a “couple” crashing their way quickly from casual acquaintances towards being blocked on Facebook were over two hours late because of “train problems.” We all have “train problems,” but when I have “train problems,” I don’t answer a “getting close?” text with “stoped 2 get a beer.” No, you better show up winded and apologizing profusely for ruining the gay.

When a drunk Lesbian-of-a-Certain-Age tried to choke me with my Pride beads, I decided it was time to go.

Budapest

But at least I got to actually watch the parade, which is a far cry from what was afforded me when I showed up in Budapest in September 2009 on their equivalent of Pride. In NYC, we like say our parade is a “march,” with all the attendant meaning that goes with that word, but twink riding burrito. In Budapest, it’s so much a “march” that they don’t call it a “march” –it’s the 14th Gay Dignity Procession! Two years earlier, in 2007, far-right unfortunates attacked the 12th Gay Dignity Procession. Police then tried to cancel the 13th Gay Dignity Parade in 2008, citing “traffic.” The gays sued. They marched. Far-right unfortunates attacked the 13th Gay Dignity Procession. So for the 14th Gay Dignity Procession, the police came up with the perfect plan….

Berlin

Now you need to understand at this point that I prefer to travel alone. Continue reading March

Your contempt for me rings a bell

[Two years ago, I devoted a Tumblr called $1.98 Advent Calendar from the C-Town to the cause of taking the Baby Jesus on adventures thru the City… plus what was going on back at the mangerplus what candy I got that day… You should check it out.  In addition to these regular features, which will remain there, I am moving a few longer essays over to this site for safe-keeping. This essay was updated and polished somewhat in the process.]

Stop doing that sin thing you're doing! It's icky!
Stop doing that sin thing you’re doing! It’s icky!

For the most part, I love living across from a fine grocery store like Steve’s C-Town.  I can get inexpensive Diet Coke seventeen hours a day, and the cat loves watching the delivery trucks every morning.  But, during Christmas season, the C-Town becomes a focus of holiday tsuris.  If I turn off my music, and there’s no B61 laboring to get up the hill on 9th Street, I can hear it —the faint sound of the Salvation Army bell ringer.

Now this sound doesn’t rate as a noise.  It’s not waking me up, unlike the Lesbians in the Ceiling clomping around in their kitchen, which for some reason is over my bed. These women, upon returning home, must unscrew their normal legs and screwing on peglegs.  It’s also not subjecting me to intimate details of its life, unlike the receptionist from the dental clinic next door who sits on the stoop under my living room window, smoking and gabbing.  No, this sound doesn’t make me mad.

It makes me unbelievably sad.

It didn’t always used to be this way.  The Salvation Army bell ringer was always one of the first harbingers of Christmas back in the days when Christmas began when it should, not as part of a back-to-school sale.  Dropping my change in that bucket always filled me with pride, like I was part of something bigger.

Then a few years ago I was entering Grand Central Station to catch a train to Katonah, and I put a dollar in the kettle.  I halted; I was filled with something other than holiday spirit, something bigger that I wanted to be a part of. I doubled back —this bell ringer was HOT! Imagine a beefier Ben Affleck with an “Argo” beard and in a ridiculously retro, perfectly tailored uniform.  The Salvation Army got another $10.  I chuckled to myself at my shallowness and felt that this would be a cute little anecdote to share on the Facebook. Continue reading Your contempt for me rings a bell

Pride Thought #1: Puppy play, or I finally identify with someone’s fetish…

After every Pride Fortnight, I spend a good chunk of the next week trying to figure out what it all meant.

Folsom Sunday, approx. 2pm

pridedogAs it is with any event where the gays can drink outside, the Folsom East Street Festival was harness to jock with folks celebrating their hard-won individuality in this particular area of their lives. I am somewhat of an outsider here. I have never been one for wearing clothes during sex. I figure I so rarely get to touch another human being, it seems a shame to place a complicated system of buckles and pulleys, zippers and roleplay between me and whatever poor sap I’ve driven to ecstasy with my stammering. And don’t get me started on the notion of constraint; as soon as someone comes up with a fetish involving loose caftans, I’m there. Until then, I need room to twirl. Continue reading Pride Thought #1: Puppy play, or I finally identify with someone’s fetish…

Finally got something published not by me… Round-Up Zine Pride Issue

“The Round Up Writer’s Zine is a fresh space devoted to trangressive pieces, dark humor and works laced in sarcasm. In fact we are partisan to works that are edgy and/or possibly offensive.” –from their submission rules.

http://www.roundupzine.com/

cover_v_1_3.5RSMy story “March” can be found on page four of this odd .pdf format they’ve got.  If you enjoy it, share, like, shout it from the mansards!

Happy Pride.