Friday, February 19, 2010

Bring It! February 19, 2010

It’s one thing to love your gays for all the fabulous fun they bring into your life, but it’s another thing entirely to love your gays for being the family you choose for yourself - as opposed to the family you’re born into.

I recently had the chance to host a mixing and mingling of both my “given” family and my chosen San Framily, and it made me fall in love with my gays all over again.

Being an old-school fag hag, there was a time when my gays represented a very intentional departure from the claustrophobic confines of my family. The “Family” we referred to back then as code was a safe haven. My gays provided sanctuary where I could fully express my inner freak and know that, instead of being judged, my differences would be cultivated and celebrated.

I’ve come a long way since then, and am told often that I’m way gayer than most gays. My conventional family has always had a sense of this, since I’ve always run with a gaggle of gays, but it’s only recently that I’ve fully come out.

These days, I live my big gay life loud and proud regardless of context, even if that context is my very traditional Turkish-Jewish upbringing. A visit from my recently widowed mother validated this choice a thousand times over, as I got to witness a beautiful and touching outpouring of support that welcomed her over the rainbow.

The queens truly treated my mother like a queen, and she quickly felt so flattered and comfortable in their presence – and in their bars! - that it was as if she too had been a lifelong fag hag. And she’s 79!

I couldn’t be more grateful and proud of my beloved gays for extending themselves so generously. They refined and redefined the concept of family, bringing swishy sunshine into my mother’s life and embracing her fully in the San Framily fold. It’s an experience I’ll never forget, a priceless perspective on why I love my gays in countless ways.

Please tell me in your own words why you love being gay at, and next time your mom comes to the Castro, let me know so I can cruise direct the glitterized welcome wagon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bring It! February 6, 2010

Some people read self-help books, but I seek wisdom in the divas of the dancefloor.

They serve up a message that’s sweepingly simple, yet seemingly specific, thumping a universal theme of self-empowerment to help you rise above it all.

The message that got me recently was a call to action: “Express Yourself.” With Valentine’s Day and the International Bear Rendezvous coming up, I got to thinking about all the ways I get to do just that, living here in Oz.

My big gay Valentine plan includes gogo dancing for my favorite charity (the AIDS Emergency Fund) at a leather bar (Chaps) on Saturday the 13th. I’m flattered by the company I’ll be keeping – Travis Creston, Race Cooper, Julian Marshburn – and they’ll provide “stiff” competition for who can bring in the most tips. I’ll be expressing myself hard to prove I deserve my spot in the lineup, and to win over the leathermen questioning the female on the gogo box.

Earlier that day is a video release party at The Midnight Sun at 3pm. The “First Sight of Red” video by Ejector - my favorite leather, glitter, goth band - is strikingly beautiful, and it paints a gorgeous portrait of gay San Francisco and the overflowing talent that expresses itself inside our bubble.

I’ll start Valentine’s Day worshiping at my “church,” Maria Stanford’s intensely zen yoga class at Gold’s Gym Castro. It’s where I process my messages from the dancefloor among the amazingly fit men that line up mat-to-mat to express themselves. A perfectly San Francisco exercise of enlightenment.

From there I’m going to see Justin Bond’s Closer to You at the Castro Theatre, my idea of family-friendly entertainment for my visiting mother. There will be Carpenters tunes and a 10-piece orchestra, and interludes from The Cockettes, a revival of one of San Francisco’s finest traditions of self-expression.

After hours I’m headed to Sanctuary, a party I never miss. It’ll be extra grrry and furry on IBR weekend, with chunk-house diva Ted Eiel at the decks. Dancing in the man-pit until dawn is my favorite way of all to express my true self, the fag hag who just can’t get enough of loving her gays in so many ways.

Sign up for my weekly email blast, the Cruise Director Alert, at, then meet me under the discoball to see what wisdom we can gain as we express ourselves.