Friday, August 13, 2010

Bring It! August 13, 2010

Reinvention is a gay way of life. We revisit, revitalize and revolutionize. We do it with flair, and with feeling.

As a lifelong professional fag hag, it’s amazing that I’m still rediscovering the joys of being a gay man. Events, personalities and issues that I’ve seen time and again continually offer up pleasant surprises, fueling my passion for loving my gays as hard as I can.

Sundance is a great example. A blast from the past, boys by the bay have fond and frisky memories of bygone summer weekends spent on the Russian River. This time around, Sundance is new and improved, with a party bus that not only delivers us safely to nature’s dancefloor, but that creates an entirely new experience from a time-honored tradition.

Thanks to Past Curfew Productions and JuicyFruitJim Hauck, Sundance is now a woof-packed roadtrip, and getting to the party is nearly as much fun as the party itself. I can’t wait to get on the bus on Sunday, August 15, to celebrate and appreciate the promotion collaboration between Luke Johnstone and Gus Presents that brings us this highlight of the summer.

I’m also looking forward to Industry Local Talent Night on Saturday, August 21. Industry is a party that’s been around for years now, and I’ve watched it evolve into a signature of San Francisco’s dance scene. But that doesn’t mean it’s predictable. One month you’ll get circuit superstars like DJs Abel or Tony Moran, and another you’ll get the very best of our up-and-coming homegrown DJ talent.

I’m excited to perform in between DJs Russ Rich and James Torres, to a song remixed by DJ Jamie J Sanchez. I get to do hairography with my best boo Joanna Parks, and the ridiculously sexy Race Cooper. That a girl like me gets to play drag diva at a party like this - a favorite among the most hard-core and discerning men of the circuit - is a gift and a delight.

The very next day, I’ll be dancing it out in the AIDS Memorial Grove with DJ Christopher B at Flagging in the Park. I fell in love with this 15-year-old event when I went for the first time last month, to hear another great local talent, DJ Craig Gaibler. The vision of so many flaggers expressing themselves through such a purely gay art form, in such a poignant and lush venue, and while raising money for charity, was sublime. Big props to Xavier Caylor for producing this beautiful and life-affirming memorial.

And then there’s our ongoing battle to reinvent the tired and troubled institution of marriage. The smart and sassy NOH8 campaign played a huge part in repealing a measure that made discrimination the law, and I’m proud that San Francisco, the rightful gay capital of the United States, is the only locality involved in bringing this important battle to the Supreme Court. Most of all, I’m excited to see my gays revitalize and revolutionize marriage by doing it better than it’s ever been done before.

Ain’t that always the gay way?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bring It! July 30, 2010

As I struggle with one starvation diet after another trying to stay in step with the Castro’s seemingly endless supply of smooth and svelte circuit boys, I wonder if it isn’t time for me to go beyond being a mere Goldilocks and become a full-on bear.

Just like my drag mothers taught me everything I know about how to act like you’ve got the biggest balls in the room, I’ve learned important life lessons from my bear daddies. Internalizing hate and shame isn’t cute, and conforming for the sake of fitting in isn’t sexy.

The bears get a lot of things right when it comes to self-love. Endangered by the homonormative ideal that suggests survival of the fittest, they don’t just survive, they thrive.

I love that the bears have clawed out an accepting and comfortable niche in the gayborhood, adding a whole spectrum of wildlife to our beautiful rainbow. There’s muscle bears and dancing bears and Electronic Music Bears (oh my!), not to mention cubcakes. Subcategories like otters and wolves round out the party, and bear chasers are always welcomed.

Bear is a state of mind. It’s about owning and embracing the sense of self we carry on the inside at least as much as the self we present on the outside. It’s being comfortable in one’s own skin (or fur), and that’s a message our community can never hear enough, which is why bears are among my favorite San Framily mascots.

My bear boys never judge as I try to get by on Tic Tacs and glitter, and they protect me whenever I get grizzly. They cheer me on as I push my way into their bars, or into their territory on the Russian River, like I’m excited to do at Sundance next month.

Best of all, they graciously make room for me as I try to learn from them how to respect my own limitations. Keeping up with bears several times my size and weight has led to personal disaster on more than a few occasions, which keeps me mindful of just how strong and powerful these creatures really are, in addition to being so damned cute and cuddly.

Just something to bear in mind as we celebrate and appreciate those at the top of our gay food chain. Grr!