The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

Oy Yea, Oy Yeah…

Posted by Daniel on Monday, October 30, 2006

I apologize. I took my eye off the ball and I’m sorry.

The reason this post has started off with an apology is simple, in that I have been a little self-involved with some extra-curricular activities that have, for the most part, kept me away from writing. At best, I’ve only given myself time to splash a photo or two here as, I’ll admit, lazy attempts at throwing scarps to the readers.

I’m probably going to be all over the map on this one, and I apologize in advance for that , too…but here’s where I’ve been:

Other than making merry at the recent Halloween party and being the political junkie, I’ve also had a side-project going for months that even Steve found out about only recently. No, it’s not cheating on him. That just ain’t my style. He’s stuck with me for the rest of his life, and he knows it.

First, a little background…

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Do you ever go out with friends, ar attend a party and somehow the conversation turns to the state of affairs in your ‘community’? That’s me. I look around in my adopted home town and see all the usual meeting places (restaurants, bars, stores, ect.) opening and closing hither and yon. One minute they’re here…a month or two later…poof…gone. And it isn’t as though they appear and disappear in like one particular area. No, when something new here opens, it’s usually a drive from there to the next place of interest. It has really made ‘going out’ for Steve and I a bit tiresome.

Our friend Todd and I usually wind up in some very heavy discussions over the lack of a tangible “Gay Community” here in Kansas City. This happens whether or not we’ve been drinking, though the booze does tend to make Todd’s voice louder and my Italian ‘talking arms’ flail viciously.

For those gay readers in KC, don’t mistake my mentioning of no gay community as if I’m saying there is no gay population. I know very well we have quite a few numbers here. My bitch is that there is no cohesion in the community.

I’m probably just spoiled. As a native of Dallas before, during and after their evolution of Oak Lawn. That particular area was, at one time, a dump. No offense, Dallas. One or two icky bars, rundown apartments, high crime and gay-bashings, garbage in the streets, and more. There came a time, though, that the gay community became tired of being so spread out and unorganized. A ‘gay city council’ of sorts was organized to address these issues, as well as the new threat, HIV/AIDS. We decided it was time to develope a ‘safety zone’. Oak Lawn proved to be the ideal area because so many gays already lived in and around the area.

Fast forward twenty years. Oak Lawn is not only a clean, safe and organized area, it’s also generator of revenue for them and the city of Dallas as a tourist destination. Much like the Castro in San Francisco. What we accomplished in Dallas is something I’m still very proud of.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m saying we should create a new Oak Lawn or Castro District here in Kansas City. I do, however, think it’s time to let the old gays (who seem to run things supposedly for us) know that we are not happy with the status quo. We do not like to drive miles between clubs. Gay owned and operated businesses have little to no support of the community at large due to the entrenched gay establishment playing the “Clique” game. We are sick of our gay pride being whittled down to “ten dykes and some leather guys on a flatbed”.

Note: To the lesbian and leather community, I mean no offense. This is just a term I seem to hear often when the subject of Gay Pride comes up.

There are a lot of gay forums online and we all seem to be discussing these very issues. I am surprised to hear from people who are convinced the gays here in Kansas City are just so used to being kept spread out and unorganized by the religious strong arms, the Republicans, the entrenched gays with money, the city, the Kauffman’s grip on most real estate in the metro area, politics, economics, etc.

While I can see those points as valid, to one degree or another, I think it’s something even more basic and sad. It’s my opinion that our biggest problem in this city is an overwhelming and crippling apathy. As I told Todd, it’s one thing to hear people talking about these issues over their third jello shot on a Saturday night…but what are you doing about it Sunday or Monday? Yeah sure, it’s a bit freeing to be able to sit and bitch about the status quo in the gay community, but what have you done for us lately? Why don’t I ever see you at city council meetings when issues concerning gays and/or our community are among topics to be discussed?

Here is a response I get a lot when I challenge them, “You should start a Gay City Council. You would be perfect for that and you’d get a lot done.” Yeah right. A city council of ONE. That’s not exactly what I mean, although that’s kinda how I’ve felt for a while now.

With the state of things during this current political cycle, I can see how most folks could be so cautiously apathetic. Many of us are taking that ‘wait and see’ approach before actually standing up and organizing.

“That ain’t me”, as a friend of mine tends to say (Hi Michelle).

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.It’s a very nice compliment from friends and forum buddies to be encouraged to lead. But I’ve seen Norma Rae. I know what happens when you’re asked to lead a cause, only to find all of your backers fall by the wayside when the chips are down.

I’m not talking about protesting people or places, though a worthy cause is worth that. I’m not advocating shout sessions or heckling at public forums. I’m talking about the end of “talking about it” and actually doing something. Creating something more than a ‘gay community” that is in name only.

If you agree and live in or around the Kansas City metro area, drop me a line and let me know what you think.

…to be continued…I hope…


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