Friday, August 03, 2007

Small Town Gay Bar

A couple of gay bloggers - - both Planet Homo and one of my new favorite bloggers, Famous Like Me - - posted about this Kevin Smith produced documentary that I, for some reason, had not yet heard of, SMALL TOWN GAY BAR.

Usually, I'm much too far behind in my TiVo viewing to check out Comcast's ON DEMAND programs, but since I'm dog sitting at Chez Pacas, I was browsing through the available titles and saw this documentary listed.

And I'm so happy that I had read the posts above. If I hadn't, I might have passed right over this documentary.

If you want to know what it's like growing up gay in a small town, watch this film.

Living in Chicago - - with an apartment deep in the heart of Boystown, where I can walk to literally a dozen or more gay bars, restaurants, shops, etc in a block or less - - this reminded me what it was like to go to "The Bar" every weekend.

This reminded me of the courage that it took to even walk into "The Bar" the first time.

This reminded me of my first Gay Pride Parade. In my hometown of Knoxville, TN.

Thirty of us. Getting ready to walk three or four blocks through the streets of "downtown" Knoxville. And on the sidewalks weren't cheering crowds or friends or friendly faces. On the sidewalks were lines and lines of men and women screaming their hate towards us. On the sidewalks were camera crews from the local area TV stations ready to video tape you for broadcast on the 6 o'clock news, as if to say...

"If you're going to march in this parade, everybody in town is going to know it. You can't be in the closet anymore if you march in this parade."

I remember a friend of mine who desperately wanted to march looking at me with sadness and terror in his eyes when he saw those cameras. He cried and told me he just couldn't do it - - he couldn't march. He told me how sorry he was.

A small group of us marched, but it was terrifying. Nothing at all like Chicago's Pride Parade. No love. No support. No joy. Only hate coming at you from all directions.

It takes an incredible amount of courage and bravery for these men and women in small town America to live their lives openly. We forget that, living in our big cities inside our gay ghettos.

If you want to see the true spirit of Gay America, click away from Perez Hilton or for one afternoon and visit the sites of two of the gay bars shown in this film - - Different Seasons and Rumors.

And watch SMALL TOWN GAY BAR. Soon.


Aaron said...

I didn't DARE come out when I was in my small town...but I told most of my female classmates at my 20th reunion and said, "it's all your fault!! YOU turned me against women!"

No, not really! But they were really cool about it. I don't think anybody would have been so cool in 1985...and the teenagers probably still aren't. (I wouldn't know. They can all kiss my fat gay ass...)

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - They can kiss both our asses! As my grandma always used to say, "Tell them to kiss your ass, and if your's ain't big enough, to kiss mine!"

Master Aaron said...

Me and My one-track mind, and all this talk of orafices touching...I have to go now...

Stephen Rader said...

Master Aaron - It's hypnotic isn't it? Just the mental picture is hypnotic. :)

Aaron said...

As George Michael (via Dana Carvey) once said, "You try to ignore my butt, yet its power only grows!"

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - Oooo, I like that. I like that a lot!!

Aaron said...

Yes, and little did we know back then...(well, WE knew but the rest of the world appeared to be w/o a clue...)

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - Oh, I think the rest of my little world had a clue. But as my mother says, "If you don't talk about it, it just doesn't exist."