Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Motor City Pride, Now and Then

Back when I was still doing this somewhat regularly, Motor City Pride moved from Ferndale to Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. It was somewhat controversial, as Ferndale has been a hub of gay community in Metro Detroit for a long time. There was resentment. There was discord. There was a hissy-fit.

I spearheaded an initiative among the small businesses of the greater downtown area to show that Detroit was a welcoming community. Honestly, I did it because someone shared with me that the businesses in Ferndale - the ones that had Pride at their doors because it was a street fair - didn't donate to Pride, and I figured Detroit small businesses could at least throw down the welcome mat. We raised like seven grand. Pride that year was the best gay Detroit thing ever.

It was a little rough going at first. I joked that the parade was the Saddest Gay Pride in America, with like fifteen groups marching and four spectators along the way. Don't get me wrong, it was fun. I like it when it is janky - I am a real Detroit 1.0 gal at heart.

In 2013 (year three) there were so few spectators
they were power washing the sidewalks during the parade.
But we made it work anyway.
(Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Cindy Elmwood.)

Fast forward six years. Detroit is now the hottest thing going. I don't know if it's the fact that we have a white mayor or the fact that Shinola has legitimized the city to the Somerset shopper, but the suburbs suddenly cannot get enough Detroit. If you have a problem with that statement all I can say is I talk to suburbanites who haven't come to the city since they finished grad school at Wayne State all week long at work, and I'm just paraphrasing everything they say to me. Whatever it is, the change in the last five years is kind of astounding.

So now the parade is jam-packed full of participants, Griswold Street lined with folks watching the parade. Corporate sponsors up the wazoo (although not a lot of participation from the handful of gay bars remaining in SE MI. Chipotle is in though).

Pre-parade prep. The excitement is palpable. 
Lines to get into Pride at Hart Plaza are long on both Saturday and Sunday. It's kind of amazing, the growth.

I have no snark to add, actually. It's great that finally the whole Pride in Hart Plaza thing has hit its stride.

Every year since year one I have marched with the Robert M. Nelson Presents group, and every year it's one of the highlights of summer. Some people ask, "Who is Robert M. Nelson?" and I feel bad for them. Not everything is instantly discoverable with the Internet. But the people who know, know. (I'll explain some other time).

He's only a Craigslist "Missed Connection" away!
My partner and I have been throwing a gay pride Saturday party since the second year, caftans optional. Sunday we march in the parade. In the beginning we did if for our own entertainment, and today, entertaining thousands, it's no less fun. It's kind of crazy that we can still have a spot in the parade just for the sake of having a spot in the parade. And when it's all over we go into Pride and check it all out. (And the last few years, wind down watching the Tony Awards).

Against all odds, Pride weekend has become the best weekend of the summer. Kudos for that, Motor City Pride. And more importantly, kudos queers of Detroit.

Monday, September 15, 2014


It's been almost two and a half years since I last posted on here, and it was intermittent at best before that. So I think it's been pretty safe to say that this blog, as we've known it, is dunzo. What can I say? Sometimes life intervenes.

It's actually been a pretty tumultuous couple of years personally and professionally, sometimes in pretty uniquely Detroit ways. Maybe I'll write about the details someday. Suffice to say things have leveled off. Unlike the heyday of this blog when I was single and living the cheap glamorous life that only Detroit 1.0 could afford you, I now live with my partner outside the downtown bubble in a little house I enjoy quite a bit. And unlike the free-wheeling pre-recession days, I have to work a hell of a lot more to get by. But I'm happier than I've been in a long time, which is good because complaint-blogging is so 2011.

I've actually felt the urge to write a few times in the past year, but it always seems weird just starting up again. So officially closing a chapter seems the best thing to do.

The blog stays up for anyone remotely interested in a slice of the Detroit that caught everyone's attention before Dan Gilbert set his sights on turning downtown into a romper room and Shinola decided Midtown needs to be Williamsburg. Hey, I'm not complaining. I'm just describing it the most concise way I can. Bring on your money Detroit 2.0. If shit's going to be more expensive here I need it.

The future of this blog is less clear. I don't feel the urgency to address the things that brought Supergay Detroit to life 7-1/2 years ago. But (some) people know the name, and it seems too ridiculous to just let it go completely. We'll see.

In the meantime, Season 8 of Doggy Style at the Park Bar starts up again in November, one of the last vestiges of downtown's vestigial ad-hoc gay scene. The Tuesday after the election, November 11, should be the startup. Drinks and my take on the gay video bar. Search the blog if you need details.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Putting the ME in Menergy

Those of you who are awesome will remember an early Macho City where a certain gay blogger was a guest DJ and introduced the Detroit queer world to the glory of Disco Evita, among other rare disco delights. It was a, if I do say so myself.  Well guess what?  I'm at it again!

This Saturday marks the third run of Mike Trombley's fantastic Menergy party and yours truly is the special guest star!  I will be bringing my minimal beat-matching skillz but, frankly, rather amazing and esoteric musical taste to the Temple Bar for one night only, serving up gay 80s Hi-NRG, Italo Disco and more the way I remember it happening.  Or at least the way I imagine I remember it happening.

Menergy has turned out to be a fantastic new dance party from the Mike Trombley (TM) brand, a very fitting sequel to Macho City and a super fun way to get a cultural history lesson while you gay dance the night away!  Plus the cover is a ridiculously low $1!

[Speaking of, the Macho City, Three-Year Anniversary party is coming up April 28, so mark your calendars!]

Come this Saturday, it all starts about 10pm and goes til 2!  And don't forget your poppers!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Doggy Style Curtain Call!

The last Doggy Style of the season is here!  How did that even happen?  I blame global climate change.

Anyway, tomorrow night, Tuesday April 3, is the last Doggy Style of the season!  Come on out and get one final dose of downtown gay camaraderie, plus drinks and fun videos!  Come and watch the Hotel Charlevoix fall apart into the street!  Park on the street before the city bans it after 10pm!  So many things to enjoy at this special moment in time.

The good times start around 9:30 and continue into the evening.  I've got lots of new videos for you to watch, or you can even talk to friends, old and new.  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Later, Skater!

The sad story of my life is that I don't get out much anymore.  You know how that goes: the less you go out, the harder it is to force yourself to go out.  Sometimes you just want to hang out and watch some episodes of New Girl on demand, ok?

Last night, however, comedic genius and my partner-in-crime Robert M. Nelson managed to stir me from the sofa to head out for a night of gay rollerskating in, of all places, Farmington.  That's a hell of a drive.

I am not a good skater, never was.  The last time I rollerskated was in, say, 1980 when I face-planted on the rink at Metro Beach (resulting in three root canals a few years later). The last time I rollerbladed I ended up in the ER with a closed-head injury (cute ER resident though!).  And one thing I really hate is not being good at something in front of other people.  So it was with great trepidation I approached the entire adventure, but I'm really glad I did.

Snack 'n Chat!!

Robert obeys the rules in the Snack 'n Chat.

The Bonaventure Family Skating Center is a full-on 1980 time capsule, from the architecture to the interior signage to the skating rink lightshow.  I don't think I have to tell you how much that excited me!  It was exactly like this scene in Tales of the City.

It was boys-boys-boys and some girls (and some ladyboys) and everyone was so damn nice, it was great.  I watched the action rink-side for a while before venturing in, and one guy was skating by and said "hi!" and then fully wiped out.  Classic!

Robert M. Nelson, rollerskating enthusiast.

Cindy Elmwood only fell twice, but looked lovely doing so!

The Lady Anastasia was booking around the rink.

Robert loves Prize Time!

I wasn't as bad at skating as I thought I would be, although I hesitate to say I had it mastered by the end of the night.  But I did see some guys I know and haven't seen in a long time except on Facebook, and I got to skate to "Xanadu" which is pretty much the greatest thing to happen to me this year.

Shiny disco balls.

After the fact I found out it was organized by Menjo's and Backstreet, so I think I am in love with them and I'm going to check out the new Menjo's re-do as soon as it opens. There's an article about the gay skating night here, and God willing they will do it again soon!  Best gay time ever!

Bonaventure really IS the home of the good times!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lezzie les bons temps roulez!

In the interest of the recap, let me just say that Menergy was the funnest, gayest dance party I've been to in forever.  It was so fun to see so many friends and SO MANY new faces.  It's always nice to get an influx of new gay folks to meet.  And check out.

It was also great because it was really, really a gay night.  I love a gay dance party when it's just the gays and the cool kids because it reminds of what a trip to the gay bar used to be like.  There have always been straight women, and sometimes straight men, but they were always there as part of the party, not to co-opt the party.  One of the trade-offs with gay mainstreaming is now the gay world is more accessible to more straight people, so you sometimes get a phenomenon like Boystown in Chicago, the bachelorette party capital of the Midwest.  Where it isn't about having fun in the context of a gay scene, it's about the novelty of the gay scene.  No, really, I'm not super-fun and I DON'T want to do body shots off the bride-to-be, I just want to check out the gay eye candy. Plus seriously, until gay people can get married don't you find it a little cavalier bringing drunk wedding hijinx into a gay bar?

Or to frame it locally - one of the first times I went to Macho City I heard a couple straight folks talk a bit incredulously that there was a guy giving another guy oral pleasure against the pool table.  It's a gay leather bar, you were expecting hopscotch?  One of the last times I went there were two hipster-glam straight girls making out on that same pool table, which just struck me as a terribly desperate cry for attention. You're at a gay bar, ladies, so for once, it isn't about you.  Hang out, be cool and just have fun, mkay?

Of course Temple Bar isn't technically a gay bar, so I probably feel less defensive about any and all sorts showing up.  As long as Mike Trombley is spinning awesome music and Robert is running around the dancefloor offering poppers to everyone, I'm good.  And I can't wait for next time!

In other news, the Doggy Style countdown has begun!  We're about six weeks out from Opening Day, so crawl out of your hole one of these Tuesdays and enjoy Detroit's best gay-er night before it's gone for the season.  Tonight will be extra fun because a whole slew of unsuspecting Guns 'n' Roses fans will stumble in after the show and enjoy some Abba or Limahl or Angela Lansbury with their nightcap.

So, perhaps we will see you tonight at the Park Bar for some Mardis Gras fun?  And don't worry, we are respectful and all about having fun in the context of the straight scene, because really, what novelty is left?  Kidding!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Is it just me or are things kind of blah around here lately?  I know people are saying all kinds of nice things about Detroit and if life were as active as my Facebook feed things would be rockin', but it isn't and they aren't. Maybe it's the winter doldrums but I just haven't been feeling it lately.

Which is why you can imagine my excitement when I was chatting with Mike Trombley a little while ago and he told me that while Macho City is on hiatus, he's come up with a new dance party for homosexuals like (possibly) you and (definitely) me. Moving forward a little bit on the gay dance music timeline, this one focuses on the synth-heavy dance music of the early 80's, and it takes its name from the iconic hi-NRG track by Patrick Cowley: Menergy.

If you're like me and obsessed with gayness before your time, Menergy (menergy) is of course a completely thrilling concept. It's San Francisco, 1981. You dance the night away rocking the clone look and doing poppers on the dancefloor, hooking up with a stranger in the back room and not worrying about AIDS because nobody heard of it yet.  Well, there's no back room and we have heard of AIDS now, but maybe make out with a stranger in the corner and pretend, or get a handy in the bathroom.  And bring your own poppers, they won't be for sale behind the bar like at Macho City.

Menergy (menergy) is also generating enormous excitement Chez Supergay because Mike Trombley is THE KING of finding great music you never knew existed.  To help you visualize the vibe, Mike has provided a list of people, places and things you should contemplate (which, conveniently enough, are also gay blog keyword search gold):

Think Hi-NRG, Patrick Cowley, Oil Can Harry's, The EndUp Club, Bath House Etiquette, Bobby Orlando, Ian Levine, Sequential Circuits, Trocadero Transfer, Todd's, Midnight Funk Association, Man Parrish, Mr. Master, Italo Disco, Disconet mixes, mustaches, Numbers, Club Heaven, Stock Aitken Waterman, Tales of the City, Joe Dallesandro, Cruise or be Cruised, The Hanky Code, Tom of Finland, Fire Island, Urei 1620, Minimal Synth, Megatone, Kenneth Anger, Bruce LaBruce, Peter Berlin, Chad Douglas, Klaus Nomi, Keith Haring, Larry Levan, Den Haan, The Music Box, Continental Baths, poppers, beards, booze and dance moves. 

Menergy (men-er-gy) will be held at the Temple Bar, which is super awesome because it is conveniently located downtown and has a proven track record of hosting awesome dance parties ie: Haute To Death. It debuts this Saturday night, February 11, so prepare to get hot and sweaty on the dancefloor.  I'm off to listen to my Megatone 12-inch compilation to get in the mood - see you there!

Hi-NRG * Italo Disco * Minimal Synth
21+ / $1 Cover
The Temple Bar, 2906 Cass Avenue, Detroit
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