Chatty Cathy Gary, a tall willowy nelly of a guy who could talk about the attributes of the comma for an hour and half, took the unfortunate step of sitting on the edge of my Bud Bill’s lounge chair one afternoon as the two of us sunned ourselves at Sebastian Beach, Lauderdale’s gay sandbox. He was almost teary eyed as he told us that the old man who rented the lounge chairs on the beach to out-of town gay boys for ten bucks apiece had died suddenly and that there would be a memorial service for him and that he wanted to make certain we knew. After all, Gary insisted, the old man had done so much for our “community.”
My response which I instantly threw back at Gary, whose diarrhea of the mouth always came at a moment when I wanted to snooze, was: who gave a fuck? Those of us townies brought our own chairs to the beach and the guys the old man ripped off with his $10 rental fee came and went like one time tricks in my bedroom. Gary got the message, called me “rude” (ask me if I give a fuck, go ‘head and ask me), got up, and left us alone.
But it was his comment that the guy had done so much for our community that got me thinking. What community are we talking about? And for the purposes of this discussion let’s forget our clout as a voting block. Sure, at least some of us have a coterie of friends or strong acquaintances or softball team buds or fellow bodybuilders that along with partners or three month lovers we try to be there for; but outside of them, do we really give a shit about one another as a “community”?
So what about that larger Lesbian-Gay-Trans-sexual-Transgender “Community” our own media keeps hyping? Asa str8 gay man I have nothing in common with gay girls, cross dressers, or guys who want their dicks sliced off.
Then there’s the so-called “Leather” Community with its overpriced festival weekends like Folsom Street, IML, or even the Leather Ball that I attend each Thanksgiving weekend here in Lauderdale and pay big bucks to trot around practically naked. But can you really call this bunch of horny guys out to get laid or show off their butts a cohesive “community?”
Now, I look pretty hot in a harness, but as a traditional bear (hairy and humpy), I have to say I have a somewhat stronger affinity to the “Bear community” which overlaps in many cases with Leather anyway. I recently attended a Bear pool party here in Lauderdale and must say I never saw so much fur in one place. But are we really a community just because we share a physical characteristic? Most guys were operating in their usual cliques, and as the afternoon progressed and the bar tabs for those eight dollar rum drinks escalated, many of them put their flirting or cruising talents in overdrive. There was even a “Hospitality” room in the adjoining motel where you could score with your man of the hour right there between dips in the pool.
Let’s face it, folks. Most times when we’re asked to support our “Community,” it’s some bar or event that says it’s raising money to help guys with AIDS. But are guys with AIDS a “Community?” Everyone of them is on his own and probably is jealous if he’s sicker than the other guy. And as for the bar or event sponsoring the fundraiser, their first and foremost objective is to sell liquor or tickets. Bars are businesses, not gay charities. Could it be they’re playing on our emotions to push more drinks?
The minority of us who are politically minded may rally behind some homophobic act of violence or civil rights issue like gay marriage, jotting off our angry e-mails or attending some public protest, but don’t we, after it’s over, go back to our porn websites or favorite watering hole – or an increasing number of us aging faggots – our remotes?
Bottom line, what I’m trying to say is, aren’t we all just individuals with our own egos to feed, private entrepreneurs in getting laid, with the only real thing that ties us together being our passion for dick?