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Big Hair, Big Bears and Lesbian Glares, Oh My!

Boise's 2009 Pride Week

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This weekend marked the end of the Gay and Lesbian version of Homecoming known as Pride Week. I was to go to Ann Morrison Park, to check out the festivity and all its glory, as well as mind my P's and Q's and not offend anyone. And I did just that; well, for the most part. However, I did not make it to Ann Morrison Park, instead I decided to sleep in a bit (until around 8 p.m.). Besides, if you have seen one gay parade, you have seen them all. I was more interested in interviewing participants of Pride Week in their intoxicated state. The after-parties would sufficiently set the stage to answer my most hard-hitting questions. My question was simple, "Why do you support Pride Week?" But as history teaches us, there is nothing simple about the gay community. And through this Street Spit, I will reveal the most exhausting interview/story I have ever done, but worthwhile nonetheless.

Name: Dave

Age: 54

Occupation: College Music Professor/Portland, Ore. fashion power-house

Well, I came over here to see the Portland Gay Mens' Chorus concert this evening at Boise State University. So, pride is pride but this is a special music thing that happened.

Tell me about the Portland Choir?

Well, they were guests this evening of the local Boise choir, Common Ground. And there was a concert tonight that both Common Ground and the Portland Gay Mens' Chorus performed at. They also had the local winner of the Queer Idol Contest and a couple of drag queens; it was really a cool thing, and of course, a parade this morning and the event over at the park this afternoon.

Who was the winner of the Queer Idol Contest?

(Thinking.) Um, Josh. Uh ... I'm trying to remember what his last name was. He sang a wonderful tune from Queen (mumbles words) duh, duh da da. Send me someone to love, is that right?

(Having no clue and faking it.) I believe that is actually the tune.

He was a very good-looking, red headed boy and sang very well.

Do you think that Freddy Mercury [lead vocalist for Queen] would start turning in his grave if he had heard him re-sing that?

No, absolutely not.

Absolutely not? Why?

No, because Freddy would have thought he was gorgeous too.

Ohhh! Are you a fan of red headed males?

Tonight I was.

Would you say this is the gayest event in Boise?

Well, I'm not a Boise person, so I don't know.

Where are you from?

(Looks at me bewildered.) Portland.

Oh, I thought that you were from here.

Does that void this whole interview?

No, even better. How does Portland's gay community compare to Boise's.

Uh, well, it's a lot larger.

(Everyone starts laughing.)

There are nine or 10 gay bars over there and it's a very friendly, warm community that's very accepting of all kinds of people. The gay community in Portland is very, very wide and there are all kinds of different people in the gay community and Portland has always been a very friendly town. It's not exactly a very large town but it's not a small town, so it's got that nice in-between feel.

Do you think Boise will ever reach Portland's status as far as being humanly tolerant?

Are you kidding? (Smiles.) No, I really don't because the whole structure of most, but not all of the area, is Conservative Christian churches and the Mormon Church and stuff. I love them and it works for them. Let it work for them, but stop trying to shove it on everyone else.

(Laughs, mostly in part to the fact that my photographer is an Evangelical Christian)

Name: David

Age: 43

Occupation: Co-owner of the Balcony

You know, the gay community makes up at least 50 percent of our business. It's funny; we get called a gay bar all the time. I mean we would classify ourselves as a gay bar but the other 50 percent of our business is from the heterosexual community. The gay community itself just isn't large enough here to support the size of our business, which is why it is very important to the gay community and very important to us, so we want to support them back. We want everyone who comes here to have a good time whether they're gay, straight, bi-sexual or whatever.

Is it true that if you want to find a single female to come to the Balcony Club because they come here only to dance with gay men and they know they won't get hit on?

(Laughs.) Uh, I think actually that use to be true. But I think our ratio was something like 70/30, 70 percent gay and 30 percent straight. But now that it's 50/50 it's just as competitive as any other nightclub, I'm sure.

Nice. In the song "YMCA", what's your favorite letter and why?

(Looks at his partner wide-eyed and boyishly smiles.) That's an odd question.

(Smiling back.) Well, I'm an odd dude.

(Takes a second or two to process the question.) I guess I will go with ... um, "M" for martini! (Everyone starts to laugh.)

OK, here's a tough one. Being a bi-sexual, that kind of like saying you're a vegetarian but one whom still eats chicken or fish?

(Tries his hardest to hold his composure and not crack up.)

Ha, ha!

(David breaks, trying to regain himself.) Not having been a bi-sexual, I'm not sure.

(Smiling big.) You never know.

(A long pause passes and everyone grins.) I would say that is a fair statement.

(Smiles and laughs.) That is awesome David. Thank you so much for your time.

Name: Ashley

Age: 24

Occupation: CNA/AMF drinker

Because I am a dyke and I love vagina.

(Nods head.) How much do you love vagina?

So much I could ... (Ashley at this point says some rather choice words about the female vagina. So I am going to let you, the reader, use your imagination on this one.)

Amen, me too.

(All the girls start laughing.)

Why is it, and please don't take this the wrong way, that most lesbians look like, to me, as if they are going to kill everything that stands in their way?

Like men?

Pretty much.

(Laughs.) Because that's our only other threat, the men, for me anyways. Because I am attracted to straight women. I'm not attracted to girls that look like males. I'm attracted to girls that look like girls. So, my challenge is straight guys; so that is why I glare and look down at guys, because they piss me off.

(Interrupts.) And they're a pain in the ass.

Yeah, yeah and they are a challenge.

What does the term "silly pants" mean?

I have no idea. Silly pants?

Silly pants.

I don't know.

Neither do I, so I guess we will leave that one unchecked. When do you expect Idaho to accept and/or allow same-sex marriage?

Probably within the next five years.

Really? Why is that?

Um, just because Boise is definitely getting more diverse. I mean look at today, there were like thousands of gays and lesbians there.

(Interrupts.) And it's safe to say it's coming on the horizon and you think it will happen soon.

Yeah I really do, I really do.

I hope you're right.

Name: Dann and Pal

Age: 42

Occupation: Interior Designer/Hairy Carrey

Because I am a member of the Portland Gay Mens' Chorus. We came here to sing and march in the parade and it was a great time.

(Asking about the parade.) How did that go for you?

It was a lot of fun. We spent all day with another chorus from Boise.

I was supposed to go down and see the chorus group and other events today. Unfortunately, when I woke up at 8 a.m., I looked outside my window and it looked like it was going to rain pretty hard so I said, "bleep that," and went back to bed. But it sounds like a lot of people turned out and came to see you, unlike me?

(Smiles.) It was a very nice day today. We were expecting it to rain but instead most of the chorus got sun burnt.

What does the term "bear" mean?

What does the term bear mean? (Dann's fellow chorus mates start to laugh at Dann and suddenly like a wild beast, Dann lifted up his shirt and reveals to me his rather thick black shag carpet that grows all over his chest and front side.)

(Dann and pals are having a good laugh over his hijinx.) Oh my God. Wow!

I think it's a certain mind-set for a certain group of guys in the gay community that are well, I don't know. People consider me a bear because I am hairy.

So, you're maybe a bear then?

I don't know. I don't consider myself that. It's a certain mind-set and I don't personally understand it.

What animal would you describe yourself as then?

I dunno.

Have you ever met a gay Eskimo?

No.

Why not?

Because, they're not hot.

(All laugh.) Right, I'll end it there. Thanks and have a good trip.

Name: Brett

Age: 19

Occupation: Musician/Can make $90 in one night

Well, I happened to be out here and I didn't know it was pride week but now I am finding I definitely support pride week because I think prejudice of any kind is absolutely terrible and if I can do anything to stop it, then I will. So, uh, go Pride Week!

No way, you sound like a pretty driven dude politically and emotionally. Earlier you said you were from another town, what town was that?

I moved here from Idaho Falls two months ago, definitely a very terrible place.

Why is Idaho Falls a terrible place?

I don't know, I guess I just grew up there and needed to leave.

Is there any type of gay or lesbian festival down there?

(Laughs.) Absolutely not. I am sure there are some high school clubs or something like that, but, uh, I don't think we have any pride week in Idaho Falls.

(Looks over all the gay-oriented questions.) Oh, by any chance are you gay?

No, I am not gay.

I didn't think you were gay. But you're gay in spirit, like Flintstones gay; have a gay ol' time?

Yeah.

Moving on to the next question, what is Mexico's chief agricultural export?

(Looking puzzled.) Um, I'm gonna take a leap here and say it is um, Mexico?

Mexico, not New Mexico. You know like cacti, corn, and condors, that sort of thing.

I have no idea.

Yeah, neither do I. Um, it is kind of tough asking you questions because you're not gay. Um, would you ever date Larry Craig?

Maybe if we hit it off right and had the right chemistry.

Have you ever fallen in love?

Yeah, I have.

What was that like?

(Gives a heartbroken response.) I don't want to talk about.

Wow, did she break your heart?

Uh, I don't want to talk about it.

If you could say anything to her right now, what would it be? Millions of people are going to be reading this.

Oh god, huh, um...

(Yells out loud.) How about you "f***ing b***h? No?

Um ... trying to think of something really great.

Thanks for the memories?

She's very nice.

OK, fair enough. Disappointing answer. Well my friend, have a good night. Hope you enjoy the festivities of pride night.

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