Friday, June 25, 2010

Bring It! June 25, 2010

My gays are my life support system, and I live to return the favor.

But when supporting good people and good causes takes the form of bar crawling or dancing all night, it’s easy to overlook just how much work that actually involves.

We’re all busy. We’re all overstressed and underpaid. And we all have too much to do and not enough hours in every day to do it, but that’s why it’s so special when your community rallies around you in a show of support.

My dear friend Jeremy Hough recently put it best: “If it’s always going to be this hard, then it better always be this good.”

That sentiment resonates for a lot of us in the gayborhood. There’s always an event, a party, a fundraiser, or a performance involving someone you know and adore, and we always have the best intentions when it comes to being there for the people we love and the things we care about.

Sometimes being so supportive hurts. It takes a toll on our wallets, our sleep, and our laughable attempts at moderation or restraint. And the flip side is the guilt that goes along with not supporting. Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

But the truth is, the kind of support we’re asked to show is cake compared to the rest of the world outside the bubble. When you’re gay in San Francisco, you NEVER find yourself saying things like “I don’t really get out much,” or “I’m so bored.”

None of us would be here if it weren’t for wanting to be involved, wanting to be counted, wanting to do things differently. Independence Day takes on a whole new meaning when we appreciate how being gay in San Francisco gives us the freedom to have more fun than we know what to do with.

Ours may not be a support system the rest of the world recognizes or accepts, but the realness is beyond question. Our style of support is also extremely effective, whether we’re elevating drag as an art form, fighting a disease, communing under a disco ball, or demanding equality.

This Independence Day, I’ll be celebrating how utterly dependent I am on my gays. They provide glittery fireworks every day and every way, and offer undying support as I bring it here and there trying to keep it real in the independent nation of San Francisco.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bring It! June 11, 2010

It’s not easy being gay. Our absolutely fabulous lifestyle requires more time and money than most of us can afford, and there’s a huge amount of pressure to be eternally fierce and flawless.

We live paycheck to paycheck with expenses such as glitter and champagne, and we go from one starvation diet to the next as we try to be Speedo-ready every weekend of the year.

Jet-setting from one dance party to another with no sleep in between can be exhausting. And so can having all the right photos at the ready for the various stages of cruising on Grindr.

Keeping up with all of the fun that goes along with being gay is impossible. You betta work!
When you’re gay in San Francisco, that’s our only real hardship. The Pride holigay has us all running around chasing rainbows, but in most of the rest of the world outside our beautiful bubble, it’s REALLY not easy being gay. There’s secrecy and scorn at best, discrimination and deadly violence at worst.

Even inside the bubble, we feel the government-sanctioned injustice of Proposition 8 and the denial of marriage equality. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell continues to chafe.
You don’t have to get very far outside San Francisco at all to feel and fear the hate thrown at LGBTQQs every day and every way, while we in Oz get to enjoy the comfort of rainbow flags flagrantly lining our city’s main street.

All the more reason why Pride is so important, and why we need to keep fighting the good gay fight that began when a brave and truly fierce drag queen took on the cops at Stonewall, starting our civil rights revolution 40 years ago.

Freedom is ours when our biggest problems as liberated gays are deciding which of all the Pride parties to attend and what to wear, but let’s not lose sight of what it took to get to this moment in history, and how far we still have left to go. 

Being out and proud is my privilege, but it should be your undeniable right, so let’s continue to bring it and bring it hard as we celebrate all the ways it’s great to be gay. Happy Pride!