Okay, What Next?
I live within a few miles of Wilton Manors, a burb of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale and the current gay capital and party town of the U.S. right now, not just for vacationers from across the country and around the world, but also for an ever growing number of gay baby boomer retirees – and young’ens looking for a sugar daddy.
As such we, more than any other city in Florida, and possibly much of the rest of the country, are especially vulnerable to homophobic psychotics. Some say business may be down in the theme parks this summer and moving forward as a result of the shooting (the shooter was considering Disney World before he decided on Pulse), and the gay bars and clubs here were already suffering the drought of off-season business before Sunday happened. You think some of the millions of gays who flock here for sun and fun between late fall and early spring may be thinking twice about their upcoming plans? Will this even affect the over-priced Wilton Manors real estate as snowbirds and retirees reconsider living in this high profile target? I mean, do you want to be blown up going to the supermarket for milk or meeting a would-be liaison at Java Boys?
And what will the bars and clubs, str8 and gay, not just here but across the country, have to do to create some sense of security?
Metal detectors at entrances? What about all those cockrings, piercings and leather men gear?
Right now most of the bars here maintain minimum wage bouncers. Will they need to put out the dough for security officers with guns who flash their weapons like a hottie flashes his nine inch dong in the gym showers? I mean a bouncer without a weapon is as useless against a perpetrator as an eighty year old without Viagra trying to have fun with his new twenty year old “friend.”
Will these retro fem boys l see more and more camping it up start toning down their swishy behavior so not to draw attention or antagonize? Supposedly what set off homophobic, and some say closeted Mateen (he was a frequent Pulse patron and chatted with guys on sites like Grind’r) was seeing two men kissing in Miami while he was there with his two year son. Could he have evoked Islam as a cover for his own internal conflicts? Nothing is worse than a homophobic religious zealot.
BTW, this is the same daddy/hubby who beat the shit out of his wife on a regular basis before she got out from under and divorced him.
Most of the clubs here have multiple entrances and exits clearly marked, but there’s a certain leather bar – those if you who live here or have been down here know who l’m talking about – that is configured so badly that it is a tragedy whether by fire or by gun waiting to happen. Will state and city authorities start cracking down on these death traps?
One other frustrating note: the FBI freely admitted the shooter had been on their radar screen for years and, in fact, had been interrogated a few times, but the Feds were unable to connect the dots. Officials say he had passed all the necessary background checks to buy the assault weapon about a week ago in Florida that he used to murder. But, given the FBI’s suspicions, shouldn’t his name have at least been on some type of watch list so maybe, just maybe, the gun shop owner, who sounds responsible, might have hesitated and reached out for a second opinion?
And why are such murder machines legally for sale in the first place?
But perhaps the people l’m most disappointed in are us.
True, there have been vigils here and around the world in support of Orlando. Yet Sunday night, except for Lauderdale’s iconic Alibi, the bars remained open and our leading dance club was filled with the usual Sunday Studio 54 disco patrons. Okay, they had a moment of silence then continued shaking their booties. Big fucken deal.
Business or no business, every place on the strip should have shuttered. If we don’t show respect for one another, what can we expect from the world?
P.S.: They’ve just announced the Wilton Manors Gay Pride Parade scheduled for this Saturday will go on as planned, complete with drag queens, muscle boys, and face painting for the totally oblivious.
Yesterday, I caught Florida US Senator Marco Rubio and Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi on TV deploring the Orlando shooting and adding that sexual orientation is not a reason to kill.
Okay, well Blonde Bimbo Bondi fought gay marriage in Florida even after the Supreme Court made it legal and Rubio during his ill-fated Presidential campaign said numerus he would repeal gay marriage if he became President. These are exactly the kind of hypocrites who stoke the fires of homophobia that psychotics like the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, pick up on.