Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Folsom Street East 2008

On Sunday I went up to New York City for the day to go to the Folsom Street East block party, and needless to say I had a blast. My train arrived at Penn Station at 1pm, so I had a salad at a nearby Cheslea restaurant before heading over to where Folsom was, which on 28th Street between 1oth and 11th Avenues. By mid-afternoon about ten thousand leathermen, leatherwomen, fetishists and bears had packed the block party. The weather that day was kind of schizo to say the least; it rained a bit that morning but then it cleared up for a while, and then it started raining again around 5:15pm and would go on for about 45 minutes, yet strangely the sun was simultaneously shining for half that time as well. But hey it did clear up for a bunch of porn actors to bump and grind onstage and a closing solo set by Bob Mould. Then I was off catch the 8:14pm NJ Transit train back home. (I wouldn't get home until three and a half hours later since I took the local rail-lines all the way home.)

Anyhow, here are the pictures I took:

I saw quite a few Philly people up at FSE, such as fellow Philadelphians Ron and Marc.

This was taken up on the roof deck of the Eagle around 4pm.

Crowd shot of the beer garden section outside the Eagle at 5:15pm, just when it started to rain again.

Same shot a few minutes later with it pouring down. Luckily I had the smarts to stash an umbrella in my backpack. But for the rest trying to find cover, Joe My God would say that, "we all just left our cakes out in the rain."

Chi Chi LaRue MC'd the FSE stage, and was perpared for the weather and to say what Rihanna ought to really do with her umbrella.

The rain died down by 6pm, so a batch of gay porn stars were brought onstage to perform a steamy gropefest behind a semi-transparent shower curtain. I liked the short, dark, muscular one in the center with the Nasty Pig cap and green plaid shorts, but I forgot what his name was, dammit. (One of the porn performers has just blogged about it, so it's clearly NSFW.)

Around 6:30pm Chi Chi introduces seminal rocker Bob Mould.

Bob opened his half-hour electric solo set with Sugar's "Hoover Dam." The set consisted a mix of his Sugar-era material and his solo work, with Husker Du's "Makes No Sense At All" concluding his performance.

And I got to meet Bob backstage for a quick photo. A good ending to a very enjoyable day.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Some Pride Photos 2008

Sorry I haven't been blogging much these days. It's not like there wasn't a lot going on recently. Here are some photos I took at various gay pride-related evnts in the past three weeks.

The FOREPLAY block party in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Saturday May 31 taken at 7:00 PM.

The line-up of various past and present titleholders of Mr. and Ms. New Jersey Leather.

On Friday June 6 The Keystone boys of Leather held their inital meeting in the basement of The Bike Stop in Philly.

More than two dozen boys and their supporters came from as far as Harrisburg, New York City and DC to attend the inaugural meeting.

"Britney! Britney! Over here! Keep your legs closed!"

Following the meeting, the Philadelphians and Keystone boys held a joint bar social at the Bike Stop. Here I help sell pints of beer from the keg.

Taken at the Philadelphia Gay Pride Parade on Sunday June 8.

Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2008 Scott Daddy poses for a picture with me by the Bike Stop float.

Philadelphians MC captain John and I went to the WOOF! party following the parade and festival. It's being held every Sunday evening at Sal's on 12th in the gayborhood.

Tomorrow I'll post some photos I took at Folsom Street East when I was up in New York City yesterday!

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Reflections on Pride 2008

And with one more week of gay pride left this month, here's my reflection on gay pride this year:

About a week and a half ago, I read that cartoonist Alison Bechdel said that she was going to stop drawing her comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For after a 25-year run of being featured in dozens of gay newspapers. That got me thinking about the state of gay culture at this point of time. It concerns me that gay culture might be dying since gay kids today are thinking that we don't need gay-only culture like gay bars anymore since mainstream society has starting to pay lip service in accepting gays. But I'm afraid they have a false sense of security really, considering that there are still a lot of people in this country that will doing anything to denying us gay people our rights, which we still don't have. We still don't have any national anti-gay discrimination laws, and there are upcoming ballot iniatives in Califronia and Florida this fall saying that if these are passed, anti-gay marriage laws will be written into their state constitutions. I'm afraid that if gay media and culture dies and then the cultural gatekeepers will end up deciding that they they won't feature gay people in the mainstream media anymore, and then us gay people will end up being gas-lighted culturally and nothing left to see the reflection of our lives. We really can't rely on the mainstream media all of the time; us gay people need to learn to do it ourselves and create our own media and culture to service and reflect the gay community. Just get the job done yourself, Daddy isn't always going to be around to help you tie your shoelaces.

And in the meantime, Happy Pride.

UPDATE: The Divine Ms. Jimmi has posted on his blog his response after reading this post. Interestingly he mentions that in history there have been enlightened cultures that accepted gay people, but then they collapsed and more repressive forces took over (like 1920's Germany giving way to the anti-gay Nazis). History does not always move forward. Definitely check that out.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Philadelphians MC social this Friday!

The Philadelphians MC proudly welcomes the Keystone boys of Leather (KboL) with a bar social featuring Smithwick’s beer on draft for only 3 dollars a pint!

The Philadelphians MC & Keystone boys of Leather's Pre-Gay Pride Social will be on Friday June 6 from 9PM to 1AM on the main floor of the Bike Stop, which is on 206 South Quince Street in Philly. I'll be there, and I hope that you will too!

Also, just prior to that, the Keystone boys of Leather will be holding their inaugural meeting in the basement of the Bike Stop at 7:30pm that same evening. This will be a friendly, casual get together for everyone to meet, socialize, discuss, and plan the future of the club!

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Fave Sex and the City Music Part 1

Since the new Sex and the City movie is now out (I haven't seen it yet, but I do plan to see it later this week), here's a clip featuring the concluding minutes from the Season 3 finale of "Cock a Doodle Do!" Notice that the song playing in the background is "Above The Clouds" by Amber.

Amber's "Above The Clouds" was featured as the opening track to her 1999 album Amber. It was the follow-up single to her Top 40-crossover hit "Sexual." It didn't have the same pop crossover action as "Sexual," but it did top Billboard's Club Play Chart. Here Amber performs "Above the Clouds" at Much Music in Toronto back in 2000.

"Above The Clouds" was remixed by several DJs, most noticeably by Thunderpuss.

BTW a couple of years later Amber would write a song titled "Sex and the City" but it would not be used in the TV series, though it did wind up on her 2002 album Naked. She also more recently attempted to put the song on the new SATC motiom picture soundtrack, even suggested that Jennifer Hudson record it for the film, but that didn't happen either. You can currently hear that track up on her MySpace page, and read about it on her blog there.

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How I kicked off June

I spent this past Saturday and Sunday in Asbury Park NJ kicking off Gay Pride Month. Saturday I was at the NJ FOREPLAY block party, which was in front of the Cruisin/Circuit gay club. I had a good time even though it did rain for about ten minutes around 4pm, but that quickly passed over. A nice trail run for Folsom Street East in NYC later this month. Sunday was the New Jersey Gay Pride Parade. Watched the parade go by, it was about only half an hour long. Good turnout--I heard that 15,000 turned up at the festival. Very sunny and hot. Ran into a few people from Philly. Over all I had a good time. Next up: Philly Gay Pride this coming Sunday!

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