Friday, April 29, 2011

This is just how we do

 “Only in San Francisco” is a phrase we hear a lot here in Oz. It’s a point of pride, the defining feature of our beautiful bubble.

Even when we’re trying to be conventional, relatively speaking, we end up doing things our own way. We can’t help it.

 Easter in Dolores Park, for example, is a perfect representation of San Framily values. Whether you “observe” the holigay by bringing your gayby to the egg hunt, tricking out a bonnet, or rocking a loincloth in the Hunky Jesus contest, there’s something for everyone, because that’s just how we do. Some may call it crude mockery, but religious intolerants target San Francisco values every day, so I say hooray for the one day where we make them the punch line and have Jesus our way.

 “Family-friendly” is always relative when it comes to San Framily. More often than not, it’s about our chosen family. Our lovely lives are exactly what we make of them, because this is the freedom our fair city affords, even if most of us can barely afford to live here.

 Another place I love to see this on display is at Flagging in the Park, a party and fundraiser in a majestic natural venue (the National AIDS Memorial Grove) that honors those tragically lost with a colorful celebration of life. The event glorifies a uniquely gay art form born under the disco ball, providing pure and life-affirming entertainment while welcoming everyone to sacred ground.

 The way we play here by the bay is a religious experience. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence bless these events, and make saints of people like Xavier Caylor, who has been producing Flagging in the Park since 1996 and teaches a weekly flagging class at Gold’s Gym SOMA to keep the flow arts alive. A new season for this party begins on May 15 with DJ Craig Gaibler, who has graciously tapped the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy as beneficiary.

We party with purpose in San Francisco, and it sets us apart from other gayborhoods across the globe. We set our intention, and then we realize it, fully. Fruit-fully! We get our gay on as hard as we can, and we don’t apologize. We don’t need to, because more often than not, we’re giving something back to our community at the same time.

That’s my intention with Nasty, my “filthy fun-raiser” at The Powerhouse on first Fridays (please come on May 6!). While the entertainment there is decidedly more adult, we still manage to keep it silly yet significant, taking donations for Project Inform in Crisco cans by playing a game called STICK IT IN!

When we’re doing good by being bad, we’re living the San Francisco dream, bringing it in ways that constantly remind me of why I love my gays.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bring It: April 13 2011: Reflecting white

Reflecting on the White Party Palm Springs is like experiencing a hot new remix of moments and memories, scenes that affirm all the ways my gays bring it – to the dancefloor, to each other, and to life.

Every circuit party has its own alchemy. The music and the mood have everything to do with the experience, but so do the people that form your peripheral vision and your perspective under the disco ball. When fabulous friends create your party-within-a-party, everything is bliss.

The comfort of knowing you’ll see sincere smiles and familiar faces counts for a lot when words are drowned in beats. Little gestures, happy coincidences, and silly scenes are the foundation of what often turn out to be long-term relationships. These relationships can seem fleeting and shallow to the uninitiated, but love on the dancefloor runs deep and wide.

We may not even know one another’s names, but we know that our hearts beat to the same tribal drum. I know I’d never survive a weekend marathon like the White Party without my nearest and dearest.

There’s the water angels that deliver hydration for those (like myself) that don’t have the good sense to occasionally leave the dancefloor. There’s the shutterbugs that document our dreams, populating our profiles with glimpses of glamour. There’s the screamers (like me), along with the fist-pumpers and twirlers, that move our spirits and keep us bouncing. (This is where Brasilians are essential!).

Then there’s the nonverbal embrace from those who sidle up into your groove or let you sidle up into theirs, content with just swaying and snuggling from one song to the next. And there’s also the reliables, the trustworthy souls who confirm their commitment by buying tickets in advance, or carrying your keys, or holding you up when your energy or swirl can’t do it for you.

All are true friends, with big hearts and genuine intentions.

My addiction to dance is what drives me to drag all my friends to the dancefloor weekend after weekend, and it’s what brought me back to the White Party for the third year in a row. Never wanting to miss a beat and always wanting to support the DJs and promoters who fuel my circuit fantasies is why I can’t ever say no.

I hope that part of what I’m bringing to the party is gratitude for the special roles my San Framily fill. And I’m especially thankful that when the party is over and the glitter has (mostly) washed off, my circuit sisters are still present and real in my “real” life, helping me find balance and happy harmony as I search for new and inspiring ways to love my gays.