Friday, January 28, 2011

Bring It: January 19, 2011: The Gay Standard

As I’m about to embark on the largest gay cruise in history (Atlantis’ 20th anniversary Allure of the Seas), my every waking thought is about high queens on the high seas.

The amount of planning, organizing and purchasing (not to mention grooming and starving!) going into this gaycation is more than a little bit daunting, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it will be more than worth it.
The gaytopia of what I lovingly call The Dick Deck is hard to overstate. It’s life as it should be for anyone who loves their gays, and that’s saying a lot coming from the gay capital of the universe. The gay agenda is proudly on display 24/7 (along with 6,000 men in speedos!), and it really is a beautiful sight to behold.

I love my gays for always wanting to make everything beautiful, whether it’s the coordinated costumes for all the theme parties or the idealized vision of “the way we play,” with silly poolside games, dramatic shows and customized trick cards so you can remember all the friends you made along the way.

I often refer to “The Gay Standard” as the reason why I always felt like an outcast among straight people. Gayer is simply better, and it’s because of the intention and energy that go into making it so. It’s no accident that arts and design and lifestyle professions are dominated by high queens who insist on making everything just so.

Whether it’s my fabulous hairstylist Gib at G.H.Bolton, or my gorgeous Brazilian trainer Carlos Mandacaru at Sessions Training Center, I’ve had a lot of help and inspiration building this beautiful life I’m living. I’m bursting with excitement about sharing it with the Men of Atlantis, who are coming from all over to experience something like San Francisco at sea.

Aside from the most beautiful version of our selves that we’ll have on display aboard the Allure, the San Framily will represent the inner beauty and palpable joy that’s possible when everyday life offers as much freedom as the open ocean. Because living out loud and proud is just how we marys roll along!

I won’t be writing Bring It! while I’m on The Love Boat, so this column will skip an issue, and I won’t be hosting Nasty at the Powerhouse on February 4, either. Even the hardest-working hag needs a break, and beautiful Walter Gomez will be making sure there’s still a chance to STICK IT IN for charity while I’m busy swooning over seamen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bring It: January 7, 2011: Set Your Intention for Harm-Reduction

My gays have always taught me that “more is more, less is a bore.” While that’s certainly true with glitter, there’s also something to be said for moderation, and the excess of the holigays gave me an opportunity to practice something I’ve been preaching on the dancefloor for ages: harm-reduction.

The idea of harm-reduction is basically personal responsibility, but it’s also about taking care of our own. It’s a fine intention to set for the new year, and all it really requires is general awareness and a little bit of compassion.

We all love to test our limits. We’ve all felt the high from getting away with it, and we’ve all experienced the danger and humiliation of not knowing when enough was enough.

No one wants to have her head in a trash can or leave the club on a stretcher. A little empathy can go a long ways when you see someone melt down into a hot mess under the discoball, and it’s really not hard to just treat that person as you hope to be treated when it’s your turn to go too far. And if your turn never comes? All the better. You can thank that hot mess for reminding you why your last drink, bump, pill or whatever needed to be your last for a minute.

This is a situation where community really makes a difference. It’s a perfect moment to let go of judgment and extend yourself beyond your boundaries. More times than not, simply reaching out to someone who looks like they might be in trouble can shock that person back to their senses and pull them back from the brink of disaster.

It costs nothing to give someone a gentle nudge, look him in the eyes and ask sincerely if he is ok or needs help. I know I’d much rather get help from a circuit sister than from law enforcement, and many times an emergency medical situation can be avoided simply by telling someone they need to pull themselves together.

“Eyes open and upright” is a great rule of thumb, and dancing it out always makes for a better night than falling out. There really is safety in our numbers, and I hereby resolve that you can lean on me the next time your swirl goes south. It’s the least I can do in return for all the ways I love my gays.

Happy New Year!