Friday, July 16, 2004

Wild in the Streets

Look hard and you just might spot me at the Folsom Fair North this weekend. Actually, you probably won't spot me, since you don't know what I look like in my Bruce Wayne guise (and as a good masked vigilante I intend to keep it that way), but I'll be there, booted and gloved, scoping out leather fun in the streets. Will you?

Kind of an odd concept, this notion of taking an institution so totally identified with one city (San Fran, of course) and recreating it in another (Toronto). Then again, that's what Mardi Gras is all about, isn't it?

Seems my partner and I have become gay tourists. Yes, it's true: for all my railing against the commodification of queer culture, I do enjoy a good road trip, rainbow-themed or otherwise. For the last several summers we've been travelling to various cities far and wide to check out how they celebrate Gay(/Les/Bi/Trans/Leather/Bear/etc) Pride--including Atlanta, NYC, San Francisco, Toronto, and New Orleans, and a handful of smaller towns. (Ah, Southern Decadence--how we miss your sticky, blow-job-in-the-streets-y glory days of old, before the fundamentalist crazies forced you to clean up your act.)

If I were smart, I'd turn out this field investigation into some sort of book, or at least an article. I could talk about the unique characteristics of each city's festivities (obnoxious SuperSoaker squirt guns in Toronto, drunken rowdies in SF, unbridled corporate sponsorship in Atlanta, etc). Instead, I just walk around taking pictures of straight cops for my own personal amusement. To each his own, I suppose.

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