Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mr. Cranky Pants goes to Pride

The face of Gay Pride today

Heterosexual Teenyboppers reign over Pride -step aside Drag Queens

I'll just have a snack
As the end of June arrives, a proliferation of Rainbow flags start coming up on Market Street here in San Francisco.  Gay Pride had arrived in Bagdad by the Bay. Since 1969 in a bar in New York called Stonewall, when a scrappy bunch of Drag queens and hustlers and a handful of everyday queens told the NYPD to fuck off and stop raiding our bars, we celebrate our Gay Pride on the last weekend in June in various places all across the US and beyond. Since San Francisco is the Mecca we definitely have a standard to uphold. We do Pride up real big. I have done everything that one CAN do for Pride. I have marched, sang, waved from cars and floats, danced, volunteered, poured drinks, drank drinks,  sported rainbow wear, performed and attended just about every event there is. Pride (as the weekend is called now), can be ALOT of fun.

 My boyfriend, Orlando, lives in an area of California that can barely support the business of one Gay bar. There will be no Gay Pride parade in Redding Ca...ever.  I, on the other hand live in this section of the state where everything is Gay 24/7. He accuses me of living in a bubble. Perhaps he is right, and maybe I do take my life here in San Francisco for granted. I can assure you that the preservation techniques that I learned growing up in Vermont are very well intact. It’s doesn’t ring true to me to say I was in the closet, when it seemed everyone around me knew about my sexual orientation before I was really knew myself. I got tired of hearing people say, “ I know.” when I screwed up the courage to say I was Gay. I am cautious or chicken shit depending on my geography. If I take a trip to Millbrae I am unlikely to hold my boyfriend’s hand as we stroll through the nearby Target. Yet despite my internalized homophobia kicking in when I am in a rural place, I informed Orlando that it would be fine if he wanted me to come up to Redding that weekend instead of him driving down to see me. I am a tad burnt out on San Francisco Pride and was perfectly fine missing it. Orlando wasn’t too keen on that, so I decided to make the best of it and stick around town and find some fun things to do. Surely it would be different this year since I was the Bay Area Cub 2010! (In retrospect, I should’ve been out there singing and dancing on the stages and riding in a specially designed cubmobile in the parade- but I didn’t think that far ahead.) There were going to be plenty of Bear events that Orlando and I could attend.

The usual Pink Saturday Crowd-The Blonde was the leader of the pack
I didn’t pack a LOT in to the weekend but we managed to hit some highlights. Friday was our standard meet Drew for cocktails in the Castro. Normally Drew would meet us, but she was in the throes of her Frameline GLBT film fest fix. To say Drew likes film is like saying the Niagra Falls is a cute little waterfall or the Grand Canyon is a crack in the earth. She is voracious in her love for film. She is a virtual Gay and Lesbian film omnivore who consumes the crappy films right along with the good films. She refers to them as “programs” given her penchant using the correct verbiage of whatever milieu she is in. I used to think she was merely being high minded and uppity -but no-that’s just our Drew. I have learned through the years to give her a wide berth during the conclusion of the Film Festival. Her habit after watching roughly 40 or so films-oops programs, (and for the record-she is a he), was her mood turning on a dime and the evening would go rapidly south for anyone within a 5 foot radius of her.  I have tried to analyze this. A lot of it didn’t make sense to me since (s)he had told me that watching 5 films in one day was his (ok Ok we will stick with the male pronouns) idea of nirvana. It could be that attending the whole festival all by yourself could be a bit lonely, since many of us could only catch one film with him during the whole 11 day run. It could be dealing with the crowds-who knows? I just knew I had to always wear a pair of shoes specially designed to walk on egg shells on the remaining weekend of the festival. This year I felt I should really tread lightly. In addition to his hardcore film watching Drew had to deal with a hip problem that had been plagueing him for months now. He is taking steps to get it fixed, but that is a ways off- and for now he limps about alternating grimaces and winces of pain. Drew and I deal with personal discomfort completely differently and how he is dealing with his hip issues have been a source of tension between us. If I had my way she would be doped up on painkillers and take a 7 month sick leave, but she is a good new england girl and is ridiculously responsible and thinks things through...really through....and it takes a while. So I battened down the hatches, because given his painful hip and his usual film festival funk I was sure to get some kind of upbraiding from him. Maybe Orlando could stand in front of me while she  (oops she’s a girl again) inevitably shrieked away at me?  However - Maybe this year would be different. After all -Drew was IN one of the films at the festival! Baby Jane?-a Dragalicious send up of “Whatever happened to Baby Jane?” featured him in a small by memorable role as Jane and Blanche’s father. As it all turned out -I didn’t need to worry about Drew...


  1. I too like Drew enjoy these Gay film festivals... however I also enjoy the regular film festivals as well. I've never attempted to watch more than 2 a days -- that does seem to be a bit over the top.

    Have you done any acting for the big screen

  2. Hi Johnny- yes I have done a feature length film -alas it has never been completely produced.The trailer I did in 2001 can sometimes be found on You Tube. You search The Queer Witch Project.