Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nothing I haven't said before

I was chatting with someone the other day about a couple Detroit issues as they relate to the gay community, and several times I found myself referencing posts I've made on this blog. Later that day I ended up digging around in the Supergay archives, which was a surprisingly enjoyable experience considering the source.

With nearly 400 posts under my belt (heh) I thought I'd put together a list of what I consider some of my more memorable entries. You know, to save you the hassle of digging through the archives until you have more free time. And because I'm a little lazy and don't feel like writing something new.

The focus of this blog falls into four broad categories: my critical look on the Gayborhood or lack thereof; my insightful perspective on Detroit redevelopment and the whole "Cool Cities" thing; our gay heritage and other things old-timers like me enjoy remembering; and Supergay Detroit, man about town.

It all started with the Supergay Detroit Gay Bar Blight Tour (Part 1, Part 2). It's like a time capsule of the gay 80s!

The Tigers Stadium preservation debate took a turn for the crazy when Ernie Harwell jumped in with his 11th hour plan, so I figured it was fine for me to propose my own master plan for the site.

All kidding aside, I actually do have some strong feelings about the need for a gayborhood in Detroit, and this led to the idea for the Supergay Detroit Cultural Enhancement Program.

And of course out of this burst of grassroots gay Detroit boosterism was born Tuesday Nights Doggy Style at the Park Bar!

Allegedly Cool Cities
I sat in on some Creative Corridor "visioning" and was kind of appalled by how much people don't seem to get what makes a city cool.

My trip to San Francisco shortly thereafter only reminded me of the great things about Detroit.

The Creative Cities Conference was of particular interest because for once there was some actual discussion about the role the gay community can play in urban redevelopment.

I did a piece for WDET's "Detroit Today" program and talked about how I dealt with the fact all that Kwame and Cool Cities crap was getting me down.

No matter how used to demolitions I get in Detroit, occasionally one bugs me a little more than others, as it was with the Chin Tiki.

Gay Heritage
On the twentieth anniversary of my coming out I drank a bottle of wine and reminisced.

For a while I was obsessed with Hawkins Ferry, the philanthropist, educator and author of the seminal book on Detroit architecture. I profiled him here, and then found more info about his fabulous International Style villa in Grosse Pointe. Nice to stalk someone after death.

Guest blogger "Backintheday" has shared several wonderful stories about Detroit gay bars of the past.

And I took a moment to ogle DAC members of the 1960s as they worked out.

Man About Town
I never expected to end up at a straight stripper club in Capitol Park, but it happened.

I had been critical of the Detroit blog written by Girl-in-the-D (now Girl-in-the-OC), so it was appropriately awkward when I ran into the author at a downtown holiday party right after I snatched her "Best Blog" title from her.

When the monthly party Fierce Hot Mess got started it was a much-needed tonic for my weary spirit.

I never expected to end up at a straight stripper club in Greektown, but it happened.

And of course who can forget my adventures with Anderson's pooper?

Well, I hope you have as much fun on this trip down memory lane as I did. Maybe you learned something new. Maybe you just killed 30 minutes at work. Either way, thanks for reading!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Surprise! No one's surprised.

Well, no one with any sense is surprised that Charles Pugh won a seat on the City Council, and really no one who pays attention to Detroit politics should be surprised he took the top spot, despite his mortgage troubles. The man is a bona fide local celeb, after all.

Nationally the fact that an openly gay man won the Council President spot looks great, though. Nothing wrong with that. And I think he will be a decent President. I don't think he's brimming with ideas that will really take the city forward in a meaningful way, but I think he is the kind of person who is open to the ideas of others. And people like him so there's that kind of goodwill. I've been wrong before though.

Detroit News columnist Laura Berman commented today on Pugh's star status trumping the homophobia of the black churches, and opines that because Detroit needs to be open to more kinds of people, including gays, "his election signals that the city's getting more savvy and open and serious about its survival." I certainly hope that is the case.

I think Pugh's celebrity really did have something to do with his winning, but I don't think he was elected because of his star power. Pugh has been on tv and radio and part of the lives of people in the city of Detroit for so long that people really feel like they know him. And as happens so often, people who normally are anti-gay make exceptions for their neighbors, or relatives, or co-workers. And so they did in this election what they do with those gay or lesbian people in their lives: they overlooked it.

There's no way you are going to see a significant softening of the homophobia in the black religious community of Detroit, but what this election highlights is that Detroiters as a whole are actually very open to gay people as neighbors or friends. I've said before that Detroit needs to make an overture to the gay people of southeastern Michigan that the city welcomes them. Maybe this will help accomplish that.

All I know is that I certainly did not think I'd see a day this soon where not only was the mayor of Ferndale gay but the president of the Detroit City Council as well. There may be underlying factors but that's some kind of progress.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Scariest Day in Detroit

It's not Devil's Night, and Halloween is NOT what I am talking about - Tuesday is Election Day in Detroit, and this election is a doozy!

To mark the occasion Doggy Style is ON for the night! It seemed too momentous an occasion to let pass, and also there was a technical problem last week so the Halloween videos didn't work out. So it's now or wait until next year.

Join us Tuesday night at the Park Bar to (hopefully) celebrate good election news, and get one last fix of Halloween until 2010!

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