Sunday, May 31, 2009

Out and Proud...

Well what do you know? Another Pride Month is nearly upon us. It seems like only yesterday I was comforting Joe on my bosom as the Dykes On Bikes roared past. Good times. Anyhomo, June 1st marks Pride Month, a month in which several queer activities happen leading up to the Grand Dame of Chicago parades...the Pride Parade. The Pride Parade is seriously my favorite event of the year. I'm like a kid hopped up on sugar when it's parade time. Or an adult hopped up on Jim Beam and Coke, which is usually what I'm hopped up on. But yeah, I love love love the Pride Parade. I usually start looking at the parade website in like, March, even though I know the lineup and grand marshal aren't announced until the end of May. But I can't help it, I get excited. So this morning I looked up the parade stuff, as I've been doing for 2 months, and I see that most of the info is up, the grand marshal, the Pride calender, the bathroom sponsors(seriously, do you think the people who sponsor the port a potties are walking around on Pride day like "oh look honey, there's the sh*tter I sponsored. Doesn't it effing stink?"). Anycrapper, most of the info was up, including some disturbing news in the "Parade Information" section...there will be barricades the entire length of the parade route. What. The. Hell.

You know, this parade barricade business does not bode well for me and my friends. We are used to having free reign of Broadway. In fact, knowing that we can go into the street means that we don't have to get to our corner at the crack of parade dawn to save a spot. Plus, if it's barricaded how am I supposed to hug my parents when they go past w/ PFLAG? Which I do EVERY year and have done every year for like, many years. How is The Joyous One supposed to high-five Ron Magers if the route is barricaded? How are we supposed to enjoy the parade if we're caged like gay animals? How are we supposed to run across the street willy-nilly to greet friends that we see on the other side of the street? How are we supposed to ridicule the people who get hit by floats if no one is getting hit by floats? I mean, I suppose that's why they decided to barricade, it helps to control the crowd, and it makes it a little harder to get hit by floats if you can't get into the street. But I'm saddened by this news. It will take a little something away from the parade.

Okay, to keep from getting sad, I'm going to think about Prides past, and do some happy reminiscing. Meta's first Pride Parade: I can't remember the year because my memory is shot due to all of the Jim Beam I drink(not really, but doesn't that sound more tough than the truth, which is because I'm the single most forgetful person on earth?). I was at Pride with my sister Emily and her friend Katie. We were on Broadway, somewhere near The Closet because I remember thinking "Oh goodness, that's a gay bar! Clever name. Maybe some day I'll go there"...funny because I spend an inordinate amount of time at The Closet now. Anycloset, we were standing there watching the parade, and we heard loud cheering happening and we weren't sure what the cheering was for. It started to make it's way closer to us, and we realized it was for PFLAG(Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays). I had never seen PFLAG before, I didn't even realize it existed. So there they were, all these Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays, holding signs about loving their gay kids, being proud of their queer sons and daughters, it was moving stuff, let me tell you. All of the sudden, Emily's friend Katie goes "There's your parents!". I think I responded with "No way...", but sure enough, there they were...marching along with all the other proud parents. I absolutely lost my sh*t. I'm not sure I've cried that hard from being happy in my whole life. I think all 3 of us kind of ran towards them and just hugged them, all of us a mess of tears and runny noses. As we went back to our spots, I saw that all of the people around us were crying. I think they realized the enormity of what they had just witnessed: a newly out, scared, gay girl being fully embraced by her parents and knowing that she was going to be okay. It was a beautiful thing.

So, Pride memories, people. Let us have em!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Here Comes the (Straight) Bride...

This past weekend, I went to Spin with my friend Chad. Don't ask me why we picked Spin, I don't like Spin, I mean, I've only been there twice, but I just don't like it. Whatever, I was there, so I decided to make the best of it. How does one make the best of something? Why, by dancing, of course! So Chad and I headed to the dance floor, jumped up on the dancing blocks, I looked around at the peeps below us, and was smacked across the a bachelorette party. There they were, straight girls dressed in their clubbing best, surrounding a bride-to-be complete with a veil and a sash and penis straws. To be fair, the penis straws could have come from behind the bar at Spin, it is a gay bar after all. As I was looking at them, my face slowly went into "Stink-eye" mode, I felt my mouth turn frowny, I felt my nostrils flaring like some sort of gay bull, and I felt something else. It was hurt. I was hurt. Their presence in that gay bar, celebrating this girl's impending marriage, hurt me.

Not long ago, my dad was telling me about a column he read regarding gay bars who were putting up signs just saying "NO" to bachelorette parties. I applauded them at the time, and I'm applauding them even harder now. I get that the attendees of a bachelorette party just want to go someplace where they can dance around, get wasted and not have to worry about being hit on by men. But how severely insensitive of them to parade around in gay bars and clubs wearing veils and "Bride" sashes without any regard for the patrons that the bars are meant to serve: the gay community. A community whose members cannot get married, whose members have zero rights when it comes to their partners, whose members are surrounded by hate and dare these women come in and rub our faces in it, because that's what it feels like to me. Please don't misunderstand me, I have no problem with straight people "coming out" to our town. In fact, I'm all for it because most of my friends are straight. I also think that the meshing of gay and straight is a totally necessary thing if we ever are to be truly accepted and perceived as "normal". But it has to be done with respect to us and the issues we face, and that's what's lacking from these bachelorette parties: respect.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bears, cubs and otters...Oh My.

Today I was "woofed" at on the street.

See gays put labels on each other. There's bears which are big bellied hairy men. The cubs are like younger bears. Otters are slim, young hairy men. I don't identify in any of these sub-types. In fact, I find them horrible....I don't enjoy being referred to assome woodland mammal. Or worse! Chub. Why don't you just call us fat asses and get to it?

It's like how girls get Lane Bryant or words used like "curvy" or "plus sized". Men? We get Big and Tall Stores and 4X, 5X etc. like ,"you're so fat that we can't fit all the X's on a standard label. We have to use the number of X's to save space. "

Anyway...if you woof at me I'm not likely to answer...I'm bitchy, smooth, drink far too much and LOVE raves. I identify as a morbidly obese twink.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Harvey & Joe!!!

Today, May 22nd marks the birthday of two great gay visionaries...Harvey Bernard Milk and yours truly, Joseph Heaton!

Harvey and myself were born exactly 50 years apart though he was brutally assassinated 2 years before I was born. I imagine what he would think of things in California today. They aren't really any better. California now outlaws gay marriage, the AIDS crisis really put San Francisco on the map as a haven of debauchery...I wonder if he hadn't been killed if he would have put a sane face to the crises and if lives would have been saved?

Lietuenant Milk, as he was referred to during his time as a soldier in the US Navy during the Korean War, was a very proud veteran. He wore a Navy belt buckle all through his adult life. Gay men and women are still struggling to serve openly and honestly. FYI...Gays are patriotic too. And we certainly love uniforms! :)

I love this quote by Anne Kronenberg describing Harvey. "What set Harvey apart from you or me was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us."

I try to live my life similarly. Gay rights isn't an "issue" for me. It's a reality. Gay people must take control of our lives, demand our rights and not wait for mainstream America to give them to us. In short, we must stop being polite.

This is my first post and I promise they won't all be so soap boxy.

Hugs and Kisses,
Joseph Heaton

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Proof That We're Born This Way...

There are people in this world who actually believe that gay people aren't created, they believe that we gays have a choice when it comes to which sex we are attracted to. The people who believe this myth are also the folks who throw around the word "phase" when confronted with a homosexual relative or friend. These people, my gay brethren and sistren, are what we call "ignorant". A "choice" is ranch or italian dressing(always ranch). A "choice" is democrat or republican(always democrat). A "phase" is dressing like T-Boz in the early 90's(yeah that was me). A "phase" is wearing mismatched Converse All Stars from 5th grade until 9th grade(also me, plus lots of other weirdos). I think we can all agree that no one would choose to be hated by people, and if it was a controlled phase, wouldn't we stop doing it when we saw how awful it felt to be hated?

Here at "Gays In The Life", we are ready to prove that not only is being gay not a choice and not a phase, we're born this way. Please refer to the photo on the left. This is a young Meta Kroker, clearly a little girl in her pretty red nightgown with cute lacy frills and delicious curls. Look a little closer and you will see this little girl is also clearly a lesbian, sporting a tool belt over her girly little nightgown. Choice? Methinks not. She was born this way.

**Please feel free to send us any pictures that you might have proving that "we're" born this way...and by "we're", we mean all gays, not just Meta & Joe, though we're sure there are plenty of photos floating around proving that Meta & Joe are gay...**

We're About To Gay It Up!!!

Welcome to Gays In The Life! We're Joe and Meta, a coupla gays in the life from different sides of the tracks. Please, allow us to introduce ourselves...

Joseph Heaton was untimely ripped from his mother's womb (if you know that reference you are also gay) on May 22, 1980 at the Hinsdale Hospital and Sanitarium. (seriously, it says that on my birth certificate.) From an early age, Joseph showed a propensity for the gay. Video footage of him dancing to the entire score of Dirty Dancing confirms that Joe is a homo.

Meta Kroker aka Luke Skywalker(this is what she used to tell people her name was) was born November 30th, 1976 to a couple of homo lovin sons 'a guns. It was apparent that Meta was in a "gay way" early on when she chopped off the long blonde hair of her baby doll and promptly named the doll "Baseball Boy". Photographic evidence of her butch tendencies abound, leaving no doubt that Meta is, and always has been, a huge lez.

Now, let us introduce our gay blog. As you may have already concluded, Joe and I are *whispered hush* gay. We like to talk about all things gay, gay people, gay history, gay animals, gay gays. We figured since we like to talk about all things gay, we should write about all things gay, because surely(Don't call me Shirley!) we could find folks who'd want to read about all things gay. So welcome to our little blog, please feel free to comment on our posts, our pictures, our awesomeness, we'd love to hear what you have to say. We do hope you enjoy your time here!


Meta and Joe