Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Spice" Girl

Doggy Style this past week was fun, but I'm glad to be going into summer reruns. I love making the compilations but man, that's a lot of time doing that shit.

In compiling this final Doggy Style DVD I put in a clip from a movie from my distant past, and it reminded me of a funny story.

The movie is Spice World, starring, of course, the Spice Girls. I guess this was what, like ten years ago? I actually went and saw it in the theater something like five times with the guy I was seeing then. Now before you judge, it is a very funny movie. When you are totally high.

Five girls. Five days. One bathroom.

The guy I was dating, Brian, was kind of a high-on. Not in a hippy way, but in a recreational way. I was never big on the pot thing before, but I gave it a go because it was fun with him, and I was so crazy in love. So every other Friday or so we'd go to a movie and get high beforehand and then go in and be stupid. It was fun, back at a time when I wasn't working on something seven days a week and had the weekend to shed the pot haze.

Spice World was surprisingly hilarious, and we laughed our asses off the first time we saw it. The second time was even better because we'd forgotten all the funny parts until just before they happened and then we'd remember and laugh again at both the gag and the memory. The third time I think we fell asleep. The fourth time we brought his old housemate and she was not quite as amused, which was a little bit of a buzzkill.

The last time we saw it at the dollar show, and we were surprised to hear a group of people sitting a few rows back laughing at all the same things we laughed at. We were like "all right!" When the movie ended we looked back to see who these obvious geniuses were.

It turns out - how do I put this delicately? - it was a short bus-full of "challenged" kids on a special group outing. Needless to say, that was our last trip to see that work of cinematic genius.

Well, at least until our birthdays (they were the same week). Then there were gifts of Spice Girl dolls and Spice World VHS tapes. I still have complete sets of both the Spice Girl dolls and the Spice Girl On Tour dolls (mint in box!) from this period of cultural excellence! (make me an offer ...)

I had to lay off the ganja later that year because my professional life ramped up and I couldn't handle the brain haze I always had for a day or two after getting high. And then the relationship kind of imploded in a really horrible way, so the Spice Girls ended up in a box in the basement, along with the other detritus (emotional and otherwise) from that period.

Dusting off that movie this week was fun, though. Those were really good times for a while there. Brian died three years ago, but today was his birthday so I thought it would be kind of nice to post a fun memory of him. Those great loves always kind of live on, don't they?

What also lives on is the Spice Girls, although sadly I was not motivated enough to go to their reunion tour. Why bother, when you can just log on and watch this?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Go to Gay Pride. Do it!

As I mentioned in my breakfast rant, this Sunday is Motor City Pride, the Detroit area's gay pride extravaganza.

Extravaganza is possibly a strong word, but it's a our big street festival in Ferndale. And it seems like this year more than most recent years it might be a good time to get out and make your presence known.

I know our Pride event here has a bum rap, and compared to most major cities it's not quite in the "amazing" category (I almost wept when I saw the Milwaukee PrideFest website, it looks like so much fun). It's SUPER early in the Pride season - June is Gay Pride Month on account of the Stonewall Riots happening the third weekend in June - and it's not a parade or anything.

But it's worlds away from the Pride festivals from when I first moved back to Michigan, when they were held in a parking deck in Royal Oak (yes that's right). Now it is orchestrated by the Triangle Foundation - some of the Metro Detroit gay community's heaviest lifters - and is a full street festival. It's verrry interesting people watching and solid family fun!

And as for the lackluster reviews, well who really is to blame if a community's Pride event is not as great as it could be? I think ... the community is. As with gay bars, a gay community gets the Pride event it deserves. We aren't going to make it any better by sitting it out - higher attendance means better sponsorships and a better event next year!

This isn't intended as a tepid endorsement of Motor City Pride, but I'm a little angry today so this is what you get. I'd really like to encourage everyone to put aside any city/suburb rivalries and go, just to show the tiniest bit of community solidarity, and maybe make some new lesbigay friends!

Motor City Pride includes a mass commitment ceremony Saturday day, a movie event Saturday night (featuring a new film starring Tori Spelling!), and the Street Festival on Sunday from noon onward. Oh and lest I forget, there will be a Doggie Drag Show at 5pm sponsored by none other than our friends at Canine to Five!

Wrong Side of the Bed

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today so I'm gonna bitch about this region we live in for a just a minute.

I try to be circumspect about living here, and recognize the negatives while keeping in mind the many positives. I like how living in Detroit exposes me to so many different people, and prevents me from living in a bubble, able to ignore problems just because I don't see them. I feel like it keeps me aware of the importance of social justice, and also challenges me to keep an open mind to other people's perspectives. I feel like these are advantages over many other cities, including San Francisco and certainly Chicago.

HAVING SAID THAT, I am so fucking irritated with this backwater right now I could spit, and there are just so many things throwing me off my game. It's the horrible irony that the California Supreme Court affirmed gay marriage the same week the Michigan Supreme Court affirms the anti-gay marriage amendment's sweeping smackdown of rights for gays & lesbians. It's the multiple debacles at the Coleman A Young Municipal Center. It's the fact that overall we've got a population so full of lotus eaters that they turn down every proposal that could conceivably move this region forward in favor of policy that promotes a drive to the mall.

If you are straight you are probably not aware of the extent of the marriage discussion in the gay community right now. What the people of Michigan have done is relegate themselves to "backwater" status, right up there with Mississippi. There is absolutely no conceivable reason for a gay person to move to Michigan right now without an impetus such as a job, school or family. And even then, don't expect them to stay long.

And as a bonus, it doesn't end there! Not only did we send a big "fuck you" to the gay community, but the educated and creative types the powers-that-be keep trying to attract aren't exactly turned on by the idea of a state that is so openly hostile to gay people. As an example of this discussion, here is a post from a gay online forum based in New York that I occasionally read. There was a thread asking which is the best non-Ivy League school, UVa or U of Michigan (and included a discussion of UC-Berkeley):
Sorry - Michigan is over. The state's new law prohibiting any form of gay-partner rights has already stopped them from being able to recruit new teachers.

Academic friends of mine say that within a decade, Michigan will fall into the second tier unless the state relaxes its grip.
I know it's just a post on an online forum, but that's the tenor of the discussion.

Of course this weekend is the annual Mackinac Policy Conference, and Crain's Detroit Business has a group of attendees blogging for them while attending. The conference, which really does bring all the movers and shakers (and hangers-on) in Michigan together, has a couple big themes this year. And the one I keep hearing about over and over and over is "how do we keep young people from leaving Michigan after college?"

Now is it just me, or is that one of the dumbest goals in the history of time? Why in the world would you want to keep someone from leaving Michigan at age 22 to explore other cities, regions and even countries? Do we really need to encourage the provincialism that exists here? And at an age when people are actually able to pick up and move around, no less! If you love them, let them go!

It seems to me we need to do a better job of attracting these people back at age 30, when they have lived different, more urban or cosmopolitan lives. And when they have more disposable income, higher expecations and more refined tastes. At 30 they are at a point where they might want to take advantage of the great housing buys, the lower cost of living, the proximity to their families when raising kids. There is also real opportunity here for people with an entrepreneurial drive, with low barriers to entry and a real chance not just to succeed but to stand out.

And what does a fleet of 23-year olds bring to the table? I mean, they will rent apartments and work entry-level jobs and spend money at the bar and eat at cheap restaurants. And then get tired of living here by 27 and move on to where they think there is more excitement, burned out on Michigan and less likely to return than they were had we graciously let them leave after school. I'm not sure exactly how that changes what we've got now.

It's just my opinion, but I really think the people leading these discussions about change are really missing the boat (as I mentioned in this post late last year). It probably doesn't help that they aren't on the street - they tend to be policy makers or planners or work for foundations. And they mostly live in the suburbs, even if they work in the city, and skew toward middle age. They should be entrepreneurs who know the business vibe and talk to people every day, young people who can articulate what they want for themselves, and developers who can defend why they can't (or won't) do anything remotely architecturally interesting that might create some draw. And how about the creative types who are already here in droves? The ones no one seems to talk to (let alone support) as they search for this elusive "creative class" they can't really even define? Policy-makers can lead the discussion, but they shouldn't be providing the content.

From a gay perspective, what I have been most shocked to find, in the Detroit area at least, is how the gay community isn't even part of the conversation. We're not just absent from the table, we're absent from the actual content. Not a single straight person I know (outside of Ann Arbor) said anything about the Michigan Supreme Court decision. Not one. I don't even think they know about it.

Of course the gay community hasn't exactly been vocal about it either - they seem content to let straight white men do the heavy lifting (and bless their hearts, they are doing it). Where are the street demonstrations? Hell, this Sunday is Motor City Pride in Ferndale, let's see how many people turn out for even that.

Right now I need a sign that something here can be remotely progressive, that the people aren't hopelessly apathetic, and that leadership actually might be capable of a fraction of what seems so effortless to other cities (including Chicago).

I mean, seriously. Anything. I'm easy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WSGD - Supergay Radio

Did I tell you guys about the last time I was on the radio? I can't even remember. Anyway, I am going to be on Detroit Public Radio again tomorrow, for those of you who are interested in finding out just how nasal my voice is on the radio.

I'll be on during the "Detroit Today" program, reading a piece I wrote about weddings. It's expected to air around 10:40AM on 101.9FM here in Detroit, or streaming at I believe there will be an archive of the show in the "Detroit Today" section of the site.

Tune in!

[Edit: Here is the link to the story.]

Friday, May 16, 2008

Doggy Style Update

I was sitting in my apartment Tuesday afternoon, gazing out at the trees in bloom in Lafayette Park and at the beautiful sunset, and thought to my self, "What the fuck am I doing stuck inside like this?" Of course the answer was creating the video compilation for Doggy Style at the Park Bar.

Now that the weather is nice I am less inclined to take a day out of my week to create these things (not that I don't love doing it), so Doggy Style is going to undergo a little change.

The next two weeks will be the last weeks with original compilations for a while. Doggy Style is going into summer re-runs (and with four months of content put together we've got plenty to run through). We will show previously-viewed compilations, perhaps a gay movie or two, and word on the street is that there will be a Sound of Music sing-a-long soon!

It'll still be fun, and I am sure I'll put together a few new compliations as well. I'll keep you posted.

The next two weeks will be tremendous, however! This Tuesday, May 20, will be Doggy Style's Greatest Hits. Everyone's favorite clips will be shown on one amazing evening!

Tuesday, May 27, is the Birthday Edition - there are a few significant birthdays over the Memorial Day weekend (mine included) so it will be a big video extravaganza! I've been saving up lots of good stuff for this one ... it's not to be missed!

In June, the gay fun continues on Tuesdays, it'll just be ... less work for me.

(this photo was removed from my MySpace page as sexually explicit!)

Pulp Friction

Long before the days of the internet, the Logo Network, Will and Grace or even Blueboy magazine, there was the lascivious world of paperback sleaze. A guy had to get his gay fix somehow.

The site
Gay on the Range has an amazing collection of cover scans of these books from the 60's (and earlier). Have yourself a good chuckle and check them out.

It's like Grosse Pointe Gay except the wives aren't drunk.

A NYT review! Oh I miss the gay underworld...

Don't they have a custodian for that job?

All the drama! All the intrigue! All the pre-lubing!

I'm off to New York, kids, have a great weekend!

Friday, May 9, 2008


With Mother's Day just a brunch away, I thought I would send you a few vids to get you in the mood.

Happy Mother's Day, moms!

"My son is gay"

"My Day"

Mommie Dearest vs. Mamma Mia

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Win a Butt

OK, I was going through some old internet bookmarks and came across the site for Atlantis gay cruises. At first I wasn't exactly sure why I had it bookmarked, because I am not really the gay cruising type (wait ...). Then I remembered that an old (old) friend sent it to me because my very first boyfriend was in one of the pictures on that site. It really is a small gay world.

So a free copy of Butt magazine goes out to the first person to correctly identify the guy who was my very first boyfriend at this link. He is in one of the photos on the page or in the rotating photo header. Friends dating back to 1990 are ineligible to win.

[edit and a hint: holy shit, he's actually in two pictures on that site. I hope he got a free cruise or something.]

Nothing like a production number ...

... to chase away those rainy day blahs! Here's a little Carmen Miranda to brighten up your afternoon. If "The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" doesn't do it for you, the big bananas should!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Share the love

Hey kids, do me a favor.

Tell five friends about Supergay Detroit. Or remind five friends. I would like you to share the love. And God knows word-of-mouth is my only recourse.

(click for a larger version)

You can use this graphic to help! I think it captures the spirit of Supergay Detroit nicely. (merci to Fabulon for the image.) And come to Doggy Style.



Thursday, May 1, 2008

"House Beautiful" is right!

After I wrote about Hawkins Ferry and his impact on the overall fabulousness of SE Michigan, I heard from a couple readers who had some additional info on him. One regular reader tipped me off to the fact that Ferry's home had been published in House Beautiful back in 1969, and was even so kind as to give me a mimeograph of a page of it that had the house floorplans.

Obviously that was not enough for me and I had to see the entire feature, and recently my ebay searching bore fruit. Turns out Hawkins not only had a feature, he was the cover story. Naturally. Man, I've got a lot of catching up to do.

All this AND a feature called "Swing to Leather!"

It's a great spread and you get to see all the awesome furniture (hi, have a little Knoll) and art. I LOVE that he had a Giacometti in the living room, and in one photo you can see the awesome Bertoia sculpture "The Comet" that was only recently removed from the house by the Detroit Institute of Arts for restoration. And those upstairs porches outside the bedrooms are a verrrry nice touch.

Because I am a giver, I have taken the time to scan in the feature and I am posting it here. House Beautiful of that time was oversized and my scanner is normal-sized, so I had to perform unspeakable acts on the spine of that magazine and piece together two scans per page to get it, so please forgive the occasional obvious line where two images were joined. It looked fine in my graphics program but something about the conversion to jpg messed it up. Deal.

Each picture links to a larger version, and if you would like a hi-res PDF of the feature you can download it here (it is 30MB).
Ooooo and I got a little gossip too. I found out that Hawkins indeed had a boyfriend, a fellow who was Grosse Pointe gay. I have his name, but if you want it you'll have to ask realllllly nicely.

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