In this issue:
Oh, hai, happy Pridez! Time again to lean back languidly and reflect not just in your makeup mirror lined with curlicue lavender CFLs, but on where we are as a community. As usual, we straddle an odd queer moment. Yes, legalized same-sex marriage, California-style, is all the rage. Even my radical queer eye teared up when happily balled and chained couples streamed out of City Hall June 17. And you can bet I'll be on the front lines fighting that awful November ballot initiative, defining marriage as exclusively between one tree and one Mormon.
Some queers want to get married (see "Tie the same-sex knot,"), some don't ("Down with legitimacy,"). Others, like me, are simply hiding from their boyfriends. It's yet another great diversity among us. The overall feeling at City Hall, though, besides sheer jubilance, was one of relief more than revolution. Four years ago, during the Winter of Love, rebellion even talk of secession crackled in the city's air. But that scary "M" word, marriage, went the way of The L Word long ago into mainstream territory. Wedding rings were the new septum rings; now they're just the new freedom rings. "What's the big deal?" is the whole point.
The weird thing is that right as we're being carried over the threshold of legal normalization, our outlaw history is roaring back in a big way. Eight years ago, a DJ named Bus Station John set out to highlight gay men's bathhouse and hi-NRG disco heritage by playing old-school records, many of which he'd amassed from people who'd passed on from AIDS. This was a revelation to the new queer generation, raised with effective HIV meds but led to believe that gay musical history started with Madonna. It was a return of the repressed an inspiring, AIDS-obscured swath of yesteryear suddenly came to light.
Now you can't go anywhere without seeing mustaches, aviator glasses, and hipster variations of the clone look. The filming of Gus Van Sant's Harvey Milk biopic Milk this winter costumed the city in pristine White Riot chic.