Thursday, June 09, 2005

Gays Confirm: "Pride Week" = Nonstop Orgies for Many

Bay Windows, our favorite Thursday read, informs us on the true meaning of "Gay Pride Week". If you go to this week's Opinions/Columns , there are many anecdotal jewels which will help you understand what the "lifestyle" is all about. Try the guest piece on "circuit parties". Very interesting.

Is this really a "lifestyle" we want promoted to our boys, and our neighbors' boys, in our public schools? And by our state government? Homosexuality, especially the male variety, often means this sort of thing (going on all over in Boston this week):

When people find out you used to be a slobbering drug addict they eventually - usually after they've had a few drinks - work up enough courage to ask some variation of the question: "What was your most embarrassing moment?" which, loosely translated, means: "At what point did you realize you were such a mess you needed help?"

I always have the same response: Do I have to pick just one?

The thing about doing crystal meth is that the bar gauging what constitutes aberrant behavior keeps getting lowered on you. Things that would have seemed odd when I started doing it seemed commonplace by the end. Why wouldn't it seem strange to find yourself dashing madly around London with your barrister/escort friends at 4 a.m. looking for lube - even as you never saw daylight or any of the rest of that beautiful, historic city while there? Doesn't everyone do that? You say you went three days without eating anything solid or sleeping a minute? Isn't that normal?

So rather than try to pick any single event, I always say that one question stands out in my mind more than any other: How was I ever so shallow to have spent so much time at circuit parties?

With Pride season upon us - and its attendant ramping up of the schedule for these parties - it seems appropriate to revisit the popularity of these events. Events that see tens of thousands of mostly gay men spend countless hours at the gym preening like waxed, tan debutantes, and then two to three days getting so shit-faced they don't remember much of the weekend. (And then complain that they never meet anyone nice.)

Oh, I can hear the protests now: I've heard all of the expansive bullshit about how these events are transcendental in nature; how even as you're surrounded by blaring music and thousands of sweaty, shirtless glassy-eyed men who will never remember your name, you feel as one with your brothers. Never mind that nearly all of your brothers couldn't pick you out of a line-up the following day...

Don't get me wrong: I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with going to a circuit party - just not as the way of life they've become for many people. I don't even think there's anything inherently wrong with getting high in moderation - though some of us clearly have a problem with that moderation concept....

I've heard it said that circuit parties offer something lost and found again: the dances, crushes and wild abandon many of us were denied in high school and college because while we were partying with our friends we were also carrying a secret that prevented us from truly letting go and celebrating.

In the end, everyone is avoiding the really hard part: developing our humanity and gaining the ability to make emotional connections with one another on an everyday basis. For gay men, that means developing something that is sorely lacking in many of us: the ability to treat one another as something other than pieces of meat. Now that would be something of which we can be proud.