Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gay Pride Doings


Okay, these are two things I don't usually do on this blog, run sexy photos like this one of these two leather guys kissing, and talk a bit about my personal life. But what the hell?

Gay Pride weekend didn't quite go off the way I intended it would, but what can you do? I think the Gay Pride March in New York is extremely important, but I can also be a little cynical about it. I wonder how many of those marching -- or parading -- go right back in the closet as soon as they get home. Still, at least it's good that they "come out" for that one day, though preferably we'd all be out 365 days a year. How else will people learn who and what we are?

Despite this cynical feeling I was going to march but a very close elderly friend of mine asked if I would accompany him to the PRIDEfest on Hudson Street instead -- the march would be too much for him. I agreed, but on the Sunday in question he didn't want to go out in the rain. Well, when you're elderly I say you've earned the right to say, fuck it, I don't wanna go and that's that! But by the time he'd come to his decision the march was nearly over.

It's too bad the PRIDEfest --due to permit hassles and so on -- had to be held the very same day as the March. The rain came and went but it was not a terribly festive event, at least when I was there. There were the usual booths selling food and other items like are featured in every other street fair. The thing that made this one different were that now and then there'd be a booth from GMHC, the New York Blade, Human Rights Campaign, and so on, and if some people from small towns were able to gain info and insight from these booths, I guess the PRIDEFest served its purpose. I saw none of the promised street entertainers but at least we were spared mimes (sorry).

So that night I was all ready, willing and able to party. I made new friends, saw old ones, and re-connected with some people I haven't seen in a while. I had a great time all told, although there were "incidents" in every bar I went to.

Down at the Dug Out at the bottom of Christopher Street I ran into a guy that I was supposed to have a date with on Friday (we'd met some weeks earlier in a bar). Unfortunately, there was some confusion and misunderstanding and it never came off. He was not too thrilled with this development -- neither was I, of course -- and I wanted to sink into the floor with guilt and slink out the back door. Still, it was odd. He said he had the use of a friend's apartment for the night and wanted me to come up. Instead of simply giving me the address and apartment number -- which, after all, would be the usual thing to do -- he told me he'd meet me on one of the four street corners nearby, this on a busy Friday night on one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan. It just seemed weird to me, and it seemed even weirder when he later told me that he did this because "I didn't know the address."

"But you told me you were calling from this friend's apartment?" I said. How could he not know the address? And there was some other stuff relating to this, none of which made much sense.

You see, I figured either he was blowing me off ("Gee, I guess we must have missed each other in the crowd") at best or at worst something else strange was going on. Was there even an apartment? Did he have the friend's permission to use it? Was I being overly paranoid? Possibly. But I decided not to go.

"I waited for 45 minutes!" he said. "I checked out every cab! What's wrong with meeting someone on a street corner -- You could go to an apartment and get jumped by four guys!"

I apologized profusely, wishing I had handled it all better, and knowing he had instantly classified me as "asshole." I mentioned a terrible thing that happened to an acquaintance of mine a few years ago. Still, I wish he had accepted some responsibility for what happened. I asked a number of people about it and everyone told me they also thought that meeting at an intersection when there was an apartment waiting seemed a strange thing to do. I had suggested to him that we might have a drink or two at a bar beforehand, but he said if it was up to him he'd rather we just get down to business. As one guy said, "it's like he didn't want to be seen with you in any bar where people knew you."

Too bad. He's probably a perfectly nice fellow, an attractive man, but all I can say is if I was as anxious as he says he was to get my hands on somebody I would have made damn sure I knew the address and the apartment number and told my date to ring the buzzer at the prescribed hour. But maybe that's just me.

Anyhoo, the next incident was at Ty's bar. My favorite place, it's generally a no-attitude bar and that's one of the things I like about it. Tonight, a few fellows brought an Eagle/Aren't I wonderful? attitude with them, these absolutely massive men brushing past everybody without even bothering to say "excuse me" as they stepped on your feet and practically knocked the drink out of your hand, not bothering to turn sideways or something so that they could walk on by without knocking into you.

Then there was the bathroom monitor, some guy I guess they hired for the night to direct the customers into which bathroom they should go. (Don't ask me why. We've never needed a bathroom monitor before.) Talk about attitude -- this guy had not a trace of friendliness about him and this in a bar where the staff is very friendly and down to earth.

To cap it all, I was cruised (I think) by a guy with a really bad pick up line: "I love my wife."

Well, then, go home to her and leave me the fuck alone. Yes, it was my umpteenth married homosexual talking about how he loved his wife (but was probably not in love with her) but absolutely hungered for a man. Conversationally, I asked if he might be bisexual, and of course he seized upon this, but we both knew he was homo, not bi, and that whenever he has sex outside of wedlock it's with a man. (You see, it sounds much better to say you're a "hip" swingin' bisexual than a pathetic old-fashioned closet queen.)

"I love my wife," he repeated. "What do you want me to do?"

I wanted to say, just leave me alone, that's what you can do, but before I could tell him I didn't want him to do a damn thing but go, he disappeared into the crowd, which is what married homosexuals always do when they meet someone Out and Proud who are in no mood for their bullshit. He wasn't celebrating Gay pride by coming out or getting past his shame over being homosexual, he just wanted to get laid and go home and lie some more to his wife.

Up at Boots and Saddle near 7th avenue, there was a lively, affectionate crowd. It's becoming a fun place again. Then suddenly I turn my head and find myself staring into the face of The Malevolent Munchkin of Christopher Street. How ironic to find him there on Gay Pride Sunday. Apparently he was working at some place across the street and was on a break or something. The last time we faced each other he was trying -- unsuccessfully -- to throw me out of the bar (he no longer works there) because I supposedly said something he didn't like. (Imagine, bartenders who want to monitor your conversation and insist you leave because they don't like what you're saying! And no, it wasn't because I had too much to drink, because you can practically be lying on the floor at Boots and they'll serve you.)

Mercifully, the munchkin took one look at me and went outside to chat with one of his former co-workers, now the manager. I used to be fond of the munchkin, but when someone I'm nice to treats me like shit I write them off at least until they apologize.

Munchkins! Married Homosexuals! Angry Intersectionists! Big Rude Guys with Attitude "straight" from the Eagle!

You never know what or who you'll run into on Gay Pride Sunday.


Anonymous said...

What do you have against mimes?!

Silence is golden, dude.

Bill Samuels said...

I hear you!