Sunday, March 18, 2007
The Fighting Irish
My Italian grandfather, who grew up in Hell's Kitchen in New York, would tell me about the signs in the stores that read:
"IRISH NEED NOT APPLY"
Maybe that was why they started the St. Patrick's Day parades. Maybe it was about Irish pride, like Gay Pride parades now.
Maybe the St. Patrick's Day parades let people know that the Irish were united, that they weren't going to take any shit from anyone.
This past Tuesday night, I sat in an meeting of ACT UP at the gay and lesbian community center in New York. Twenty years ago, the group met and started protesting in the streets, demanding care and government action for people living with AIDS.
Former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevy was in the room, he sat just a few feet away from me. Maybe he's Irish.
Umpteen years ago I remember kissing the artist Keith Harring on the street.
St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village would only allow "next of kin" up to visit the sick. And since a gay partner was not considered "next of kin", he or she was not allowed up to see their loved one. This was 1990, in Greenwich Village.
So, ACT UP formed two moving concentric circles of gay men and lesbians and we silently kissed one another in front of the lobby of the hospital. That's when I kissed Keith Harring.
Eventually, with enough pressure, the hospital changed it's policy.
But shit like that still happens today, everywhere.
Anyway, wouldn't it be great if the Gay Pride Parade really had no political agenda? Or, maybe like St. Patrick's, that people can't really remember WHY a parade was originally necessary?
That after so many years, and so many parades, we can just celebrate Gay Pride by drinking PINK beer, or wear silly PINK buttons, or tshirts that say "KISS ME, I'M GAY"?
(Well, mine would say, "BLOW ME, I'M GAY", and I already got the pink wig...)
Straight people would do it, too; the same way that non-Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day. You've heard "EVERYONE'S Irish on St. Patrick's Day", well, there would also be "EVERYONE'S gay on Gay Pride Day!".....why not?
Wouldn't it be great if the concept of gays NOT being able to marry would seem as outdated as the sign that reads; "Irish Need Not Apply"?
Oh well. One day....
Unrelated stories from today:
As I sat in a bar today, someone with a green blazer started talking to me. He told me that he was not Irish, but he continued to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, because he and his father always celebrated it. He did it in memory of his Dad.
And a friend bought a heater for my house. A very nice gesture, I thought. Then, this evening, I tried to move it. It's really fucking heavy! Yet he picked it up at the store, carried it it around and brought it from his car, up my stairs into my house...just because he thought I might like it. So sweet....
That is why I like this town.
(.......sorry, tomorrow I'll write about rim jobs or dildos, or OMG, the Lipstick Lovelies singing about TWAT! Young women singing about their "CAVERN"!!! I can't even compete with those dirty gals. I think the spirits of the old brothels of Hudson were happy tonight!)