Sunday, June 24, 2007

To Be Left Outside Alone...

Gay Pride 2007 is over. IT must have been 100 degrees in the sun. I got to the venue booth where we set up at 8:30AM while it was still reasonably cool. I was with one of my good friends so we were on a new adventure and it turned out to be a lot of fun.
I was bothered by the fact that in the last 24 hours I found out two more guys I know are infected with both HIV and Hepatitus C. The odd thing is that they weren't infected at the same time..two different sexual experiences with two different illnesses. I can go into my rantings of I just don't get it but I wont. IT serves no purpose for if they understood they wouldn't have gotten it. Theres not much I can do other than to protect myself.
Today was a big learning experience for me. I felt that I really didn't belong to any of what was going on. The attention was focused to the guys on steroids as it always is. The rest of us were thrown to the back of the bus. I pictured in my head all the steroid boys on a city bus who got preferential treatment and then the rest of us who were told to go to the back because we were *different*. Sounds like 1950's in the south, huh?
As a leatherman from way back, I learned things alot differently then they are today. I am not saying it was better then. It WAS better for me but other than that I cant say its better then or now. Its just VERY different now; as is everything and thats the way it should be. I just don't fit in and I don't think I want to fit in and then again on some level I think I DO want to fit in. Its a back and forth struggle. I think on some level we all want to fit in someplace, somewhere with someone.
I find often that I am left outside alone and everyone sits in the front of that damn bus but me. I have my small group of leather friends (family) but I think they all feel the same way I do to some degree.
Pride has always stirred up mixed feelings for me. Each year I learn something more about myself from it so I guess in that regard its a good thing. I hope that I never stop learning. It teaches me how to deal with life better because life itself is constantly changing and to some degree I have to adapt and change also. Thirty years ago there were no cell phones no home computers and no DVD's. IF I didn't adapt I would still be living like its 1977 and life is so much easier with these benefits. Yes there are big pitfalls but hopefully we can overcome those also. Either that or thanks to Global Warming, most of South Florida where I live will be part of the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean.
In the earlier years of gay pride there was a REAL sense of community. The ALMIGHTY dollar DIDN'T rule and wasn't a factor in getting anything done. IT was enormously more grass roots which often produced better results than spending a ton of money. I feel that spending a ton of money on something shows the sponsors that people are willing to give a ton of money so they have more benefits to get more money; and so on and so on... Theres no reason to reach a goal when theres more money to be made and the promoters walk out laughing.
I also remember going to a leather bar where you HAD to wear leather, like a dress code. Now you can wear flowered shirts, flip flops and bermuda shorts and you get criticized if you wear leather. IT makes no sense but its the common practice now and you know why? The owners of the bar don't want to lose a dime from anyone. Theres TV screens in this one specific bar and this one will say," Welcome to the ------, now GO get a f**kin drink. Its ALL about the dollar. So these gay men who own the establishment don't give a crap about community even though they call it a leather bar..its not. Even though they make money hand over fist they are greedy and want ALL that they can get and steel from their own community which is getting to be a real pain in the ass for me to deal with. Thats changed alot from 30 yrs ago. The sense of community even at the gay pride events is all about how much money we can get from those who attend the events. You NEVER see an establishment of ANY kind offer ANYTHING for free anymore. I remember going to The Saint in NYC. You paid your admission BUT then you got all the free fruit and bottled water you wanted. When I tell that to the younger guys they look at me in amazement. "You mean they gave you free fruit and water all night long?" The greed in our own community makes me sick to my stomach because theres no sense of giving ANYTHING back to the community who gives to their establishments all year long. One place took the fountains out of the dance club because they didn't want to lose the money from bottled water even though they charged a hefty admission just to walk in the door and you didn't even get a free drink.
It's pathetic that the worst enemy of the community isn't from outside but from with in. We have met the enemy and it is US.


Post a Comment

<< Home